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Hachette welcome Creative Access for a wonderful masterclass on book publishing

Last night Creative Access interns and alumni received a comprehensive masterclass from the publishing powerhouse, Hachette. We were welcomed into their beautiful offices overlooking the Thames, where we were surrounded by books, books and more books – no surprise really given that they publish over 8,000 books a year!

We were welcomed by Hachette’s HR Director, Dominic Mahony who gave us a brief introduction of the company, it’s brand and imprints. We were then given an insight into the different aspects of publishing – editorial, marketing, licensing and sales.

To help us understand the editing process, Hodder and Stoughton editor, Briony Gowlett. Briony gave us a detailed look at the typical ‘life of a book’ – starting from the inception and finishing at the book launch. She told us that her role as an editor  is to always ensure that she does the best by her author.

Briony finished with some final words for anyone considering a career as an editor. She said “To succeed as an editor, you need to be naturally inquisitive.”

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To help us understand the marketing of books, and how this area is changing to reflect changes in digital media we heard from Orion’s Digital Development & Technical Director, Marissa Hussey and Little Brown’s Felice Howden.

Marissa shared the amazing, and groundbreaking, digital campaign for Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia. The campaign incorporated the use of technology by launching on an app and releasing weekly, bite size chunks of the story.

Felice followed on by talking about the her role as the Head of Marketing at Little Brown. She talked about the innovative #MakeMeADetective marketing campaign that she devised for Robert Galbraith’s novel, Career of Evil. The campaign asked fans to tap into their inner detective to find a rare signed copy of Galbraith’s book.

Despite this move away from traditional marketing models, Felice informed us that even in today’s digital age, retailers are still the number one way people discover new books.

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Hachette Children’s, Executive Manager of Licensing, Karen Lawler, then gave us a detailed look at the way licensing works in book publishing. After disclosing that the licensing sector is worth an astonishing £10.2bn a year in the UK, Karen explained that licensing is effectively taking one form of intellectual property and adapting it into another form of media. She cited Frozen and Harry Potter as prime examples and went through a brand new deal that she’s just secured the rights for a TV series – Alex T Smith’s book series, Claude.

Finally, we moved onto the sales side of the publishing business. Director of Subsidiary rights at Quercus, Jason Bartholomew made us all envious when he
talked about his role, which involves a lot of international travel. Jason explained that his job is to increase the investment in books by exploiting different forms or rights such as audio and film. Jason said

“The main job of someone in foreign rights is to travel all over the world to market books at book fairs and events.”

The session concluded with a wonderful drinks reception on Hachette’s stunning roof terrance where we were able to take in their spectacular views of London and network with some of Hachette’s senior professionals.

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Thanks so much to Hachette for hosting a beautiful evening and to our great panel of speakers:

Marissa Hussey, Digital Development & Technical Director at Orion Publishing Group
Felice Howden, Head of Digital Marketing at Little Brown Book Group
Karen Lawler, Executive Manager of Licensing at Hachette Children’s Books
Jason Bartholomew, Director of Subsidiary Rights at Quercus