Describe your role.
I manage, and provide support for, key account retailers on the digital side of the business. This involves presenting quarterly updates to my account managers, pursuing e-book and audio promotions and features on retailer websites and apps, and representing the digital business in internal meetings. I also work with digital library distributors to offer libraries e-book and audio titles and look after ad-hoc digital opportunities as they come up.
What do you enjoy about your role?
Everyone I work with loves reading and books in some way or another, so it’s lovely to just chat about our upcoming titles. It’s great to go to a particular retailer or buyer with a book that’s perfect for them and their market. I also work across all of Pan Mac’s imprints, so there’s something for everyone, no matter what your tastes. I like how reactive the digital market can be—we see a much more immediate impact from publicity and we can quickly react in turn.
What are you working on at the moment?
A few titles that I’m particularly excited about are People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd—a début thriller about Instagram celebrity culture, Nikesh Shukla’s non-fiction debut Brown Baby—a memoir about race, food and fatherhood, and Kololo Hill by Neema Shah—a novel about immigration and having to start over.
What skills do you need for your role?
Enthusiasm! I spend so much time talking about books and why people should be excited about them, so it’s important that I’m excited about them too. Organisational skills are important—the role can get hectic, so it’s essential to know how to prioritise. Confidence with numbers and the ability to contextualise them goes a long way in sales. Creativity and a good memory—I work across a massive list and I need to match the right book with the right opportunity.
What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Persistence is key—there’s so much competition, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. You have to keep at it until the right opportunity turns up at the right time. I’d research as widely as possible: no matter what department you want to work for, it’s always helpful to understand each department and how they interact. Being active on Twitter and talking to industry professionals about their jobs is really helpful.