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A Peek into Publishing: Editorial with Ella Chappell

Welcome back to a Peek into Publishing! We love showing you around our departments and offering insight into not just entry level jobs, but a wide range of roles. So far we’ve shown you sales, marketing and design. We thought it was about time we dove into the most popular choice for Publishing Hopefuls: editorial. We asked one of our amazing Commissioning Editors to share how she worked her way up to commissioning level and what she gets up to on a day-to-day basis within editorial in publishing.

Ella Chappell, Commissioning Editor for Watkins and Nourish Books

How did you get into the industry and into your current editorial role? 

I knew I wanted to work with books from quite an early age, ever since I did a work experience placement at Penguin when I was in secondary school. I then studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia, and followed that with a Masters in Creative Writing. During the summer of my final year, I did a six-week internship at A P Watt literary agency (now part of United Agents). 

After I graduated, I sought out as many internships as I could, doing stints at Carcanet in Manchester and volunteering at The Poetry Society. I eventually secured a three-month internship in the editorial department at The British Museum Press. It was so much fun and allowed me to see what an editorial role was really like.

From there I moved to a full-time position at a digital publishing start-up, and then to Editorial Assistant at Titan Books where I worked in genre fiction. I worked my way up through Assistant Editor, Desk Editor and Editor roles, gradually learning on the job how to commission and acquire. 

After a year as Editor at Unbound in both fiction and non-fiction, I found the Commissioning Editor job I’d always dreamed of at Watkins!

What does your day to day look like as Commissioning Editor? 

The average day is usually an equal split between looking after current projects and acquiring new books. My day begins with reading through emails and responding to author’s queries, requests from other departments and admin. I’m always keeping a lot of plates spinning – I might be doing final checks on the proofs of one book, finding the right freelance copyeditor for another and editing the early sample text of a different title. Another big part of the job is writing copy – whether that be for covers, sales points, online descriptions or finding the perfect title and subtitle. 

When it comes to acquisitions, this part of the job demands a switch in pace. Much of the work of acquisitions is simply thinking, reading and absorbing – whether it be a submission, related newsletter, looking at recent sales figures or checking out the work of emerging voices in mind, body, spirit or food writing. One of the best parts of the job is finding a new writer who is really exciting and reaching out to them. At that point, the hard work of developing a concept and presenting it to the rest of the company starts!

For example, today I spent the first hour responding to emails from over the weekend. I attended a production meeting, where the production department shared updates on schedules for forthcoming books. The rest of the morning was spent writing a cover brief for a designer. The morning ended with a short meeting with the wonderful editorial team, where we discussed the progress of each book in the pipeline.

In the afternoon I added some newly acquired books to our shared schedule, drafting and circulating copy for AI (Advance Information) sheets with other departments for their feedback. At 3pm I had a meeting with one of my authors and the marketing and publicity team, in which we discussed the marketing plan for their book leading up to publication. I ended the day by reading through a proposal document that a potential author had put together. I made notes and suggested changes to the planned chapter structure and did some research into the sales of similar titles in that area.

What were you most surprised to learn when you started in editorial in publishing? 

I didn’t realise before I started working in editorial roles to what extent you require the skills of a salesperson. I think the idea of being an editor can be quite romantic to introverts like me, who imagine pretty much being left alone to read and edit. In fact, being a commissioning editor requires you to constantly refine and repeat your elevator pitches for all of your books, to be an enthusiastic champion for them both in-house and to the public.

What is the best thing about your job? 

The best thing about my job is working with people who are truly in love with their topics, who are true experts in their fields. Being the one helping them to communicate their passion, their wisdom, their recipes, often their life’s work, is pretty magical.

What is the most challenging part of your role? 

I think the challenging part comes from the best part I mentioned above! Sometimes writers and content creators can be so close to their subject that they can be, understandably, nervous about having their words edited. I see the editorial process as collaborative, and so it only works when there is trust between the editor and the writer. Sometimes part of the job is simply building that trust, getting to know their topic deeply and empathetically, and finding the way that you are going to best work together to transform a manuscript into a book.

