My Job In 5: Mary Ellingham, Publicity Manager, Search Press Plc

My Job In 5: Mary Ellingham, Publicity Manager, Search Press Plc

Describe your role

My main goal is to publicise our books to the widest possible audience. But my role is not so closely defined that I can’t step outside of it from time to time, so I could find myself packing an urgent order or meeting with international book buyers at our trade shows. However, within every situation, there is always a publicity opportunity to be had, and I enjoy looking for that angle, making it work and seeing the results. What do you like best about your role?

They say variety is the spice of life, and that is exactly what I like best about my job. From chatting to our mail-order customers on the phone, to arranging an art festival or author event. Helping a magazine out at short notice or providing a shop with interesting project samples for their latest campaign—no two days are ever the same.

Which great new titles are you working on?

The current titles couldn’t be more diverse. Tangle Wood is our latest title in the Colouring In series. Craft books always shine bright at Christmas and Pompom Christmas will be one of our brightest Christmas stars this year. Moving in a completely different area, I was part of the launch for The Kew Book of Botanical Illustration, which is getting rave reviews.

What do you love about working at Search Press?

I love the close-knit (pardon the pun), happy atmosphere we work in. Our motto is to work hard, but have fun while we’re doing it. I love that we have almost complete control of our business, with all aspects of publishing taking place under the one roof. Commissioning, editorial and design flow seamlessly into production, sales and marketing and then on to order processing and dispatch. This is by no means the norm in publishing, but it really works for us.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?

I would say that young people looking for a career in publishing should gain as much experience as they can in all types and sizes of publishing companies. Even one or two weeks’ work experience can be a useful step on to a more permanent position. The smaller independents will give them a broader idea of all aspects of publishing, while in the larger corporate publishers they will get a more in-depth knowledge of a particular job or area within the publishing process.

If you are working in the industry and would like to appear in this column, please email maria.vassilopoulos@thebookseller.