By Tyler M. Carey, Chief Revenue Officer
Westchester returned to the UK a few weeks ago for meetings with customers, partners, and potential customers, this time with three tentpole events across our trip.
Friend and colleague Lorraine Shanley of Market Partners International was granted her Freedom of the City of London on 30 November, and I was fortunate enough to attend as one of her witnesses at London’s famous Guildhall. The ceremony, which essentially grants honorary citizenship to the City of London to members of guilds and dignitaries, was administered by Laura Miller, a Deputy Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court City of London. In addition to her role at Guildhall, Miller is also a member of London’s publishing and communications guild, the Stationers’ Company. (More on them in a bit!) Here’s a photo of Laura Miller, Lorraine Shanley, and the Beedle / Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court from the ceremony.
On 01 December, I represented Westchester at The Bookseller’s annual FutureBook conference, where we sponsored and exhibited. The conference itself was phenomenal, covering many aspects of innovation and technology in communications and publishing, with tracks for audiobooks, educational content, and the trade industry. The session that stood out the most for me was the ‘What can we learn from the video on demand business?’ panel, which included Molly Barton from Serial Box, Jeff Norton from Awesome Media & Entertainment, and speakers from Yodomo, The Artists Partnership, and Mammoth Screen. I found Serial Box’s model for distribution of serialized titles to be very compelling, and Norton’s comments about how not just younger generations – but our society in general – are once again rapidly embracing digital ingestion of content to be thought-provoking.
The attendees at FutureBook confirmed much of what I’ve been hearing on my last few trips to the UK on behalf of Westchester, as well as in sales meetings I had in the days leading up to FutureBook. There is a keen interest in Westchester’s expanding US employee-owned operation in Connecticut, and the work that we do to support publishers from both our world headquarters in the US, as well as our offices in India. Some UK publishers have readily embraced the Domestic Full Service model used by Harvard University Press and others, through which US Production Editors, and US or UK-based copyeditors, take a developed manuscript and bring it through to final printer and ebook files with our composition operation in Chennai, India. Additionally, other publishers in the UK have expressed an interest in liaising directly with our editorial office in Noida, India, or solely with our composition operation in Chennai, India – as Bloomsbury currently does.
Louise Cameron, who is Bloomsbury’s Group Production Director very generously shared this testimonial with me, regarding the work we’ve done for Bloomsbury over the years:
“Bloomsbury has been using Westchester Publishing Services for Trade typesetting for over a decade – not just because the service is excellent but also because the company has been willing to invest and flex to support Bloomsbury’s evolving XML-based workflows.”
With a spring in my step from the above feedback, and positive decisions from three publishers I met with on this and a previous trip to proceed with working with Westchester, I continued on to my final – and most inspiring – of the industry events which brought me to London for this trip.
The Stationers’ Company is a more than 600-year-old London Guild that helps advance the publishing, media, and communications industries. It is perhaps best known as the organization that tracked copyright on British literary works as far back as Shakespeare’s folios and continued to do so in one form or another until 2000. You can learn more about their work here. There are not many Americans who are selected to be members of the Stationers’ Company; Lorraine Shanley, referenced above, is one of my fellow US residents who has been invited over the years. Very graciously, Oliver Gadsby (CEO, Rowman & Littlefield International) and Tej Sood (Managing Director, Anthem Press) sponsored me for membership, and on 05 December I was accepted in as a Freeman, or member, of the Company. It was truly an honor to join the ranks of publishing and media luminaries who have been members over the centuries, and to attend my Freeman ceremony at Stationers’ Hall, which is located in the shadow of St. Paul’s Cathedral. My wife came across the pond to join me for the ceremony (and yes, waiting for her at Heathrow Airport was like the opening scene of Love Actually), and it was a great memory that we will share for years to come. Our marketing manager decided my ceremony was worthy of a press release, and below is a picture from the ceremony. I am looking forward to participating in many other Stationers’ events and supporting this amazing organization which does so much to help our industry.
Westchester is proud of the growth we are continuing to experience within the UK publishing industry. We already have a number of trips planned for our Staff in the next few months, including:
- ALPSP University Press Redux – 13 and 14 Feb, London
- IPG’s Annual Spring Conference – 07 through 09 Mar, Oxfordshire
- And of course, The London Book Fair – 10 through 12 Apr, London
If you are interested in meeting with us at the above shows – or speaking by phone or Skype in the interim – please Contact Us to arrange a conversation about your publishing program and the many ways that we can help you.
This is my final blog post of 2017, so I will close by wishing you the happiest of holidays, and to be on the look-out for more Travels with Tyler posts in the coming year.