What would be your top tip for people applying to work in publishing?

Although this has been a little hard over the past year of lockdowns, my top tip would be to go into bookshops at least once a week, every week. Take note of which books are in the windows, on the tables, face-out, what topics and trends the booksellers are identifying. Take a look at the most prominent titles in the areas you are interested in and consider the titles, the main publishers in each space, the cover designs, the blurbs on the back. This kind of awareness of the market is essential. When you’re in interviews you can speak with specific insight about competitive titles and publishers, which will make you stand out.

What’s one Watkins title you’d encourage everyone to read? 

I am biased, since this was the first book I commissioned at Watkins, but I am very proud of Potions, Elixirs & Brews by Anaïs Alexandre. This is a beautiful little book of delicious cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks that also function as magical spells. Take a look at the book’s TikTok for a selection of the drinks if you are curious!

Tell us about a project you’re currently working on? 

I’m particularly excited to be working with Melinda Salisbury on her non-fiction book: The Way Back Almanac, a modern city-dweller’s guide back to the rhythms of nature. Publishing in August this year, the almanac takes you through 2022 month-by-month. Full of gorgeous illustrations, with tips on stargazing, windowsill gardening, seasonal vegan recipes, crafts and rituals, folklore and wisdom from contemporary writers and thinkers, it is a gorgeous little guide for anyone feeling disconnected from nature.


That’s all for this week! We hope you gained a little more insight into what it’s like to work in editorial in publishing, both for publishing hopefuls as well as editorial assistants seeking insight into higher up the editorial chain. We wish those of you seeking a job in editorial the best of luck! If you want to learn more about upcoming Peek Into Publishing projects, follow Watkins on Twitter.

You can also follow Ella on Twitter!

Top Ten Terms: Sales in Publishing

Hi everyone! Welcome back to our Peek into Publishing blog. We’ve created some different content for you this week with our Top Ten Sales Terms!

So far you’ve met Rachel, Craig and Kieryn, who have given us insights into various publishing departments, and these profiles will continue every other week. However, this week, we’ve asked Lauren and Craig in the sales department to offer you their top ten sales terms they wish they’d known when they first started out working in their publishing roles. 

These terms are useful for anyone looking to work in publishing, not just in sales. They get thrown around during sales review meetings with all departments, so we hope you’ll benefit from learning them! We’ve asked other departments to also curate their top ten terms they want you to know, so keep your eyes on our Peek into Publishing page for more similar insights. 

1. Firm sale

We use this term to signify when books have been sold to a consumer with no possibility of any of these books returning to us (the publisher) in the event of poor sales or excess stock. 

2. Sale & return 

In comparison, this term refers to when books are sold to a consumer with the possibility of returning excess stock. For example, if a consumer overestimates how many sales they can make, so only sell half the number of copies they ordered, they can return them to us if they have a sell & return clause in the contract. 

3. Margin

This is the amount of profit we make after a sale, taking into consideration all editorial, marketing, printing and shipping costs, usually displayed in a percentage format. 

Lets give an example:

Say, for example, a store wants to order 1,000 copies of a £9.95 book at a 60% discount. 

The total amount he would need to pay would be £3,980, but our profit would not be £3,980 because we incurred costs making the book. 

If these costs were £0.92 per copy, 1000 copies would have costed us £920.

Our profit would be £3980-£920=£3060. 

Our margin would therefore be 31% (306/995=0.307).

4. ROS & ROM 

Rate of Sale (ROS) and Rate of Movement (ROM) are both ways of referring to the average number of units sold over a specific time period. For example, if a title sells 15 copies in Month 1, 20 copies in Month 2 and 13 copies in Month 3, the three-month ROM would be 16 copies. This shows us how quickly books are moving. If they have a sudden boost in sales, this will be reflected in the ROM, so we can then calculate the best time to organise the next reprint (see MOH next).

