Senior digital product manager
Hay House Publishing
How would you describe your role?
My role includes a bit of everything digital: producing and distributing e-books, looking after our websites, and helping to advise authors on their own web presence. My role has evolved enormously since I joined in 2009 (before the Kindle had launched in the UK).
What’s the best thing about your role?
There’s a lot of freedom to think creatively. Digital is relatively new, so we’re all still learning, and there often isn’t a clear solution. It’s intriguing to see what different approaches other companies are taking to the same issues we face.
Which books are you working on?
I recently finished e-book conversions of Diana Cooper’s Venus: A Diary of a Puppy and Her Angel, David Smallwood’s Who Says I’m an Addict?, and Master Laster, a biography of Sachin Tendulkar from our Indian office. These demonstrate the variety of the role.
How does the mind, body and spirit genre transfer to digital platforms?
Quite well. A lot of our books are designed to be used for daily guidance and inspiration, or as part of an ongoing course; having a whole library of e-books on a single device means our readers can read a novel on their commute and still easily find a meditation, exercise or affirmation if they have a few moments to spare in their day.
What advice would you give to someone looking to work in the industry?
There are various ways into trade publishing besides work experience. I spent several years editing at web, technical and academic publishers before finding my way to trade publishing at Hay House, and I feel that’s given me a useful grounding in the industry and a relatively broad skill set. I’d definitely recommend learning some HTML – even if it’s just to improve your own blog or portfolio. Web is increasingly important to publishers, and there are dozens of free web tutorials to get started – Codeacademy.com is a great example.