An insight into the publishing world…

Posts tagged ‘readers’

Introducing Nathan Connolly, Publishing Director at Dead Ink Publishing

I was very happy to bag an interview with Dead Ink books, a publisher I’ve been following for a few years, since I met publisher Wes Brown at a Society of Young Publishers event, when they were an innovative new digital publisher. Here his partner at Dead Ink, Nathan Connolly, gives us an overview of the publishing house and how they went about building a community around their company…

Nathan Connolly Headshot

Please introduce yourself and give a brief overview of your career.

I’m Nathan Connolly and I’m the Publishing Director of Dead Ink. I started in Publishing when I began The Night Light, an online literary magazine, after graduating from University. I’ve worked with The Big Issue in the North, Crécy Publishing and The Society of Young Publishers.

Tell us about Dead Ink Books – how did the company come about? What’s its premise?

Dead Ink started towards the end of 2010 and it was set up with funding from Arts Council England as a digital-only press. This was around the time that ebooks were really just starting to blow up and there was a lot of both panic and optimism in the industry. With Dead Ink we were experimenting with what a book could be – at a time when that really did seem to be a valid question.

As the industry started to come to terms with digital, Dead Ink released its first print titles. When Dead Ink began, it was the medium that we thought was revolutionary. As we developed it became clear that the biggest opportunity presented by digital technology wasn’t in restricting ourselves to solely digital books but in connecting readers to them.

Our focus now is based on two strands. The first is to develop the careers of new literary authors and the second is to do that through experimentation with digital technology in publishing.

What challenges did you face setting up Dead Ink Books?

The challenge of setting up a small press today is that the industry is becoming increasingly concentrated and homogenous in terms of both publishing and retail. We’re fortunate in that we are represented by Inpress books who fight our corner, but overall I think the industry is becoming harder and harder to survive in. I wouldn’t be surprised to see further concentrations taking place in terms of partnerships and mergers.

I think this challenge is also an opportunity, though: publishing needs challenging small presses and I think readers enjoy them too. Hopefully the tide will begin to turn in the next few years and the independents will win back some influence and breathing space. Maybe it’s already begun?

What kind of literature do you publish?

We’re interested mainly in literary fiction. Specifically, we want fiction that is challenging, brave and confident. I try not to define the specifics of what I’m looking for too much. I worry that I will put someone off who would otherwise have been great. I think all the books that I have published so far have surprised me. I wasn’t looking for them and I didn’t expect them.

What achievement to date are you particularly proud of?

We work almost exclusively with debut authors and I think that is something that I’m particularly proud of. We take a huge risk on every author that we publish and put all of our resources into making their book, and their career, a success. Receiving a manuscript and taking it through the long road to publication isn’t an easy process and there is a lot that can go wrong. When we finally receive those books from the printer and we get to give them to a writer who has spent years of their life trying to reach that point then it becomes obvious that all the sweat and tears were worth it. Each time we reach that point we’re reminded of why we started Dead Ink in the first place. Despite our commitment to author development and technological innovation we’ve always been motivated to take a risk on people that nobody else will. That’s what I’m proud of.

How have you managed to build a community around Dead Ink Books?

This is a huge question and one we still don’t have the complete answer to. In fact, this is one of the major questions that we have to ask ourselves every single day in order to make the press work.

I think that we’ve been lucky in that readers seem to get what we’re doing and completely engage with it. There are a lot of safe decisions being made in the industry and I suspect that they find it refreshing to see a small press based entirely on the concept of taking a risk. Authors frequently commit years of their life to working on a book which may never see the light of day. They’re innately risk-takers and when they see a press with that same conviction I think it is refreshing.

On the other hand we commit a great deal of resources to building that community. We get out there into the world and interact with writers at readings and events. We also try to treat our readers as a community not just customers. They’re the reason that we’ve got this far and every time they do buy a book they are having an impact. I think people appreciate that connection. We’re very much not faceless.

Why is it important to have a range of both digital and print books?

This question plagued us when we were digital-only and we always wondered if we were doing the right thing by focusing on a single medium. Eventually we decided that we weren’t. What is important about digital technology isn’t the end product. People want the option to choose whatever they individually prefer. The important part is how we connect. When we were creating just digital books we were holding ourselves back.

The success of that time was the community we had built. When we transitioned to paper books that became apparent and we’ve been growing steadily since. Readers want options and they want to feel involved.

What lessons have you learned about marketing books – what works and what doesn’t?

