Describe your role
As UK sales executive I’m responsible for selling our titles to an array of UK accounts in order to maximise the exposure of the Michael O’Mara list. My list of customers is quite varied and includes wholesalers, special sales and mail-order accounts. I also research the market, and seek and develop new sales opportunities and customer relationships.
What do you like best about your role?
My favourite part of working in sales is going to see customers and building relationships with my accounts. Nothing beats a good faceto-face meeting. I also get the opportunity to work closely with other departments, such as communications and editorial. I still feel a thrill of excitement when I walk into a bookshop and see one of our books on the shelves.
Which new books or projects are you working on at the moment?
We have so many great titles coming up it’s hard to choose. We have recently announced an exciting partnership with The Royal Institution for a very special title, 13 Journeys Through Space and Time, which we are publishing in November to coincide with the eightieth anniversary of the first BBC broadcast of the RI Christmas lectures. I love all things space-related so I personally can’t wait to have a copy in my hands. Another highlight is The Book of Beasts, published in September under our children’s imprint, Buster Books. It’s a cross between a colouring book and a beautiful gift book featuring mythical monsters and creatures from all over the world.
Which skills are useful when working in sales?
Great interpersonal skills are very important—sales revolves around understanding, answering and often anticipating the customer’s needs. Trend awareness can be crucial, especially when working with nontraditional sales markets. We work a lot with numbers, so numeracy and a sharp eye for detail are also essential
What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Get work experience in more than one department. It will help you decide what area of publishing appeals to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, show your enthusiasm and volunteer when opportunities come up. Join the SYP (Society of Young Publishers) and attend their monthly events—it’s a great way to meet people in the industry (and make new friends).