5. MOH 

MOH is shorthand for Month on Hand. This uses the ROM figure to calculate how many months’ worth of stock is in the warehouse if the same buying patterns continue. For example, if there were 100 copies in the warehouse and the ROM was 16, the MOH would be 6. This means our current stock levels would last for 6 months if buying patterns remain regular, so we don’t yet need to organise a reprint. 

6. Consignment 

Retailers often take a quantity of stock to hold in their own warehouses but only pay for the titles as and when they are sold. This is called consignment.

7. Gross Sales 

This refers to the total amount of sales including returns. So, if we sold 1,560 copies of a recent publication such as Why We Get Mad then we had 60 returns, the net sales for this book so far would still be 1,560. 

8. Net Sales 

We calculate the gross sales by removing the returns, instead calculating the total amount of sales excluding returns. In our example above, the gross sales would be 1,500 for Why We Get Mad by Dr Ryan Martin. 

9. Pulping 

Pulping is the process of shredding of excess stock. We make the decision to pulp for two reasons:

  1. It’s a very old title and we have far too much stock compared to its ROM. If we have too much stock that we know we won’t use, it can incur warehouse charges that amount to more than the book is bringing in. 
  2. It is an old edition and we’re printing a new one with substantial changes. We first try and sell via remainder (see next term), and then we pulp. 

 10. Remainder

If stock isn’t moving as quickly as we’d like, an alternative to pulping is remainder, where we sell excess stock in bulk for a high discount to discount stores. This allows us to move the stock out of our warehouse without pulping them. 


That’s all for this week! We hope you gained a little more knowledge of the sales terms that get used a lot in publishing. We wish those of you seeking a job in sales (and in publishing in general) the best of luck! If you want to learn more about upcoming Peek Into Publishing projects, follow Watkins on Twitter. Next week, we have one of our amazing commissioning editors giving insight into the editorial department, so come back on Wednesday. To catch up on previous posts, see below for insights into sales, marketing and design:

A Peek into Publishing: Design with Kieryn Tyler

Welcome back to A Peek into Publishing! This is a new initiative we started last month where we reveal behind-the-scenes insights into working in publishing. So far, we’ve given you a peek into our sales and marketing departments. This week, we’re talking to Kieryn, who will be telling you all about design in publishing …

Kieryn Tyler, Designer

How did you get into the industry and into your current design role?

I studied graphic design at University of Norwich. In my second year, I was allowed to narrow down my discipline, so I graduated with a degree in Design in Publishing. After graduating, I applied to all the positions in book design I could find. However, a lot of feedback I received said I needed more experience, so I started doing freelance work, creating covers for commission. I’d been freelancing for six months when I applied for a job at Watkins. They had just acquired Angry Robot, their science-fiction imprint, and needed a new Junior Designer to keep up with the design work. 

In total it took me roughly two years after graduating before I secured a permanent position within a publishing company. I’ve now been working at Watkins for just over two years now (although it feels like less with half of that spent working from home) and have recently been promoted to my current role as Designer. 

What does your day to day look like as Designer?

My day varies depending on what I’m working on, whether it’s the Watkins, Nourish or Angry Robot titles, or helping with our Cygnus magazine. A few of my main responsibilities include managing the design of reprints (updating barcodes, making any design changes to new editions and updating the spine width if necessary), creating the marketing and publicity assets for advertising and designing the covers for upcoming Angry Robot titles. 

When designing a cover, I receive a brief from the editorial team and create a variety of options (between 4–8). After the author and editors narrow down which options they like, I’ll edit the chosen designs until we have one we like the most. The general rule amongst my team is that if you design the cover, you’ll also oversee creating the spine and back cover when the press deadline comes around. 

This week I’ve spent most of my time working on the Cygnus magazine, laying out the next edition. Next week I’ll be laying out a new book on mythology and tweaking some cover designs for an upcoming Angry Robot title. 