I still don’t know the answer to what makes a book sell. I only know how we have made it work for us. We don’t have unlimited reach or resources. There’s very little that we can do to actually market the books in a traditional sense.
What has worked for us is to build a community and reward everyone involved for the contribution that they make. I think early on we realised that we couldn’t just treat someone like a customer and forget about them. We really owe everything to the people who buy our books, so it didn’t seem right or fair to just market to them. If someone buys a Dead Ink book then they are taking a risk – just as we are in publishing it – and I think that sort of commitment deserves recognition and reward. That’s what I’ve tried to achieve with the community aspect of Dead Ink and I think that is what keeps us going.

What are you looking forward to for 2016?

2016 is going to be a big year for us with a lot happening. We’re already looking for next year’s authors and hopefully it will be our largest list yet. There are a few authors that we’re already interested in.

There are also going to be further developments in terms of our organisation and technology. I’m still thinking about the relationship between all of the elements of Dead Ink, and in 2016 that should not only grow but also develop to include something completely new.

Readers should expect more books as always, but also a new way to engage with a new type of literature. That’s all you’re getting for now though. We have to maintain an air of mystery.

You can follow Dead Ink on Twitter @DeadInkBooks

Find out more about them at http://deadinkbooks.com/

An interview with FutureBook founder Sam Missingham

Anyone who knows anything about the publishing world know that an interview with Sam Missingham is a Big Deal. Having worked for publishing giants such as the Bookseller, FutureBook and HarperCollins, she has forged an immensely successful and influential career in publishing and marketing within the books industry.

I’ve been an admirer and follower of Sam’s for a while now and I was very excited when she agreed to undertake this interview for my blog.

The lovely Sam Missingham

The lovely Sam Missingham

Can you give my readers a brief overview of your career so far?

 Sure.

I’ve spent the vast amount of my career working in magazine publishing. I started at a very small company that published financial technology titles. I learned a huge amount working in a small business with a very entrepreneurial boss. He taught me a few simple but important things – everyone in the company should be able to answer the phone & give a decent answer to any question about the business, also, pretty much every call coming into a business is a sales opportunity – if you understand everything that you sell.

I then worked at Centaur on many of their B2B magazines, including Marketing Week, Creative Review and New Media Age. I launched their community site MAD.co.uk (for marketing, advertising & design professionals). This is where I learned about building audiences/communities and the various ways you can get people to pay for content. And yes I was MAD Marketing Manager for a while 😉

 I took a career break to have my daughter, move town & divorce (why not do all of it at the same time, right?). I then worked for several years as a freelancer/consultant, always working on circulation & subscription strategy work. I worked on consumer magazines at Future Publishing on titles about weddings, cars, photography & design.

Seven years ago I was offered temporary freelance work on The Bookseller, where I stayed for 5 years. This was the most fulfilling 5 years of my career, mostly due to falling in love with the book business and being part of the industry while it transformed so dramatically. I launched the FutureBook community, blog, conference and awards while I was there which I am still very proud of.

One of the most exciting moments of my professional life, was when Charlie Redmayne, HarperCollins’ CEO offered me a job running events. Until that point I had NO experience in books, so I appreciate the leap of faith he made employing me. I have now been at HarperCollins for 18 months and I genuinely believe I have the best job in publishing. My remit is to come up with engaging events and campaigns across our entire list to put more books into more hands. Doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

 You originally studied maths and Russian at university. What lead you down the publishing and marketing career path?

Oh I forgot to mention above that I was also a spy for the KGB for a while. Kidding aside, I enjoyed studying Maths & Russian and although I haven’t used either of them directly, logic and arithmetic are useful skills to have in marketing. I didn’t exactly choose my career in magazines – I graduated in a horrible recession and it was the only job I could get. No regrets.

I genuinely believe I have the best job in publishing

Over the years and in your many marketing roles in the industry, what are some of the biggest changes youve experienced?

 I suppose the most significant and seismic shift would obviously be the Internet. I worked on a magazine charting the very start of the Internet around 1996, a time when businesses were launching websites for the first time. So, everything that has followed; email, ecommerce, social, apps etc. Hard to imagine now.

Youve won and been nominated for a number of big industry awards. Can you possibly pick one or two that you are most proud of and/or most touched by and explain why?

 Well, I’m proud of all of them. But being runner-up for the Pandora award for outstanding contribution to publishing takes some beating. Also, I was a runner-up to Dame Marjorie Scardino. How cool is that?

In your view, what role has social media and digital played in attracting more people to reading and the industry? Why has it been so effective?

