An insight into the publishing world…

Posts tagged ‘journals’

Introducing Content Marketing Executive Kathryn Palmer

My colleague at Emerald Group Publishing very kindly agreed to interview with me for my blog – I always want to offer my readers a look at publishing from a number of different angles. Kat works in the marketing department of the company and works closely with me day to day on our portfolio of titles. Here she provides a look at marketing in the publishing industry and the challenges of marketing academic research…

My Emerald Group Publishing colleague, Kat Palmer

My Emerald Group Publishing colleague, Kat Palmer

What attracted you to working for an academic publishing company?

Education has a huge, everlasting impact on our lives – whether you received a good or bad education has an influence on your career choices, development, and to certain extent happiness.

To be a part of an organisation which influences the best research for higher education students, as well as developing our knowledge and growth both economically and socially across the globe had huge appeal for me!

How much does it differ from your last company and in what ways? What was the most challenging part of moving on to such a different company?

It’s almost completely different; my previous company was B2B focussed selling document management solutions, so saying it was a bit of a culture shock joining Emerald is an understatement!

I think the biggest change has been my day-to-day job and the audience I’m now working for. At my previous company, I was doing lots of everything focussing on lead generation from paper-heavy organisations. Here, I am working solely for our academic audience (users and creators) in a much more strategic, focussed manner.

The benefits of marketing in the trade publishing industry are obvious to the general consumer. Why is marketing so important in the dissemination of academic research?

Humans have always wanted to know more, and to have the ability to find out more about their interests or specialist area and share it with other likeminded people; leading to a circular learning-understanding-sharing system.

But in a world where information online is growing faster than people will ever be able to read it, marketing is key in ensuring this process continues – if it weren’t for meta data, PPC, campaigning, positioning or communication, that research may be lost in cyberspace and the potential to learn a little bit more about the world can easily be lost.

The purpose of marketing in academia is to ensure this knowledge is found, read, understood and shared.

Marketing is a bit like watching a series on TV – miss one episode and you’re not quite sure how the story has developed.

What would you say are the most essential qualities that a successful marketing professional must have?

Understanding your audience and what they want is the first commandment for any successful marketer. You may get some success just ‘trying stuff out’, but if you want marketing to positively impact the growth, prosperity and reputation of your organisation, you must know your audience inside-out.

What do you enjoy most about your job and what do you find the most challenging?

I love the buzz in the office on a Friday afternoon after a successful week; I love the challenge of ensuring everything we do considers the customer first; and I love that my passion for creative writing is fulfilled every day through the work I produce.

The most challenging aspect for me is always wanting more – more analytics, more insight, more customer satisfaction. I don’t perceive these challenges as negatives though, more opportunities to help achieve a better relationship with our stakeholders.

The best companies in the world are the ones with the strongest relationships with its customers, no matter how big or small it is; and it’s a never ending, constantly evolving target. There is no bigger challenge, or opportunity, than that.

How important do you feel it is for academics and scholarly authors and editors to engage in social media and why?

I think it’s absolutely essential; people will do things for those they know, can communicate with and feel connected to. If scholarly authors want their research to be found and read across the globe, social media offers the perfect platform to create meaningful relationships with their audience through social media channels like Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. These global relationships would have been much harder, if not impossible, to develop before social media existed.

What recent marketing innovations and tools have excited you recently?

Marketing automation, big data, written and graphical storytelling as a form of marketing communication, the evolution of social media in marketing…. There isn’t much that doesn’t excite me about marketing developments, to be honest.

It’s a constantly evolving industry (like most) and moves and develops incredibly quickly, which is what keeps the job exciting, and helps me to stay motivated and innovative in everything I do.

The best company in the world is the one with the strongest relationships with its customers.

How do you keep up to date with the marketing industry and its developments?

I read a LOT; predominantly online research using Google Alerts, industry newsletters and webinars. I’m very committed to spending time finding out what’s happening in the industry in order to develop my own skills and help meet company goals.

It’s a bit like watching a series on TV – miss one episode and you’re not quite sure how the story has developed. It’s the same with marketing; you stop looking for the latest developments and trends and suddenly your marketing activity ceases to be as effective as it could be, if only you’d paid proper attention!

