A new digital platform and newsletter called The FLIP (Female Leadership in Publishing), launched by three Transworld colleagues to showcase "brilliant, inspiring, courageous and creative" women who work in the publishing industry, has been "inundated" with support, collecting hundreds of followers within its first hours of launching.
Co-founded by Sophie Christopher, Ella Horne and Helena Gonda, who respectively work in publicity, marketing and editorial roles at Penguin Random House UK, The FLIP will centre around a series of "frank and inspiring" interviews with women who have "pushed creative boundaries and been leaders in their fields".
Within its first eight hours of launching on Monday (14th January) The FLIP collected over 850 followers on Twitter and 650 subscribers to its newsletter, and been overwhelmed with suggestions for interviewees. The response far surpassed the trio's expectations, according to Christopher, who told The Bookseller their original goal had been to build a modest subscriber-base of 200 before the end of two weeks; it has now managed at least triple that, and a stretch goal to incorporate panel events has now been added to accomodate suggestions for interviewees.
"We were happily surprised," said Christopher. "It was a hunch [it would be popular]. We thought wouldn't it be great if there was a resource like this and it's been really gratifying to find we're not the only ones that feel that way.
"We kept having the same conversation with each other, which is that we wanted to hear more from the women in positions at the top of their companies, or from women who are doing innovative and inspiring work. We decided to create something that would do that ourselves."
The FLIP's co-founders
Featuring in its inaugural newsletter next Monday (28th January), The FLIP's first subject is Sandy Mahal, currently director at UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature. She said The Flip is an "important" initiative that "will support and inspire young women and especially all those whose voices aren’t heard enough, to take up their seat at the table".
After this, interviews will follow on in conversation with Rebecca Smart, managing director at DK Publishing; Lizzy Kremer, literary agent for DHA and AAA president; Meryl Halls, managing director for the BA; Knights Of co-founder Aimée Felone; and Janine Giovanni, marketing director at Transworld.
These interviews, hoping to throw a spotlight on individuals who are "not regularly being platformed", will run throughout 2019 on a monthly basis. The newsletter also has a Twitter account, hoped to provide "an empowering and inspiring place for women to discuss ideas, share stories and connect with each other".
Horne, senior marketing executive, promised The FLIP will additionally share reading and event recommendations, to which Gonda, editor, added the platform will serve as "a space in which women can have honest conversations about the industry we work in and how we can improve opportunities within it for us all. It will be positive and empowering and somewhere we can share our knowledge, our experience and our challenges."
Kremer, AAA president, said in support of the venture: "I’m excited about the launch of The FLIP, and the idea of building a resource written by women, for women. If we want to see change, we must innovate and be creative, and Helena, Ella and Sophie’s new project epitomises that."