What were you most surprised to learn when you started in design in publishing?

I think I underestimated how much time I would dedicate to things that weren’t directly design related. When I first started as Junior Designer, I didn’t have a clear idea of what the role involved beyond creating covers and laying books out. I’d envisioned days spent on InDesign. In reality, there are a lot of other aspects involved in the making of a book cover: managing my time and different deadlines, attending meetings and liaising with other departments (such as editorial and production). 

I was also surprised how far in advance we design the cover. I’ll finalise the design, then not hear about it for a few months before I’m asked to create the back cover and spine. 

What is the best thing about your job? 

The best thing is designing a cover – it’s why I picked the job. I enjoy the research beforehand for a style and theme, then figuring out the puzzle of how it all fits together. The fun is in playing around with the design and finding a balance between what you want to design as the designer and what the market, author, agent and senior team say they want. 

What is the most challenging part of your role?

It’s challenging when a design idea you’re really attached to gets shot down. It’s part of the job and it’s never personal – the design has to fit a certain market, which means there has to be compromise. There have been some covers I really loved that haven’t made it to the final stage. But every idea is useful and when a design doesn’t work for one book, it might work for another, so it’s always a good idea to remember the designs and ideas for later. It all works out in the end – everyone just wants the book to succeed.

What would be your top tip for people applying to work in publishing? 

Keep designing!

When I finished university, I came away with a portfolio of my best designs from both the course and my work experiences. But then I had a two-year gap between graduating and getting my job at Watkins. It was important for me to show what work I did in those two years – to show initiative and willingness. 

One of the hiring managers from my Watkins interview said it was my enthusiasm that got me the job. There’s nothing more important than a general love for what you do. 

What’s one Watkins book you’d encourage everyone to read?

One we’ve recently published that I love is Anaïs Alexandre’s Potions, Elixirs & Brews. Some great cocktails and a lovely design!

Tell us about a project you’ve recently worked on?

I recently did the cover for a reuse project (an old book that we are republishing and rebranding). The Self-Sufficiency Bible by Simon Dawson is being republished after 11 years and we wanted a more modern, brighter cover that was suited to the target audience. I still had to use the old images from the book, but it was fun to find a way to make them fit this new brief. The book published in February and it was great to see the cover in person and add it to my Watkins shelf. 


That’s all for this week! We hope you gained a little more insight into what it’s like to work in design in publishing. We wish those of you seeking a job in design the best of luck! If you want to learn more about upcoming A Peek Into Publishing projects, follow Watkins on Twitter.

You can also follow Kieryn on Instagram!

A Peek into Publishing: Marketing with Rachel Gladman

Welcome back to A Peek into Publishing! This is a new initiative we started two weeks ago where we reveal behind-the-scenes insights into working in publishing. In our last post, we asked Craig to show us around the sales department and what he gets up to on a day-to-day basis. This week, we’re talking to Rachel, who will be telling you all about marketing in publishing …

Rachel Gladman, Marketing Executive

How did you get into the industry and into your current marketing role?

Rachel Gladman

I’ve always had a passion for books and knew that I wanted to work in publishing from an early age. 

While studying English and American Literature with Creative Writing at the University of Kent, I completed a few publishing work experiences. First, I did an internship in the editorial team at a small Brighton-based publisher called Salariya Book Company. Then, I did a two-week summer placement at Penguin Random House in their children’s publicity team. While I enjoyed my editorial internship, this introduction to marketing and publicity taught me that my true passion was for marketing! 

After I graduated, I worked as a Marketing Assistant in a different industry. Alongside this, I volunteered as an Events Coordinator for the London Society of Young Publishers, organising panel discussions, networking events and the SYP annual conference.

