Amanda Ridout, founder of Boldwood Books has been made the new chair of the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG).
The change was announced at the IPG's a.g.m. on 24th June, which set out the organisation's ambitions for the next year, with a particular focus on improving the sustainability and diversity of independent publishing. It follows the launch of IPG action groups to drive change in both areas, including a new cross-industry collaboration with Carnstone to transform publishing’s understanding of its environmental impacts.
Training will be another priority in the next year, including through the acquisition of the Publishing Training Centre, a charity network organisation that delivers training courses, which the IPG will run from January 2022. As well as extending its current programme of services, resources and events, including hybrid conferences and meetings when Covid-19 restrictions ease, the organisation will aim to attract even more independent publishers to its community.
Ridout founded Boldwood Books in February 2019, having previously worked as c.e.o. of Head of Zeus and managing director at Phaidon, HarperCollins and Headline. Under her leadership, Boldwood Books won the 2020 Nick Robinson Newcomer Award at the 2020 Independent Publishing Awards, while Head of Zeus was named Independent Publisher of the Year at the 2017 British Book Awards.
She succeeds Martin Casimir, formerly of Maths – No Problem! and Bloomsbury, as the chair. Ridout is succeeded as vice-chair by Phil Turner, co-founder and managing director of Meze Publishing.
IPG c.e.o. Bridget Shine said: “I’m hugely grateful to Martin Casimir for his support as chair of the IPG over the past two years and delighted to be welcoming Amanda to succeed him. She will be an invaluable asset to the IPG as we seek to find new ways to support our members, drive much-needed change and make the independent publishing sector even stronger.”
Ridout commented: “I am excited to be taking over as chair at a time when, alongside the continuing challenges of a post-pandemic world, there are many opportunities for independent publishers to reset their agendas and create a new and better normal. The IPG will be with its members every step of the way in building the new future together.”