 Wow, not sure I can do that question justice as the impact is so huge and varied. In very simple terms, social media has removed the barriers/gate keepers between readers and authors. It has also facilitated an open and engaged conversation amongst all book-lovers. Authors can now talk directly to librarians, bookshops to agents, book marketers to readers. There is certainly still a way to go for publishers to fully maximise the opportunity social offers, but that’s the fun and challenge of continual change.

 In terms of digital, it would be impossible for me to understate the impact Amazon has had on the book business. Not least creating an ebook ecosystem that actually worked. They are a phenomenally impressive business, a week hardly goes by where they haven’t launched a new program, service or tech innovation.

Digital has had impact across all areas of our business in areas too many to mention; in no particular order, significant shifts in the last 7 years: the Ipad, apps, Wattpad, KDP, mobile, YouTube – the list goes on

For those unfamiliar with virtual events  how do they work and what are the benefits? What have been particularly successful and challenging about the ones you’ve launched?

Yes, these have been great fun. The virtual festivals replicate literary festivals, but are delivered on social media. I have organised virtual festivals in romance, crime and SciFi, delivering engaging programs for readers/fans. I suppose the thing that is significant about these festivals is that they are publisher-agnostic, open and inclusive and global – everyone is welcome. As far as know, no other publisher has run events/campaigns where they have included other publisher, organisations and indie authors. My view is we all have the same aim – more books into more hands and working together genuinely puts the reader at the heart of what we’re doing. How many readers buy books from just one publisher, for example?

There have been a few highlights during these festivals, one being Margaret Atwood’s Twitter Q&A – she is a goddess. We also had Agatha Christie’s publisher answering questions about what it’s like to publish the Queen of Crime. Fab.

You have worked as Head of Events & Marketing for two of the biggest publishing organisations in the UK today The Bookseller and FutureBook. What has been the most rewarding part of these experiences?

Launching FutureBook and building an engaged community as the book industry transformed. During this time I made many friends across the industry, many of whom were gracious and supportive when quite frankly I knew nothing.

 Most rewarding part of publishing? The people, by a mile.

In very simple terms, social media has removed the barriers/gate keepers between readers and authors.

How important is collaboration in this industry?

 Extremely, as mentioned in my previous question. A rising tide lifts everyone, yes?

How does it feel to be a huge influencer in the publishing industry and what qualities do you feel are essential for a person to become successful in this area?

 Huge influencer is overstating things. The qualities I try to bring are enthusiasm, a genuine passion for books and the business, a broader interest in news and trends with a little irreverence, perhaps. One thing I am particularly passionate about is supporting students and people at the early stage of their careers. I see that has my responsibility and also very rewarding. Nothing better than seeing someone fly.

What would your advice be to someone interested in the industry in terms of attending literary and publishing events?

 Id recommend you attend London Book Fair  lots of free events and also talk to people in the coffee queue. Making contacts is the NUMBER ONE thing that will help you at every stage of your career. Also, Byte The Book, Book Machine and SYP all run excellent events throughout the year.

Youve worked on both newsletters, magazines and now books. How important do you feel working on a variety of publication types to be when building a publishing career?

 Not sure the publication types is the important bit. What is more valuable is working in different types of businesses. As I have said many times, retail experience is extremely useful, particular bookshops. But honestly, the skills you learn dealing with customers directly cant be underestimated. I grew up in a flower shop and also spent many years working in shoe shops and waitressing.

Working in other entertainment and digital businesses would also be useful. My philosophy is that no skills are ever wasted, so gain as much experience as possible.

Who are some of your favourite and more approachable authors and publishers that you have worked with and why?

I had the privilege of running an event with George RR Martin & Robin Hobb last summer. One of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. Spending an evening with George RR was how I imagine hanging out with Mick Jagger would be. A total rock star. He invited all of the Game of Thrones cosplayers back to his room after the event – you’d could see the real connection with his fans. Robin was an absolute delight too.

 On Twitter, there are a number of authors I think rock; Ian Rankin, Joanne Harris, Jill Mansell, Lindsey Kelk to name a few.

You can follow Sam on Twitter: @samatlounge

Check out The Bookseller and Futurebook sites.

Sam Harrison explains the fantasy genre!