My first publishing role was with Springer Nature as a Marketing Assistant, promoting their scientific journalsI then moved on to SAGE Publishing as a Marketing Executive where I was responsible for the marketing of 38 scientific journals. I moved over to trade publishing when I got a job with Hachette Partworks as a Product Manager. In this role, I worked closely with global entertainment brands including Warhammer, Marvel and Disney to promote their new comic and magazine launches.

I joined Watkins in August 2020 as their Marketing Executive, working on self-help and personal development books.

What does your day to day look like as Marketing Executive?

Every Monday, the marketing, publicity and sales teams meet to discuss our priorities for the week, as well as any acquisition proposals sent over by the editorial team. With any new acquisition, our team comes together to create a comprehensive plan. It is my responsibility to brainstorm ideas for social media promotion, blog posts, events, advertisement opportunities, external partnership opportunities and print assets. 

A large part of my role is also looking for opportunities for our company to grow. In my time at Watkins, I have created a TikTok account to reach new audiences, launched digital stores on Amazon, Bookshop.org, Facebook and Instagram to make purchasing our books quicker and easier for our customers, and teamed up with Eventbrite to make book launches and other events possible during the pandemic. 

The role of Marketing Executive is the perfect blend of problem-solving, creativity and analysis.  

For example, here’s a quick look at what my top priorities were for today (a Friday):

  • Design a print advertisement to feature in The Big Issue for Earth Day.
  • Create an Eventbrite page for “Meet Your Feet”, a foot health workshop with Yamuna Zake, the author of The Foot Fix.
  • Research keywords to create an Amazon advertisement for our upcoming cookbook French Countryside Cooking by Daniel Galmiche.
  • Create Earth Day themed book lists on our Amazon Store and Bookshop.org.
  • Submit titles for NetGalley’s Book of the Month.
  • Draft the Watkins Newsletter – this showcases our upcoming projects, a sneak peek at our forthcoming titles and event announcements.
  • Brainstorm marketing ideas for a new oracle card deck.

What were you most surprised to learn when you started in marketing in publishing?

In my previous publishing roles, I worked for larger companies with big marketing budgets and interacted very rarely with authors. I quickly discovered that in a small company, with smaller budgets, the author is one of the most important assets to a successful marketing campaign. For example, Dr Ryan Martin, author of Why We Get Mad is very comfortable with public speaking and being in front of a camera, but hadn’t previously posted a lot on social media. Knowing this, I worked with Ryan to create his TikTok account where he could share more information about the book and discuss important topics around the subject of anger. After only a few months, he has a highly engaged audience of 86k followers on TikTok. I can’t wait to see how far he’ll go! 

What is the best thing about your job? 

The diversity of our titles. One week I will be creating a marketing plan for a new tarot deck, and the next I will be working on a sourdough cookbook. Every project is different and each one challenges me to experiment with new, creative ideas.  I really love content creation and exploring new ways to reach customers, which is a huge part of my role. With such a diverse range of topics, each title offers me fresh opportunities to work with new audiences, expanding my knowledge and network. 

What is the most challenging part of your role?

It is a very fast-paced role with colleagues, authors and external partners needing your attention at the same time. 

While organisation skills are key to a marketing role, it is also important to know when to ask for help when it becomes too much. The marketing and publicity team at Watkins are in constant communication with each other and will pick up each other’s work if we need help to reach a deadline. 

What would be your top tip for people applying to work in publishing? 

Narrowing it down to one top tip is hard! My top three would be:

  1. Join societies and attend events (when you can) – these are a great opportunity to get to know people who are already working in publishing, listen to interesting speakers and meet people who are also trying to get into the industry. Some examples are:
  2. Don’t worry about getting your dream job straight away. Instead, think about your transferrable skills – getting experience in marketing outside of the publishing industry has been invaluable to my career. Building a portfolio of case studies that I can refer to during interviews greatly increased my chance of landing a job in trade publishing. 

