201611.08

A Day in the Life of an Indie Publishing House by Dr. Niall McElwee

A Day in the Life of an Indie Publishing House by Dr. Niall McElwee @bookhubpublish


niall-interviewing-alanEver wonder how an Indie Publishing House spends a typical day? Well, at Book Hub Publishing this is one of the most commonly asked questions at our book launches, so let’s give a snapshot of just one day and choose yesterday as an example. One mightn’t think it, but because we live in a globalized business world, our biggest issue is logistics. On everything. So, we’ve consulting staff in China (+8 hours GMT) and in New York (-5 hours behind GMT), a designer in Switzerland (+1 hour GMT), a designer in Miami (-5 hours behind GMT), a designer in Indonesia (+7 hours GMT) and two indigenous designers in Kerry and Mullingar (supposedly the same time as Galway but not too sure about that!). We then have our own editorial staff in various locations in Ireland including Athenry, Galway and Athlone and our printers in Dublin and Cork.

Yesterday, we had author meetings in Galway City in the morning starting at 9.30am, then again at 11am and in Labane in the County in the evening at 8pm. We had meetings with staff in our main bookstore seller in Galway City between these meetings at 10.45am. We used Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp to communicate with our design team across the world at various points in the day, evening and night (finishing with our Chinese colleagues at 12.30am) and we usually spend an average of at least two to three hours on email to clients, authors, printers and distributors. Oh, and then there’s the manuscript edits. Lots and lots and lots of those…

It seems to me that all businesses must be obsessed with three things; truly excellent client service, unbeatable pricing and awesome product delivery. To achieve this, one must be entirely conversant with all developments (particularly disruptive developments) in one’s field, one must be technically savvy, one must be willing to fully understand and even exceed the expectations of one’s customer/client/author and one must be able to survive and prosper in a highly competitive business environment. All around us, Publishing Houses are closing or downsizing. Perhaps we are surviving because we identified a niche in the market and have responded to that. ‘Such as?’ I hear you ask.

In his 2016 Amazon bestselling book, ‘The Binman’s Guide to Marketing’ (which we edited) the author, Oisin Browne, continually references being excellent in one’s work ethos, client interaction and overall delivery. Did I mention that Book Hub Publishing formally partnered with Drop The Monkey Publishing (who published Oisin’s first two books) as our business imprint? We see this as an opportunistic and mutually beneficial example of linking up with like-minded persons to achieve a common goal or set of goals.

So, if you think publishing is boring, think again. We love it. Love, love, love it because we get to work with creative people across the spectrum of our work, from sunup to sunrise, in several countries around the world on any given day. And, we get to hang out amidst the fields of Athenry and in downtown Galway as our bases keeping it local, keeping it real.