Today I’m talking to one of my best friends, Sam Harrison, about the books that he most enjoys reading. We’ve heard from one reader already who discussed his love of the graphic novel and comic books and why; now we take a look at the fantasy genre and why it is so appealing to readers…

Sam Harrison...John Samuel Harrison in formal social circles ;)

Sam Harrison…John Samuel Harrison in formal social circles 😉

Please introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is John Samuel Harrison, I am a 26 year old Geology graduate and experienced IT technician from Kingston Upon Hull. I have a varied interest in art, sport and science. I have read throughout both my childhood and adult life from the tentative age of around 5 or 6 years old. This I believe has helped create what I have been told is quite an active imagination, which I have used to fuel projects of my own from short stories to comic book ideas throughout my life.

What kind of literature/books do you read? Why does this genre speak to you and appeal to you more than others? What is it you love about it?

Predominantly I would say I read more of the fantasy genre than any other. I would say this is because fantasy isn’t bound by modern convention, social norms or laws of physics. The worlds authors create are often so different to our own that the mere fact that it is a planetoid is the only similarity. The author can be as otherworldly or as familiar as the he/she wants and for the reader, there are a dozen sub-genres to choose from (as well as all the combinations thereof).

Overall, it’s the unknown element of fantasy that appeals to me. I like not knowing and discovering new things, I like to feel the thrill of adventure across an uncharted land. I love the hot-headed decisions that are made in dire situations, such as the sudden occurrence of a mythical beast no one has encountered. I love that a well-structured magic system can make or break a story and add depth that isn’t possible within conventional fiction. All of these elements allow me to ingratiate myself in the world as I read and make it my own. I get lost in the story which means more often than not I struggle to put a book down once I have started to get my teeth into it, as it were. If a reader wants to go out on a limb and experience a story that’s wholly new, fantasy is the genre to explore.

Talk to me about some specific titles that are special or mean more to you and why. Is there a story behind why you value it? Did it make you feel a certain way when you read it?

Jacka_Alex_Verus

I have read many different types of fantasy fiction, one example being the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka, which is a great introduction for to the world of urban fantasy series. It has a lot of what you’d expect—magical people doing magical things in a modern setting, with enough emphasis on the setting to make the story both original and believable. It also has some original elements that I found particularly intriguing, not least the fact that the protagonist’s main powers are passive and seemingly weak compared to others in the story.

Reading this particular book made me reflect on something which I found quite amusing. As a child I would imagine the Harry Potter world to be my ideal fantasy life. A hidden world of magic and mystery where for the most part everyone is kept safe and is moderately unaffected by magic, and when evil rears its ugly head some pure hearted soul quashes them with minimal losses. However, now that I’m a little older and I would hope to think wiser, the Alex Verus universe is what I think a real fantasy world would be like. It wouldn’t just be good people that always win. There would be no pure of heart goody-two-shoes who fixes everything. There would be real people making real, often catastrophic, mistakes. The Alex Verus universe accurately depicts the underlying dark element of our world that would still exist in a fantasy setting.

This has made me realise how much I have grown as a person, from a young, naïve dreamer to a man who accepts and understands the real and often harsh world we live in. That’s why having such a vast range of fantasy literature out there, for all ages, is so important.

Reading at a young age has helped me develop quite an active imagination.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

My favourite authors within the fantasy genre are the following:

Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss : The man is an all-round amazing guy. He is an avid RP player, bard and fighter extraordinaire within Acquisition Incorporated, as well as being an amazing writer. Just take a look at what he wrote on Goodreads about the third instalment of his book, which somehow has reviews despite the book not being released yet:

“While it’s nice to see folks out there giving this book five stars, and in some cases even reviewing it, I’ll admit that I’m kinda puzzled. After thinking it over for a while, I’ve realized there’s only one explanation for this:
Time travellers love my books.
This is strangely reassuring, as it lets me know that, eventually, I do finish my revisions, and the book turns out good enough so that I still have a following out there in the big ball of wibbly-wobbly…. timey-wimey…. stuff that I like to think of as the future.”

Scott Lynch: This is another man who is a wizard of words and puppetmaster of your emotions. He makes you fall in love with a character and hang on their every word before giving you a metaphorical wink and dropping the character off a cliff, ripping out your heart and stamping on it! I now don’t trust him as several times he has brought me nearly to tears or so angry with the “bad guy” I could have spit blood!

To demonstrate this man’s sheer tenacity, here is a tweet from him from July 17 2012:

“If you want to write a negative review, don’t tickle me gently with your aesthetic displeasure about my work. Unleash the goddamn Kraken.”

Is there a good fan base and/or community behind this work or this kind of book?