    We all have a passion for books but being able to answer scenario questions such as “What has been your proudest achievement?”, “Can you describe a time when you failed?” or “What could we be doing differently?” sets you aside from everyone else.
  3. Twitter is your friend – it’s my go-to place for being on top of industry news and current events. It’s also a fantastic place to network and showcase your passion for the industry. If you’re not already, I suggest following:

What’s one Watkins book you’d encourage everyone to read?

Derek Frost’s Living and Loving in the Age of Aids is a personal favourite of mine. It’s a brilliant and moving memoir about one couple’s love story during the AIDS epidemic.  

Channel 4’s brilliant It’s a Sin, about the early days of the AIDS pandemic in London, created a massive buzz in both the UK and the US. For anyone who loved the series and wants to learn more about that difficult time, Derek’s book is an incredibly detailed and moving personal account. As an added bonus, all proceeds from book sales will be donated to AIDS Ark – a charity founded by Derek and Jeremy which has now saved over 1000 HIV positive lives around the world. 

While it’s a real tear-jerker, it’s incredibly uplifting. It is available now. 

Tell us about a project you’re currently working on? 

I am currently working closely with the Watkins Marketing & Publicity Manager to spearhead preparations for Publishers Weekly’s US Book Show. This will be my first time representing our titles at an international trade show and I can’t wait to see all of our hard work come into fruition! 


That’s all for this week! We hope you gained a little more insight into our marketing and publicity department. We wish those of you seeking a job in marketing the best of luck! If you want to learn more about upcoming “A Peek Into Publishing” projects, follow Watkins on Twitter.

You can also follow Rachel on Twitter and Instagram!

A Peek into Publishing: Sales with Craig Chmarny

Welcome to our first Peek into Publishing post! This is a new initiative where we want to pull back the curtains to the publishing industry and give you insight into different departments and how they work together. We’ve asked a wide variety of our colleagues to write profiles, telling you more about their jobs: the daily tasks, the best bits, the challenges. We hope you find some useful content within these posts and best of luck on your journey both applying to and working within the industry! To begin with, we’d like to introduce you to Craig, who will be talking about sales in publishing …

Craig Chmarny, UK & Digital Sales Executive

How did you get into the industry and into your current sales role?

Craig Staff Profile Picture

After graduating with a degree in American Studies, I worked at Waterstones for a couple of years, which was like a dream come true – I was able to talk about books all day, and the discount wasn’t too shabby either. 

I then worked a random office job before being unemployed for six months. During this employment gap, I thought I might as well give publishing my best, so I attended the four-day “Get Into Book Publishing” course at UCL. It was an incredibly useful course, and I learnt that I wasn’t interested in editorial (the only department people outside of the industry knows exists). 

About two weeks later, I did a two-week work experience placement at Watkins, helping the Marketing and Publicity team with campaigns and social media. I was beyond stoked when they asked me to stay on as a paid intern. My days were spent assisting with marketing, as well as helping out with the Cygnus magazine and learning how to upload eBooks onto the various online retailers (something I still do to this day). 

Just as the internship was ending, I had a chat with the Sales Director, who was impressed with my work and how well I had adjusted into the office, and they offered me a role as a Sales Assistant. I felt extremely lucky to have found Watkins and am incredibly grateful for the chance they gave me to start my career within sales in publishing. In more exciting news, I’m happy to be able to continue to grow as I stepped into my new promotion as UK & Digital Sales Executive in March this year. 

What does your day to day look like as the UK & Digital Sales Executive?

My average day includes checking our metadata on various online retailers to make sure the listings are looking their best and converting sales. I’m a sucker for metadata so I enjoy looking through and making sure it is accurate. I also oversee the eBook production, from sending off the files to be converted, to quality checking and uploading and subsequent promotion. As “Digital” covers both eBooks and audio, I currently manage the upload of all audio files to Audible and other online retailers. However, as our audio team is expanding, my involvement with the audio uploads will lessen and change. My aim is to focus on creating more digital promotions for our audio list, rather than the manual uploads.  

