1 What's your company called?
We’re Prepare to Publish. It’s run by myself, Andrew Chapman, and my colleague, the author and creative writing teacher CM Taylor.
2 What services or products do you offer?
We offer a range of editorial services. These include development editing, copy editing and proofreading, but also typesetting for both print and digital formats. We have a growing group of trusted freelancers so we can tailor the team to the job each time.
3 How can you help IPG members?
We can save busy editors and publishers from going crazy with their workload! For example, we can provide a top-to-tail service where a publisher hands us a book, putting us in contact with the author, and we see it through the full editorial and typesetting process, before handing it back as a finished product. But of course we can also provide a subset of these services, if you just need a copy edit, or an ebook edition, and so on.
We also believe in using technology to assist these processes. We have our own project management setup, so any client can see the progress of their books at any time; and we’re developing our own editorial software—not to replace editors (unthinkable!), but to help them spot things like consistency errors, which are often hard for humans to see.
4 What do you enjoy about working in publishing?
I’ve been in publishing for 25 years now, so I must enjoy it! I started in magazine publishing and, partly influenced by the decline of magazines, have moved more into the world of books in recent years. I remain an avid consumer of both types of publication, so it’s a pleasure to help people make them, too. It’s simply enjoyable helping to make people’s writing shine, and to create attractive products—and because every project is different, it offers endless variety, as well as an opportunity for lifelong learning.
5 What do you think is the single biggest opportunity and the single biggest threat for independent publishers right now?
I think discoverability is a key issue, reflecting the ever-harder challenge of competing for audiences’ attention in a world of information overload (and the expectation of ‘content’ for free), especially when fewer people are browsing the shelves of bookshops—though the independent bookshop world is finding fantastic new ways to thrive. But this means there’s an opportunity for creative ways to help readers find books. Wearing a different hat, I co-own one of the leading book recommendation websites, so this is something I’m directly involved with!
6 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
As a new member, of course I’m hoping to network and find new clients—we love working with small and medium publishers in particular. And I’ve already been made to feel very welcome in the IPG. The opportunity to be at The London Book Fair, to attend the Spring Conference, and to join in with discussions about the lively world of publishing and its future is very exciting.