You can follow Kat on Twitter @KatPal24 and her portfolio subject at Emerald @EmeraldMktg

To find out more about Emerald Group Publishing, visit

Introducing Freelance Editor Helen Stevens

My relationship with today’s interviewee proves the power of networking – I met her at a Society of Young Publishers event in Leeds after befriending her on Facebook in a Proofreaders and Editors group. Helen supported me a lot through my job hunt (and trust me, I never let anybody on Facebook forget that I was job hunting!) and told me about the two Editorial Assistant vacancies at Emerald Group Publishing near where she lives (I was successful in applying for the second one!) Not only this, but as my interview was at 8 am after a gruelling 4-hour coach and train journey, she picked me up from the train station and drove me to the Emerald offices. She sat with me and gave me advice and support until I plucked up the courage to go in there, and then picked me up and took me for tea and toast (ALWAYS a winner if you want something from me!) before I headed back to Hull. I owe a lot to this woman, and I admire her a lot. I only hope to be as good an Editor as her one day!

Never underestimate the power of networking, folks! Not only do you get to make lasting friendships, but you never know just how valuable those friendships can be in helping each other advance in their careers. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to repay the favour for her one day.

Helen Stevens, Freelance Editor.

Helen Stevens, Freelance Editor.

Tell me a little bit about your background.

After graduating I worked for 8 years in the NHS in Lancaster as an admin officer and then a personnel officer.

How did you get into editing and proofreading?

While on maternity leave from my NHS job I decided I’d like a change of direction. I took a distance learning course in proofreading and then started sending my CV to publishers. I took on my first proofreading job at the end of 1995.

Did you find the transition to self employment to be a challenge? Did you feel excited or scared?

It was a challenge in some ways, although I’d already left the ‘9 to 5’ world of work, so that side of things wasn’t as much of a shock. I was excited, as I loved the work and enjoyed the flexibility and variety.

How long have you had an interest in editing and publishing?

Since I decided on my change of career. It wasn’t something I’d thought about before that.

What three things would you say are essential for a freelance editor to have?

Perseverance, flexibility, and a good supply of Yorkshire Tea.

…it’s a good idea to be on the look-out for new sources of work all the time.

Do you focus on a particular type or genre of writing?

I’ve always worked on non-fiction, although the type of work I do has varied over the years. In the beginning I proofread a lot of self-help/instructional books. Now I mainly edit material for non-native-English authors, including reports for an EU agency and journal articles for academics.

What are the biggest challenges and advantages you face as a freelancer?

The biggest challenges are, I suppose, the isolation and the lack of security. You don’t have the support of colleagues, as you would in an office environment, for example, and that can be an issue both professionally and socially. In terms of security, I’ve learnt over the years that it’s no good putting all your eggs in one basket, client-wise. I had one regular client who stopped using freelancers almost overnight, but luckily I had other sources of work to fall back on. As well as having a range of clients to keep you busy, it’s a good idea to be on the look-out for new sources of work all the time.

With more and more publishers outsourcing editorial work to freelancers, what must you do to keep yourself ahead of the competition?

Demonstrating your skills in the form of qualifications or professional status is important (I’m an advanced member of the SfEP). As much as anything, though, it’s about making sure clients can find you, and making sure you do a good job for those clients so that they come back for more (and recommend you to others!).

How do you keep yourself actively involved in the publishing industry while working at home?

Being a member of the SfEP is a great way of keeping yourself involved, whether that’s through the members’ forum, the magazine or the annual conference. But social media is also useful for finding out what’s going on, both in the UK and around the globe.

What do you like to read in your spare time?

I usually read fiction, although I’ve just finished Alan Johnson’s This Boy (the first volume of his autobiography), which I’m reading for my book group. Another memoir I enjoyed recently was Catherine Gildiner’s After the Falls, the follow-up to one of my favourite books of all time, Too Close to the Falls.

As a fellow Northerner in the publishing industry, what are your views on the clear North/south divide in publishing? Do people in the North have enough of a say or enough opportunity to have their voices heard in the industry?

Since my clients aren’t ‘traditional’ publishers, I don’t particularly feel this North/South divide. In fact, most of my clients are based overseas, so the North/South divide doesn’t affect me as much as it would other people working in the publishing industry.

I guess the only thing I notice is that a lot of the interesting publishing-related events tend to be in London, which is a shame.

Your favourite writers and books?

I don’t have a favourite author as such. I’ve enjoyed the novels of John Irving, Magnus Mills, Donna Tartt, Patrick Gale, Anne Tyler, Robertson Davies, Ian McEwan… (in no particular order).

You can find out more about Helen and her proofreading, editing and copywriting services here.

Follow her on Twitter @HelenSaltedit

Find out more about the SfEP here.

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