In short – yes! The longer answer would be that there is an amazing and incredibly vast fan base and community across the fantasy genre. Fans from every category, from steampunk to entire world-building extravaganzas such as the Discworld series, flock together and create vast amounts of fan-based content. People write fan faction, fan art, develop games, graphic novels, films, all stemming from fantasy fiction.

Fan bases are represented at EXPO’s and various other conventions worldwide, where the authors can come and meet their fans and give talks on their thought processes. More well-known authors such as Patrick Rothfuss often help out smaller projects and raise vast amounts of money for charity. The fantasy genre is the estranged cousin of sci-fi and “nerd” culture which often overlap in various crossovers. It is a very supportive but often highly critical fan culture where the meek tremble but the brave rise among the masses!

The fantasy genre isn’t bound by modern convention, social norms or laws of physics.

What do you think makes a good book in this genre?

What makes a novel good? This is certainly one of those questions that can generate a lot of debates and discussion. Most, I believe, would describe a successful fantasy novel as original, interesting, or maybe even breath-taking. None of these things actually define what a fantasy novel is. The bare bones of it is that it needs to be a compelling story. It doesn’t need to be 100% original.

What it needs is a spark, and that spark triggers off the reader’s imagination. It creates a bond between the literature and the reader, and if you can do that, you can make the reader relate to the story, no matter how fantastical.

Fantasy writers also need to make their characters believable. This is essential if you want to hook and keep readers interested in the story. A great way to achieve this is to apply logic to every character in every fantasy world you create.

This means creating a set of rules that apply to the world and the characters. The rules can be based on either real life or they can be simply invented by you. These rules will also have to dictate how your magic systems work in the world and how they affect inhabitants. And most of all – get to know your imaginary world – you need to be able to describe it in detail if you are going to convince your readers that it exists!

There is an amazing and incredibly vast fan base and community across the fantasy genre.

Where do you most like to buy your books?

This depends on my mood, and whether I am planning on any travelling in the imminent future. If I’m planning a nice quite evening at home with my slippers on and rum in my hand, I would go to Waterstones and buy a hardcopy of the book. If I am planning on travelling anywhere I would purchase it from the Amazon Kindle Store and download it to my aptly named “travelling companion” which is of course my Paperwhite Kindle. This allows me to carry multiple books and still travel light.

How do you find out about new titles in this genre?

I use Goodreads which is a website that allows the user to log what they’re reading and have read as well as those they wish to read. The website also includes a rate and review function, which allows all members to review the book and rate it. It is usually through these reviews that I pick my next purchase. Alternatively, I’m sometimes approached by my friends with new book suggestions.

What are you reading at the moment/looking to read next?

I have just finished the second instalment of the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss (recommended by a friend through word-of-mouth.) I am going to start reading Rogues which is a thrilling collection of twenty-one original stories by an all-star list of contributors including a new Game of Thrones story by George R. R. Martin.

You can follow

Introducing Publishing Company Readership

I really enjoyed conducting this interview and was very pleased when Readership agreed to interview with me, because it’s such a unique take on publishing, and an example for me of how people are reacting to the ever-changing landscape of the publishing industry. Here Sam of Readership explains the concept and successes of the company…

Sam Rennie, Founder of Readership

Sam Rennie, Founder of Readership

Please introduce us to Readership! How does it work?

Readership is a publishing company controlled by readers. We let them decide what we publish. But, more than that, our goal is to build a community that effectively becomes a company by the people and for the people. We want to be a publishing company that the reading world wants. We also want to let them have more control than the typical user may have with a company. Any changes to our website, what features to prioritise, what services should be added to the company, and so on. It seems like something that would sit naturally in the digital age, because modern technology lets users tell the world what they want, and even lets them help create it, which is obviously vastly different to the age before, where industries basically told their audiences “These are your choices.” etc.

We want to be a publishing company that the reading world wants.

Your company obviously embraces all things digital. Do you see this as the end of the print book or rather an extension of it?

I don’t think the physical book is going anywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went the way of the vinyl record. Quite a few people, if they’re really into their music, will collect records of their favourite albums, and just have mp3s of the ones they’re not as in love with. The benefits are obviously that physical records make for a nicer, more aesthetically-pleasing collection. So I can see that happening with books. Because of the endless digitisation of content now, people may be more aware of what books they buy physically, knowing that it’s going to take up space on their shelf. (Similarly, I am perfectly content having film and TV content on my Netflix library, but if I watch a film or TV show I like then I’d be inclined to buy a DVD/boxset of it to add to my physical collection.) Neil Gaiman said years ago, at the Digital Minds conference I believe, that there needs to be a re-emergence of the fetishization of the physical book – to make it something noteworthy to hold – which I think publishers have done well with. But I’m not sure it’s something that’s applicable to every book that’s published. Maybe our approach (digital first, but with the open-mindedness to embrace physical copies when we can do something noteworthy with them) is the way for most new publications.

