Back in 2013, I wrote a post about a new service for publishing professionals. Little did I know what impact it would have on my career. Recently, Laura Summers interviewed me as part of the ‘BookMachine Success’ series. If you’d like to find out how Bookmachine can help people in publishing, read on …
More than I would have guessed at my first event 4 years ago! Through BookMachine I’ve met lots of interesting and influential people, made connections with professionals I can call upon when I need to build a team (through both BookMachine events and via the useful BookMachine.me website), been hired on a freelance basis more than once, and won the biggest job of my career.
Recently I was approached by a marketing agency who were looking for someone to project-manage and design a book for an industry they represented. This was a good job for me as the book was large-format and full colour, and my prospect was willing to give me complete creative freedom. I met with the marketing manager, put together a proposal and a quotation, and was delighted when she commissioned me to go ahead.
I’m always interested in finding out how people discover me, so asked my client if she could remember what she’d typed into Google to get to my website. I was surprised when she said ‘book designer London’, as my site is optimised for different keywords. I was even more surprised when she told me I was on a list of the top 20 book designers. When she mentioned that there were also designers on the list from places like Toronto and Barcelona, the penny dropped: she’d found me on the BookMachine site.
It’s given me the chance to prove that I can put together and lead a top-notch publishing team to create the ultimate marketing tool in 3 months from initial brief to publication. I’ve done this before as an in-house Managing Designer, and on a much smaller scale as a freelancer but not to this extent. This is the type of work I want to be doing in the future and I can now use this job as a case-study which I hope will enable me to win similar commissions.
1 Get yourself out there. You could be the best designer, editor, copywriter, marketeer or developer in the business, but if you don’t pick up the phone or get out and meet people, no-one’s going to know. Bookmachine is a great place to start, and there are also other publishing groups like the Galley Club and Byte The Book.
2 Form strategic connections with other publishing professionals so that you can provide a broader service – your connections may also be able to get you work too.
3 Don’t give up! There’s always someone out there who will give you a break – you just have to find them.