Futurebook 40

  • Nikesh Shukla and Julia Kingsford

    The Good Agency and The Good Journal Co-founders

    Author Shukla and agent Kingsford have combined formidable forces to create The Good Journal, a quarterly featuring UK BAME writers, and The Good Literary Agency, which represents writers from under-represented backgrounds.

  • Clarissa Pabi

    Kings Road Publishing Senior marketing manager

    Pabi’s consistent clever campaigns for Ebury (where she worked for 5 years) included the first book-branded pop-up art exhibition at YouTube’s London Creator’s Store and a book-cover hacking app that trended on Twitter in 2016 above the Olympics opening ceremony, and she is also the manager and executive producer of the Mostly Lit podcast.

  • Gersy Ifeanyi Ejimofo

    Digitalback Books Founder and director

    Ejimofo’s online platform is using technology to source and spread the voices of African writers—and she’s already secured partnerships with more than 30 publishers, including Zed Books, Peepal Tree Press and New Internationalist.

  • Tom Abba

    UWE Bristol

    A specialist in narrative theory, book design and digital technologies, Abba has put his PhD to good use by leading the two-year Arts & Humanities Research Council-funded Ambient Literature project, making context-responsive books.

  • Aimee Felone and David Stevens

    Knights Of Co-founders

    With the launch of Knights Of last year, former Scholastic employees Felone and Stevens are aiming to revolutionise diversity in children’s publishing from the inside out, with an inclusive hiring policy that reflects the range of stories they want to tell.

  • Alice Revel

    Reading in Heels Founder

    The lifestyle editor-turned-book subscription box creator is full of good ideas, and making them happen fast—she’s already moved into corporate book club boxes and branded book events, and shows no sign of slowing down.

  • Siena Parker

    Penguin Random House UK Head of creative responsibility

    Parker looks set to redefine book industry corporate social responsibility with her manifesto for PRH, which includes programmes such as WriteNow —aiming to find, mentor and publish new writers from under-represented communities.

  • Nick Marsh

    Wonderbly Head of product and design

    Marsh has built from scratch one of the most successful new publishing and design teams in the UK; his success with the company’s recent collaboration with the Roald Dahl estate, My Golden Ticket, demonstrates his technical and commercial nous.

  • Nick Coveney

    HarperCollins UK Digital innovations and projects director

    Coveney has now been working at the forefront of digital publishing for eight years; his overhaul of author events site BookGig looks set to be only the start of many ambitious initiatives in his year-old role at HarperCollins.

  • Aki Schilz

    The Literary Consultancy Director

    After stepping into founder Becky Swift’s shoes last year, Schilz has proved herself a worthy successor and tireless champion for writers, literature and literary values—from empowering Open Access events to her #BookJobTransparency campaign.

  • Nick Barreto

    Canelo Co-founder and technology director

    An app builder and expert on e-book formats, metadata and workflows, Barreto does the behind-the-scenes work that helps this digital publisher flourish—and he’s outspoken about the need to rethink every aspect of the publishing process.

  • Sophie Rochester

    Yodomo Founder and c.e.o.

    Rochester has been championing innovation in publishing for 20 years through projects such as The Literary Platform and Fiction Uncovered—and her first start-up, Yodomo, is already connecting big publishers with creative readers hungry to learn.

  • Kieron Smith

    Blackwells Digital director

    A veteran bookseller, in the past three years Smith has repositioned Blackwells as a “139-year-old startup”, working hard to bring new agility to a long-established business by transforming the website, warehouse and internal supply chain.

  • Stuart Bache

    Books Covered Art director and founder

    Catering for everyone from the Big Five to indie presses, agencies to self-published authors, Bache makes great design accessible: no wonder he has tripled his revenue since going freelance in 2015.

  • Rebecca Evans

    Prolifiko Co-founder

    Ex-head of innovation at Emerald Publishing, Evans is an energetic and respected voice in the entrepreneurial publishing scene, both as the founder of writing productivity app Prolifiko and an evangelist for more female leaders in tech.

  • Anna Gerber and Britt Iverson

    Visual Editions Co-founders

    Gerber and Iverson consistently create innovative books, rather than just talking about them; working at the cross-section of publishing, design, culture and tech, their collaboration with Google, Editions at Play, has delivered some fascinating results.

  • Laura Jones and Heather McDaid

    404 Ink Co-founders

    From crowd-funding and publishing the Nasty Women anthology to producing virtual festivals and a fresh new literary magazine, these young Scottish entrepreneurs appear to have boundless energy—and a devoted following.

  • James Luscombe

    Pan Macmillan Marketing technology director

    With a background in digital start-ups, Luscombe continues to pioneer many smart projects at Pan Mac, including experiments with Augmented Reality, Headless CMS, voice- activated devices, blockchain and Facebook chatbots.

  • Rebecca Smart

    Ebury Managing director

    The only big-brand m.d. on the list, Smart continues to work on the frontline of Ebury’s innovation projects, leading such successes as creative live author tours, Ottolenghi Online, and the staff wellbeing consultancy Penguin Living.

  • Nathan Connolly

    Dead Ink Publishing director

    Liverpool-based indie publisher Dead Ink, which commits to nurturing emerging authors throughout their careers, continues to evolve under Connolly’s leadership; in a neat reverse-process, it’s using crowd-funding to transfer its digital editions into print.

  • Sarah McIntyre

    Illustrator and author

    The effervescent British-American illustrator and writer of children’s books and comics, and online writer-illustrator in residence for reading charity BookTrust, never stops fighting to get illustrators the credit they deserve—because #PicturesMeanBusiness.

