Westchester was proud to sponsor The Bookseller’s Children’s Conference which took place at the Barbican Centre in London, on 26 September. CEO Dennis Pistone and I attended and staffed our stand at the conference, which attracted over 350 children’s publishing figures.
The state of the publishing industry itself was a major focus of the opening sessions. Staff from The Bookseller shared stats about the growth of juvenile trade and picture books as compared to the industry as a whole, pointing to the overall health of children’s publishing — and its role as a revenue generator for publishers that release titles in different genres and markets. Much time was spent on the disproportionate percentage of sales that the J.K. Rowlings and David Walliamses of the world generate within this space, influencing numbers in the UK. Publishing staff from DK, Chicken House, Hachette, Carlton Publishing, Penguin Random House, Lantana Publishing, Little Tiger Group, and other publishers and vendors shared their insights on aspects of the industry from marketing to digital to reaching young readers, and more. More details about the speakers and their backgrounds can be found here.
From a professional standpoint, the sessions on the industry were very helpful for me. Personally, as a reader and bookstore aficionado, I was fascinated with the presentations by booksellers including Tamara Macfarlane from Tales on Moon Lane, Phil Henderson from supermarket chain ASDA, and Daphne Lao Tonge from book box Illumicrate. Each talked about different approaches for selling books into the children’s markets, from author events to displays to monthly delivery boxes. Many of these speakers also reinforced the need for engaging with children via literacy programs and charities to help ensure educational opportunities for those who may be disadvantaged.
Dennis and I had a busy schedule while in the UK, where we had the opportunity to meet with a long list of publishers who serve many different markets, and talk with them about their needs. Our offerings that include US-based, UK-based, and India-based employee and freelance resources for tasks like pre-edits, project management, copyediting, design, composition, and digital services resonated strongly, with some publishers taking steps to move different types of projects to us. We know many of our clients and prospects in the UK prefer to work directly with our or other vendor’s India-based operations, however we were pleasantly surprised to see the high level of interest expressed in the work we do from the States for project management, customer service, copyediting, design, composition page checks, proofreading, and more.
Westchester will be back in the UK for the FutureBook Conference held on 1 December at 155 Bishopsgate, London. The conference program is now live, and speakers are continually being added. With a roster which includes people from the worlds of traditional publishing, audiobooks, and EdTech firms among others, it promises to be a very informative day.
I hope you’ll be able to join us at FutureBook to hear the insights of panelists on the future of our industry and technology, as well as meet us at our stand. Not able to attend? No problem, you can Contact Us to schedule a meeting in the days before or after the conference. We look forward to exploring ways we can help you trim your costs, condense your schedules, and ensure the quality of your print and digital publications.