My Job in 5: Sophie Bruce

My Job in 5: Sophie Bruce

Describe your role
Jessica Kingsley Publishers has a variety of lists, from autism to gender diversity, adoption and fostering to religion. I am responsible for the social work, counselling and mental health titles, and my role is to plan and implement marketing strategies to reach the widest possible audience. In a typical day, I will review book lists for upcoming catalogues, create email campaigns for newly published titles, post articles on Facebook and Twitter, and liaise with authors about what’s next in their marketing campaigns.

What do you like best about your role?
I get to work on such a diverse mix of titles that each new marketing plan I do is completely different from the last. I have books on my list that appeal to a wider audience, and books that are extremely niche. I really enjoy finding the pockets of society that these books appeal to and coming up with new ways to showcase what we have to offer.

Which new projects or titles are you working on at the moment?
I am currently preparing for Community Care Live where one of my authors will be signing their new book. In October, I have a title coming out called Justice for Laughing Boy, which is the memoir of Sara Ryan, the mother whose son prematurely died whilst in NHS care, and her subsequent campaign for justice and for the rights of people with learning disabilities. It’s a harrowing but moving story and, because of the importance of its message, I expect it to be a great one to promote.

Which skills do you need for your role?
It’s important for me to be aware of not only the publishing industry, but also what’s going on in the social work and mental health stratosphere too. Staying in the know about what is happening helps me to understand what a social worker needs and wants from the books they buy. It is also essential that you are excited about collaborating with others in this role. Whether you are working with authors or your direct colleagues, being a team player is crucial.

What advice would you give to those looking to work in the industry?
Be open minded when choosing a career in publishing. A lot of people think they want to work in a particular field, like editorial, but actually they may be much better suited to a marketing or production role. Try not to get too fixated on working in fiction publishing either; I can say from experience that the non-fiction titles I’m working on now are just as exciting!