  • Candice Carty-Williams

    Vintage Senior marketing executive

    Carty-Williams has worked her way up through the industry as an acclaimed, forward-thinking marketer for HarperCollins and Vintage, the creator of the #B4ME short story prize, and now a hotly contested début author—does she sleep?

  • Raifa Rafiq, AlexReads and Derek Owusu

    Mostly Lit Podcast Co-hosts

    This London trio’s delicious mix of pop culture, literary debate and off-the-cuff chat is bringing books to an under-served hungry audience—and with their manager and exec producer Clarissa Pabi they’ve just announced a year-long partnership with Waterstones.

  • Simon Key

    Big Green Bookshop Co-owner

    Whether he’s rallying indie bookshops to create an alliance on Twitter or crowdfunding a campaign to get a copy of The Lost Words into every school in Haringey, Key always finds a new way to prove the power and importance of local booksellers.

  • Rachel Mann

    The Roald Dahl Story Company Publishing director

    Under Mann’s influence, the Roald Dahl Story Company is showing just how innovative even the most venerated of literary estates can be, as partnerships with Wonderbly and Yoto fulfil her mission to get their stories to new readers in new ways.

  • Jess Williams

    Opearlo Co-founder and c.e.o.

    Voice search is the transformative tech currently on everyone’s lips, and Williams has been designing voice experiences for Alexa and Google Home since their initial release, including projects for lifestyle authors Annie Clarke and Madeleine Shaw.

  • Jeff Norton

    Awesome Media & Entertainment Author and founder

    Norton is one of the few authors who can be described as truly multidisciplinary; blurring the line between writer, producer and content creator, he adapts work for traditional publishers, new media platforms such as Wattpad, and TV and film studios.

  • Michel Lafrance

    The Owl Field Managing director

    Based in Scotland, Lafrance hopes to “take audiobooks to the next level” with his immersive, binaural 3D stories that put the listener in the shoes of the central character, as well as offering personalisation and choose-your-path narratives.

  • Crystal Mahey-Morgan

    OWN-IT! Founder

    Mahey-Morgan continues to show how innovative and diverse publishing can reach big audiences direct; her latest launch for MC Angel attracted more than 500 punters.

  • Syima Aslam

    Bradford Literature Festival Founder and director

    Aslam co-founded the Bradford Literary Festival with Irna Qureshi, who combined their passion for books and film to create a cultural and literary extravaganza celebrating the written and spoken word; it had 10,000 visitors in its launch year (2015), 32,000 in 2016, and 50,000 in 2017. Last month, it agreed a student exchange partnership with Hay.

  • Clare Christian

    RedDoor Publishing Publisher

    Christian set up RedDoor Publishing in 2014, believing that a book should not be judged on the basis of who paid for its production. This year its lead titles have been selected for a WHS Fresh Talent promotion, while distribution deals have been agreed for Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and the US.

  • Felice Howden

    Bonnier Zaffre Head of digital marketing

    Ahead of Christmas 2017, Howden created a Facebook Messenger Chatbot, the aim to showcase Bonnie Zaffre’s major books. It failed. Only 70 individuals engaged with the campaign, and just one book was bought. But it also demonstrated her commitment to innovation, and taught her how to cut through the hype.

  • Rachel Mallender

    HarperCollins Group audio director

    Brought in to super-charge HarperCollins’ audiobook publishing, Mallender has hit the ground running with its first original audio release: Lewis Hamilton: Championship Year 2017 by Formula One reporter Rebecca Clancy of the Times. It is the blueprint for more.

  • Fionnuala Barrett

    HarperCollins Senior audio editor

    Audiobook cheerleader, and creator of the hashtag #LoveAudio promotion that achieved cross-publisher buy-in, and generated an estimated 16 million impressions on social media.

  • Sara Lloyd

    Pan Macmillan Digital and communications director

    Long-time innovator Lloyd has introduced a “lean canvas” approach to provide a streamlined framework for developing ideas and stress testing them against the market, the initiative led to its successful collaboration with The Pigeonhole that grew author Ken Follett’s fanbase.

  • Andrius Juknys

    Thames & Hudson Head of client services

    Juknys is tasked with realising a digital future for illustrated books on visual arts. One plan is to open up opportunities to connect interests and desires through books into the greater realm of art and culture.

  • Emma Barnes

    Snowbooks, Bibliocloud C.e.o

    Barnes has run indie press Snowbooks for 15 years, but her side-projects publishing systems service Bibliocloud and, more recently, Make Our Book, an online book publishing service for schools, shows that she is continuing to innovate.

  • Sharmaine Lovegrove

    Dialogue Books Publisher

    Lovegrove has worked as a bookseller and scout, but her most important role (so far) might be as publisher of Dialogue Books, Little, Brown’s new imprint dedicated to inclusivity; she is unapologetic, unafraid and making change.

  • Georgina Atwell

    Toppsta Founder

    Atwell went from publishing to Apple to run its UK e-book push, but it is for her own community-focused website Toppsta that she makes this list; with more than 50 new reviews added to the site each day, her most recent innovation has been the launch of downloadable reading guides, with reviews curated by age.

  • Sam Missingham

    Lounge Marketing Founder

    Publishing’s tweeter in chief, the original online hustler, Missingham’s latest gig is Lounge Marketing, an author membership service offering book marketing, publicity and creative support and advice. It’s been running for six weeks and already has 55 paying members.

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