Welcome to the whitefox blog, featuring musings on the future of publishing and interviews with authors, publishers, agents, designers and more.

‘The geography of publishing’ in the 21st Century

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In James Salter’s recent novel All That Is, Salter uses the wonderful phrase ‘the geography of publishing’ to describe the networks of individuals in the late 20th century who worked on different lists, in different countries, but who liked the same books and kept in touch. They would meet, drink and gossip at the annual Fairs and gatherings and on work trips throughout the year – work trips that required little justification other than a possibility that you could be in the right place at the right time when something interesting came up.

Something like this this still happens, of course. Publishers and editors in their 40s and 50s have established networks of like-minded peers in companies across the world. But what does this geography look like, these days, and how important is it? Are the epicentres of decision-making, once in New York and London, now in Seattle and Luxembourg? These days, isn’t it more likely that international connections exist within a single company conglomerate, where the unquantifiable value of human interaction might be perceived as a smaller return on investment than a round robin email? (And is all this really more about, say, French MBA grads raising money to brief Latvian digital developers on creating new Software-as-a-Service products?)

The very premise of e-publishing breaks down many of the traditional borders and boundaries. It isn’t just that your typesetting can be in India and your printing in Dubai. Decisions made on the basis of algorithms applied to consumer behaviour seem more interesting now to CEOs than books thought up in the bar of the Hessischer Hof hotel in the early hours of a Frankfurt October morning.

At whitefox we are seeing what it is like to work with brands who have specific content marketing strategies in different countries. With writers who are published in one territory, and who are looking to self-publish and market their own work in another. And with our freelancers, who work anywhere and everywhere. Talent is talent, no matter what the time zone.

But we do share in some of the nostalgia for past times. Not for elitism or perpetuating a literary reading culture defined by a select few. But for the serendipity of the creative and intuitive travelling publisher-magpie. I was in a meeting room in the 90s when Penguin’s Peter Mayer and Peter Carson returned from a trip to Barcelona and threw a battered orange box full of small 100 peseta books across a long board room table. Short form digestible fiction and non-fiction, both commercial and literary, in cut off paperbacks, all under 100 pages, and sold alongside the gum and the cigarettes in Spanish kiosks.

They became the model for the millions of Penguin 60s sold in 1995. (Think a 20th century version of the burgeoning Kindle Singles.) Sometimes you can just be in the right place at the right time.

The Correction

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This week I was interested to catch up with a friend and ex-colleague who has spent the last few years in the USA. Once close and familiar with UK trade publishing, he is now very much on the outside looking in, immersed as he is in educational and corporate digital subscriptions on the other side of the Atlantic.

We discussed what had happened since he left. The mergers and acquisitions. The spectacular falls from commercial grace. The speed of disintermediation. The astounding statistics of the self-publishing industry. Amazon, of course…

‘So it’s actually happened, then? The “correction” we’d been discussing for years, which never seemed to quite materialise?’

Perhaps it finally has. So much has changed in the UK publishing industry in recent years that warnings of a coming tipping point are beginning to sound passé. What was that story about frogs and boiling water?

A Guest Post from Clare Conville + Free Festival Tickets

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[intro]Since co-founding Conville & Walsh in 2000 Clare Conville has agented some of the most prestigious writers of our time. This year she has curated an exciting new entry in the UK’s literary calendar. The Curious Arts Festival will take place in the grounds of Pylewell Park in Hampshire from the 18th to the 20th of July, when the family seat of the Barons Teynham will play host to a succession of writers and musicians from Craig Brown and Rowan Pelling to Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit.

whitefox has two free tickets to the festival to give away to one lucky reader. To enter, simply email your name and address to info@wearewhitefox.com. Entries will be pulled out of a hat at the end of the week. Good luck! [/intro]

While some of our finest publishers battle it out in Seattle in the hopes of securing a future for our trade (and by extension our culture), I find myself engrossed in the small print: train times to Lymington, the dietary requirements of very special authors, where Joan As Policewoman is going to sleep on Saturday night and anxious, secret googling at 3.20am in the morning to look at next week’s weather forecast. Yes, you will have guessed it – I am co-curating the Curious Arts Festival at Pylewell Park which runs from 18th-20th July and if ferocious discounting by Amazon doesn’t get me first then surely the combined levels of anxiety, adrenaline and good old-fashioned madness that are essential to propel one through organising a festival surely will.


A fair question would be: why do it? Surely life as an agent at Conville and Walsh is busy enough? To be truthful: yes it is. At this stage in the run-up to next week’s launch I can’t really remember why I said I’d do it apart from the fact that Paddy Keogh, my partner in crime, is charmingly persuasive. However, if I can find the time to stop and think about it I do believe passionately that there is a direct correlation between the unstoppable rise of the literary festival culture in the UK and the increasingly boringly transactional way people buy books. In challenging times authors, agents and publishers must change the way they think about how they find readers.

