As a journalist for book trade magazine The Bookseller, one of my main roles was to speak to people across the industry and tease out the challenges and opportunities concerning them so we could produce content that best served our audience i.e. those in the book trade including publishers, booksellers, authors and librarians.
After speaking to numerous publishers outside of London and based on trends in the industry, I realised that the Bookseller’s coverage was too London-centric, so along with a commercial colleague, I developed a new series of issues wholly dedicated to publishing in different countries and regions of the UK. The result was a broadening of our coverage, an expansion of our book of contacts, and better feedback from our audience.
I led the editorial coverage of these issues, and since its inception in 2017 we managed to secure £80,000 in new revenue (around 80% of annual revenue). The last issue I worked on (in January 2019) had 14 separate features covering topics from micropresses to women’s writing which I commissioned and edited, and included interviews I secured with Nicola Sturgeon, Irvine Welsh and Graeme Macrae Burnet.
I selected the features to include by considering The Bookseller’s audience, speaking to members of the trade, and using keyword research to uncover latest trends and news pieces.
The focuses are now an embedded part of the magazine and the effects far-ranging. A piece I commissioned on Gaelic literature led to a discussion of the language on BBC Radio, and the country focuses have been used to lobby government on the importance of supporting the book trade.
The articles in the latest issue increased visits to our site by 11%. I also project managed the social media coverage.