What is your specialism within book publishing?
I am a social media expert and Facebook ads strategist helping authors, publishers and other book related businesses.
Can you describe what you do in 10 words or fewer?
I help market books through organic and paid social media.
What led you to go freelance?
After a long career in marketing in book publishing, and a period in magazine marketing, along came two new loves of my life – my little boys. I realised that, for me, it would not work to juggle them alongside a full time London-based career so decided to offer my skills on a freelance basis.
I knew I wanted to specialise in social media. It has been a big part of my career but I wanted more formal training in it so I studied with Digital Mums while on maternity leave. I have also recently completed an advanced course in Facebook advertising taught by a globally renowned Facebook ad expert. As a freelancer it is important to me that my skills are as up to date and strong as possible so I invest regularly in my own development.
Do you work primarily for publishing companies or independent authors or a mix?
I work for a mix of publishers and authors, as well as some other businesses. I love helping authors gain confidence and exposure with their social media presence and I enjoy working on social media strategies and Facebook ad campaigns for publishers and authors.
What’s the best part of doing what you do?
For social media I love seeing someone implement the ideas and advice I’ve given them and get confident with social media.
I am also a member of several social media and facebook expert communities which I really value for support and company (it can be a bit lonely working on your own). It also means that if I am ever stuck, or encounter an issue I haven’t had before, I have an army or experts to turn to, one of whom is bound to know the answer.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started your freelance journey?
What a big community there is out there and how supportive people are of each other.
How many books are in your TBR (to be read) pile/list? And do you plan to read them all eventually?
Too many to count. One of the dangers of spending a lot of time buried in book related social media is that I am constantly seeing recommendations of books that I then want to read, or gorgeous children’s books I’d like for my boys. I have to be careful to keep my shopping under control. I love having books all around the house though and I know I will read them all eventually!
Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?
Personally, I love physical books. I love paper and the feel of a book in my hand. There are some very beautiful books being created now with wonderful covers and illustrations and they make stunning objects in their own right. But as someone who wants as many people as possible to discover and love books I think it is great that there are different formats – ebooks and audio – which make books more accessible to wider audiences.
Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in publishing?
Publishing is a wonderful industry but it is hard work. Be sure that it is right for you and do your research so you are clear on the type of publisher you want to work for and the specialisms you are interested in.
What is your favourite children’s book and your favourite adult’s book?
I have so many favourite children’s books. From my own childhood I loved Paddington and have enjoyed reading the stories with my sons. Currently, I am a huge fan of the Rachel Bright and Jim Field books. As for adult books, it’s so hard to pick a favourite. Maybe Captain Correlli’s Mandolin which was a big word of mouth sensation when I worked in a bookshop at the start of my career, I have many fond memories of customers coming in to ask for ‘That blue book’ or ‘Captain someone’s Mandarin’. Plus it is a wonderful story.