Authors have to become “authorpreneurs” and actively seek out new ways to promote themselves, often without quite enough support from their publishers and agents. Publishers have to become impresarios, coaxing “influencers” and the press into taking interest in the books in the first place and constantly looking for new and interesting platforms to promote them. Curiously, a festival at its best can offer everybody a new experience and I believe that the devil is in the detail, even if it does mean getting up at 4.30am to start sending e-mails, because a sense of detail is something that a Seattle algorithm can’t supply. So our aim for our artists, writers, and musicians alike is that they will arrive at Pylewell Park and have an incredible stay: the beds will be comfortable, there will be flowers and chocolate in their room, and drinks and meals will run throughout the day courtesy of The Feast of Reason. Children and dogs are welcome too.

Clare Conville

We also aim to ensure that our paying visitors have a marvellous time: a dazzling programme of events, a beautiful camping site in the incredible grounds of the park with unbelievable views of the Solent, delicious food and drink and a wonderful and comfortable pop-up bookshop run by Waterstones, Lymington, where there will be hourly signings (but where you can also snuggle up in an armchair and read a book).

In addition, Curtis Brown will be running a film tent, there’ll be loads of activities and events for children including A Jabberwocky Hunt, a Pestival Walk and donkey rides. If you want to take a different journey through the festival, breathing lessons, life-drawing classes and bibliotherapy are all available. Our aim is to make Curious, unique and unforgettable, a place, rather like one’s own bookshelf or a gorgeous local bookshop, where the familiar, the much loved and the fresh combine. We want Curious to be a festival that artists, guests and visitors will return to again and again, part of a vibrant culture that the great and the good of international publishing are trying so hard to preserve on our behalf. So, do join us!

Clare Conville

An interview with Jonathan Baker

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[intro]Jonathan Baker, one of the graphic designers we’ve worked with over the past two years, set up Seagull Design in 2001. He currently runs the business from Marbella, where he lives with his family.[/intro]


Let’s start with the most fundamental question. When and why did you start working as an independent freelancer?

Oddly enough, apart from some summer jobs I had when I was a kid, I’ve always been a freelancer. Many years ago I blagged my way into working for an employment agency as a freelance desktop publisher because the hourly rate on offer was so attractive. (It was something like £25 per hour, which was a small fortune for a teenager back then.) The first job I got through them was with Citibank, who needed someone to design some brochures using an early desktop publishing program called Ventura. I more or less knew my way around a computer and I’d done some record sleeve design work, so I thought I was eminently qualified to do the job. Luckily when I turned up at Citibank the job was delayed and I was paid to sit around for a couple of days, during which time I read the manuals for Ventura and taught myself enough of the basics to be able to impress (or at least con) the people I was working for. From there it was only a few accidental encounters in central London bars and a smattering of lies before I had convinced a book publisher to give me a book to design. And it was in book publishing that I made my home – banks and brochures were good for paying the bills, but they were deadly boring.


What do you most enjoy about being a freelancer?

Being able to work and live with my family by the beach in Marbella, Spain, where an average day involves building sandcastles on the beach with my son and drinking cocktails by the pool with my wife – oh, and some work, of course. I’ve never been an ‘office’ sort of person and I readily enjoy all of the freedoms that being a freelancer gives you. Seriously, anyone who works in an office should QUIT NOW and become a freelancer!


There are a few irksome parts the job – aren’t there? How do you keep track of finances and invoices?

There are no irksome parts to the job. Sometimes a job depresses you because it’s boring (and that’s usually because you can’t relate to it, not because it really is boring), but the beauty of working as a freelance designer/typesetter in publishing is that each project passes quite quickly and there’s always something new coming up. Some months you may have lots of money and some months very little. But after working as a freelancer for as long as I have you know there are ebbs and flows. Keeping a reasonably large client base is always sensible. Don’t place all your eggs in one basket, as the saying goes.


Let’s get specific. Do you find it easier to quote yourwork by the hour or the project?

Sometimes I quote by the hour, sometimes by the day. Sometimes I quote by the the week, the page, the job, its fun factor, its kudos rating, whether someone I like is involved, et cetera, et cetera. There aren’t any real rules. I’m still making it up as I go along.


Have advances in digital technology affected the way you do your work?

Unquestionably. A job that used to take a month can now be done in a few days. I used to have to be in central London to be close to a quick courier service; now I can be anywhere in the world. Everything changes all the time and change is exciting.


Do you feel you get good feedback from your clients?

Yes, I have lovely clients. (Even the horrible ones.)


Does your work come mainly from existing contacts within the publishing industry or from writing speculative emails? How do you approach a publisher who doesn’t know you?

