Describe your role
I’m responsible for managing the publishing programmes for some of our biggest pre-school brands at Egmont. For example, a lot of my time is spent growing and nurturing Mr Men and Little Miss, and I’ve just taken on Thomas the Tank Engine. I work closely with our fantastic brand owners, editorial, design and production teams, as well as sales and marketing, to build the best overall publishing plan. I have to ensure that the plan we develop is both commercial and profitable, so I also spend a fair amount of time knee-deep in Excel! On a day-to-day basis I’m also the main point of contact for the brand owner, and I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing in licensed publishing.
What do you like best about your role?
I love knowing my lists inside out and being able to manage projects from beginning to end. Expanding and innovating around such wellloved characters can be both thrilling and terrifying, but introducing new readers to them, or re-introducing an older fan, is so rewarding that it’s completely worth it.
Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
We’ve just kicked off a huge six months for Mr Men and Little Miss with the first four Mr Men and Little Miss for Grown-Ups titles, where characters like Little Miss Busy and Mr Happy brave the adult world for the first time. Early next year we’re publishing Little Miss Inventor, a brand new STEM-inspired Little Miss, plus a very silly Mr Silly story for World Book Day.
What skills do you need for your role?
My lists appeal to many different kinds of readers and span many formats, price points and retailers, so being able to step back and see the bigger picture is important. Being able to think creatively, commercially and strategically is also key, and reaching agreement across all the key stakeholders is essential.
What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Don’t get put off by all the talk about how difficult it is to get into; I nearly did and went away to do something completely different, but was able to land my first role 18 months later because of the transferable skills I’d gained in the meantime. It’s difficult to understand the huge variety of roles on offer from outside the industry, so thinking carefully and creatively about your skills and experience is really important too.