In terms of digital promotions, I’m in charge of submitting our new titles across all imprints (Watkins, Nourish, Repeater and Angry Robot) to digital sales via Amazon, Apple and BookBub. This helps to boost sales by using price promotions as digital incentives.

I regularly attend editorial acquisition meetings and cover meetings, where we all discuss incoming titles and offer our input as to whether we think the proposal fits within our market and will sell well. The cover meetings are always fun to attend, going through which typefaces work or which designs are more eye-catching and will work as a thumbnail.

What were you most surprised to learn when you started in sales in publishing?

Genuinely, I was most surprised by how the departments interacted with each other and how the sales department actually worked. Every department is asked to weigh in with their expertise from the very first proposal meeting, and I regularly work with commissioning editors and the marketing team to create sales material. I also never considered the connection between publishers and bookstores. It’s been a fun journey learning the different aspects of my job. I’m still learning new ways to approach retailers and sell our titles and honestly it’s pretty fun!

What is the best thing about your job? 

Am I allowed to say two things? I can’t pick just one. 

  1. Working with my colleagues – I couldn’t ask for a nicer bunch of folks to work with on a day-to-day basis. 
  2. I still get to talk about books to people for a living. It’s pretty cool.

What is the most challenging part of your role?

There are times, especially leading up to bookfairs and events, when it feels like I’m juggling a million different things and I don’t know what to prioritise first. It’s the nature of book publishing, especially when you have numerous books going off each month and needing to organise promotions on both the frontlist and the backlist. My solution is to take a step back and plan my week, breaking it down into smaller chunks that are achievable.

What would be your top tip for people applying to work in publishing? 

My first tip would be to make sure you look closely at the transferable skills you could have gained from your work experiences, even if they aren’t publishing or office based. For example, working in retail gave me the ability to present in front of people about why they should buy a particular item. 

If you’re interested in certain aspects of publishing, such as audio or eBooks, research what transferrable skills you’ll need to excel in those areas, such as typesetting, how to create an eBook or how to use audio editing software, and work on adding those skills to your toolbelt in your free time.

Also, don’t be afraid to look at other areas of publishing. I know editorial might be the most oversubscribed part of publishing, but each department has their positives, and often you’ll find a home in a department you never expected. 

  • Do you know a foreign language? Look into the rights department. 
  • Have a knack for selling? Look into sales. 
  • Love to talk about books? Maybe PR is for you! 
  • Do you love sprayed edges and fancy cover effects? Hello! There’s production!
  • Like to design and encompass the themes of a book into a single image? You guessed it, there’s design!

The publishing industry is your oyster – go for it!

What’s one Watkins book you’d encourage everyone to read?

I’m a big fan of the Jeff Noon series (A Man of Shadows / The Body Library / Creeping Jenny) published by Angry Robot. If you like a detective story set within a fantastically weird city (one city split in two – one half in constant daytime, the other in eternal night) then these books are for you. The fourth title Within Without releases this month (available from all good bookstores)!

I also love Nisha Katona’s Mowgli: Street Food from our Nourish imprint. If you want to cook some absolutely delicious Indian street food, this is the book for you! (also available from all good bookstores).

Tell us about an exciting project you’re currently working on?

I recently spearheaded the introduction of an extremely useful tool to the Watkins Media team called “Marketing Insights”. This will allow us to keep a close eye on our Amazon listings without having to go into each individual listing. With this tool, we should be able to check stock messaging on Amazon, which titles are having a sales boost and take advantage of these by perfecting our online copy to convert even more sales!

It sounds relatively boring when you’re not knee deep into online sales. Honestly, once you get a job within sales in publishing, you’ll find spreadsheets and cool excel formulas exciting. Trust me. 


That’s all for this week! We hope you gained a little more insight into our sales department. We wish those of you seeking a job in sales the best of luck! If you want to learn more about upcoming “A Peek Into Publishing” projects, follow Watkins on Twitter.

You can also follow Craig on Twitter!

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