Almost all by word of mouth or people moving from one publishing house to another and me tagging along for the ride. I am exceptionally bad at selling myself as I feel end results should speak for themselves. I rarely pitch myself to publishers – and when I do it’s always cringeworthy.


Do you think specialising in a particular area is important for freelancers?

It isn’t so important for book designers, since engaging with the subject matter is core to the design process and part of what makes each job a challenge.

The App Review: Invoicing Tools For Freelancers

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[intro]Invoicing, invoicing, invoicing. It doesn’t exactly make the heart sing. At whitefox we’d rather spend our time revolutionising the publishing industry, but just like every other startup we seem to spend an inordinate amount of it quoting, invoicing, chasing payment, being invoiced…[/intro]

Division of labour in a large organisation allows editors to be editors, project managers to be project managers and accountant to be accountants. But for us – and you freelancers, too – all of those roles have to be combined in a single person. That’s why we’ve decided to review selection of apps that could make one of those jobs a little easier. One of them even has a cute squirrel for a logo.

Don’t yawn yet! If you’ve never used a modern invoicing tool, the range of features on offer might surprise you. For example, if you currently raise your invoices manually using Word, aren’t you tempted by the prospect of creating, saving and sending an invoice in a few clicks? Wouldn’t it be convenient to be able to do that on the go, as well? These three apps do both of those things and more. And did we mention that some of them are completely free?



The squirrel appears on the welcome page, squealing that NutCache is “simple and free!” It does have a very easy-to-use layout, and it is entirely free. (There isn’t a catch or a premium service: a company called Dynacom Technologies bankrolls the entire operation as a PR exercise.) After receiving their invoice via email, customers can pay you directly via PayPal, Authorize Net or 2Checkout. You can have as many customers as you like. (Some free invoicing apps only allow you one customer. Who has only one customer?) Other useful features include time sheets, time management, apps for Android and Apple devices and multi-user functionality.


Blips: The NutCache logo (that squirrel again) appears on every invoice you send, and the invoices aren’t that customisable: all you can do is add a logo. 

Verdict: A very simple, user-friendly invoicing and time-tracker app with some useful features for small businesses. If you like squirrels, it might even cheer you up during a slog-like accounting session.



Invoiceable is another tool that’s free-to-use – but this one does want to make some money so it offers an optional upgrade to get rid of branding. It’s quite popular – it boasts an impressive 56,000 users – and as well as offering unlimited invoicing, you can create reports, add discounts, create a product list, accept partial payments, and even set up recurring invoices on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. There are apps for Apple and Android.


Unavoidables: Invoiceable has its equivalent of NutCache’s omnipresent squirrel: a note at the end of every invoice reading “Powered by Invoiceable”. You can pay a one-off fee of £49 to eliminate it – that’s how they make their money.

Verdict: A very professional invoicing service that seems to be popular among freelancers and small businesses. Special commendation for support for recurring projects.



Debitoor has a three-tier price plan, but the free version allows for unlimited invoicing and sending out estimates to clients. If you decide to spend a little bit of money (€10/month) on the Premium Plus subscription, you can turn those quotes into invoices. It also offers an expenses tracking feature.


Weaknesses: Like the previous tools, Debitoor stamps your invoice with its own logo; unlike the others, there are other features that can only be unlocked with cash.  This can be removed by paying €5/month for the Premium package. Its most interesting feature, the ability to match your bank statement to invoices and expenses, comes with the Premium Plus subscription, which costs more. There’s an Apple app, but no Android app.

Verdict: A savvy invoicing app with some useful features – but you’ll have to pay for even the most basic ones.

An interview with Kathy Steer

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[intro]Kathy Steer became a freelancer in 1998, after working for a number of years in-house at Hamlyn and Quintet. She has specialised in cookery, gardening, health, home décor and crafts and works for a number of publishers in the UK and abroad. She’s one of our favourite Americanizers. We spoke to her last week about  finding and managing work as a freelancer.[/intro]


So, how did you get into freelancing?

I secured a couple of work placements in London after I graduated from university. I didn’t know whether wanted to go into magazine publishing as a sub-editor or into book publishing, so one of the placements was at the BBC’s Good Food Magazine and the other was at Hamlyn, which at the time was part of Reed International. After finishing at Hamlyn I was offered a full-time job as a cookery editorial assistant and after a year I was promoted to assistant cookery editor. I learnt how to proofread, copy-edit, Americanize and project manage my own titles. After one more year I became a project editor for another publishing house in London, and a year after that I took the plunge and went freelance. I worked in-house for a number of magazines at first (though I had the opportunity to decide where I wanted to work and for how long). I then started to get proofreading and copy-editing jobs from some book publishers, which meant I could work from home –and I haven’t looked back. I did enjoy working in-house but the overriding factors that made me go freelance were the flexibility and the varying types of work and subject matter.