Your site states: “To compete with the multi-faceted nature of the entertainment industry – particularly with online content – Readership also provides authors with the space to upload any audio or video content they’ve created which they feel complements their writing.” To what extent do you agree with the view that publishing is now a multi-channel function? Why is it important for you as a publisher to offer these additional services as well as traditional publishing?

I think if you want to appeal to people who don’t read as often as the industry would like, then you need to extend your content into different channels and mediums. That’s why we’re excited about the Minecraft world of writing we’re creating:

http://readershipbooks.com/Announcement/Details/18?page=1

 

We need the startups with more of a risk-taking approach to also exist.

 

Your company is a digital publisher ‘controlled by the readers’. Seems an obvious concept that should have been done a long time ago! Why do you feel the publishing industry has lost touch with its readers over the years and why do you feel there was the market demand for a business model such as yours?

I think many companies are happy to sit behind a barrier that distinguishes them as the ‘company’ and anyone on the other side of the barrier as their ‘customer’. Which makes sense, and obviously works. But for people like me who grew up involved in these great online communities on forums, etc, I liked the idea that a collective from around the world could share their passion and their creations with people who love writing and reading, and ultimately take the shape of a publishing company. There are obviously many ways in which publishers do well to engage with their audience, but it often seems like it happens in a vacuum, and that what’s being done is a very safe use of the online tools available to us. Again, it makes sense. Particularly for the big four houses. Why would you dive in if it’s something you’re not completely used to? So I think the major publishers are doing what any sensible and cautious business would do, but we need the startups with more of a risk-taking approach to also exist.

The benefit that your company provides to the authors is clear. Why does Readership appeal so much to potential readers?

I think it can be hard to find new things to read, particularly with just how many books are published every year, so at Readership we’ve tried to streamline the process of finding your next read. People seem to like our ‘Pick something for me’ feature above the rest. Industries like publishing are also obviously looking for certain commercial aspects to a book, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t talented authors out there writing great stuff – it’s just that they might not be published by a traditional press if their work doesn’t have a commercial angle. So for any reader looking for something a bit different than what’s out there at the moment, our site will have it. There’s also the benefit of being able to help a book exist that wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for the reader’s feedback and donation. We’re also currently working out a reward system that gives our users points for the feedback they give, and that can be redeemed in many book-related ways. Right now the most active users receive free books when they’re published too which is a nice bonus.

 

For any reader looking for something a bit different than what’s out there at the moment, our site will have it.

 

Has Readership Books been successful so far? What challenges have you faced?

I’m really happy with how the userbase has grown. The biggest challenge is obviously getting the word out there. You can’t hone a community if people don’t know about you, but it’s growing every day and we’ve gotten a great reaction to the online activities we’ve been doing with our following so far.

Where do you see your company in the next few years? What are your goals?

Our goals for Readership are to have a list of books we’re proud of, that have been approved by a community of readers, and for the userbase to be active every day – new comments, new submissions, new donations, perhaps a forum-element to facilitate further discussion and to also let users get to know each other more. I’d also love an app to appease the mobile readers.

Has any kind of genre stood out as the most popular so far?

YA, Romance, Fantasy and Sci-Fi are the most popular genres at the moment, but I’m impressed with how well-balanced the submissions have been. There’s a lot of content for fans of each genre. The only thing I’d be more keen for is non-fiction.

And finally – what are the staff reading at the moment?

Well I’ve broken my one rule for reading, which is to never read more than one book at a time!

So currently I’m reading:

The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton

– There are some truly breathtaking lines in that book!

A Death in the Family, by Karl Ove Knausgaard
– I’ve come to realise you can’t rush a book like this, and I’m enjoying it greatly – though I, like many others, can’t really explain why I like it so much!

A Dance with Dragons: Part 1, by George R. R. Martin
– This will not be finished in time for the new season of Game of Thrones, but I’m enjoying it anyway.

The Etymologicon, by Mark Forsyth

– I love how much I’m learning from this book (and how quickly I’m forgetting it!)

You can find out more about Readership at www.readershipbooks.com
They’re also very active on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReadershipBooks

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