What do you enjoy most about being a freelancer?

I love the flexibility of working from home as it means I can choose my own hours instead of working a nine to five job with a commute to and from London. I live by the sea, so I can go out for a walk on the beach in the middle of the day to clear my head. And I also get to work on a lot of varied projects, which are extremely interesting. I could be Americanizing a book on gardening one week, then proofreading a health book or copy-editing a cookbook the next.



What about the irksome parts of the job? How do you keep track of your finances?

Keeping track of finances can get out of hand, especially if some invoices take a long time to be paid, so I log all my invoices and expenses on a spreadsheet. When an invoice gets paid, I mark it up. I also keep two folders: one for invoices that are awaiting payment and the other are invoices that have been paid. I also keep all my receipts in that folder. I’m very disciplined in keeping up to date with this.


Let’s get into the specifics. Do you find it easier to quote your work by the hour or by the overall project?

It’s a lot easier to quote by the hour as I have set hourly rates for proofreading, copy-editing and Americanizing. Sometimes a project takes longer than expected so quoting for the job may not be so financially beneficial. Some of the publishers I work for have set budgets and they seem very fair, so I am happy to work to their budgets instead.


Have advances in digital technology affected the way you do your work?

Yes, definitely. I used to have to wait for the work to arrive by post on a CD then I would have to send the completed work back on a CD, but now this is all done online almost instantly, either via FTP servers or via the large file transfer websites. It makes life much easier. I occasionally proofread and mark up corrections on PDFs. That’s great if the schedule is very tight, but I do still prefer to proofread on paper as reading on screen all the time can get very tiring.


Do you feel you get good feedback from your clients?

Yes I think so. I find feedback invaluable, whether it’s positive or negative, as I want to make sure I do the best work for my client. If I have made an error I would like to know so that I can improve and avoid making the same mistake again. It’s also great to get positive feedback on the work one is doing.


Does your work come mainly from existing contacts within the publishing industry or from writing speculative emails? How do you approach a publisher who doesn’t know you?

Now my work comes from existing contacts I have built up over the years, but when I started as a freelancer I sent out lots of emails with my CV plus follow-up calls to prospective publishing houses asking if there was any work. I still like to send round a few emails to publishing houses just to let them know that I am here and still working as a freelancer.


Do you think specialising in a particular area, such as food or business, is important for freelancers?

Yes. I have specialised in certain areas and have got to know my subjects very well.

If you would like to be listed on our database and receive not only leads but also useful tips on finding and managing your work as a freelancer, write to us at info@wearewhitefox.com with a copy of your CV.



On The NYT’s Leaked Report On Innovation

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Much has already been written about the New York Times’s leaked internal report on innovation, and many have applauded the paper’s vision. Dig a little into the fallout and you’ll find a lot of naysayers  but if I were one of the big publishing players jockeying for position at the moment, looking to make the best mergers and alliances to scale whilst simultaneously, as one journalist put it to me recently, implementing strategies ” driven primarily by the desire not to fuck up”, I’d find much to cheer about within the document’s eminently digestible 96 pages.

There’s a good reason for that: it is very practically relevant. Not just in terms of protecting unique assets and communicating a simple core belief ( for “winning at journalism” read “publishing the very best books we can”). But also for the focus on necessary structural changes (although some of the larger global conglomerates are further ahead than others at properly integrating creative commissioning and digital). All the talk of mining the archives, of creating influencer maps (this isn’t about marketing departments as a link in a chain but about anyone who knows anyone utilising that relationship) and of personalisation and packaging are directly applicable to the copyright owning leviathans.

It is as easy to fall into the trap of equating large publishers with stasis as it is to assume that only scale and market share allows you to innovate and experiment. But this blueprint from within an industry even more disrupted by digital than the world of books is refreshing in the tangible strategies it offers up, to contribute towards a difficult and somewhat belated process of cultural change.

Self-Publishing: The Best Is Yet To Come

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[intro] Laura Bastian is a student in the MA Publishing course at University College London who recently completed a period of work experience at whitefox. She has an MBA in marketing and worked in marketing and sales for ten years before deciding to pursue a career in publishing.[/intro]

Exactly what does publishing’s “new normal” mean to publishers, authors, and readers? Does the infinite bookshelf of the digital world invite more sales and a long tail of opportunity for a larger pool of authors? Or does it refer to a world crowded with mediocre content, in which the very best writers struggle to get noticed above the noise?

It seems publishers and authors may have differing opinions (and overall moods) when it comes to the industry’s future.

“There has never been a better time to be a writer. It could be that the best of times are yet to come,” Hugh Howey writes in his latest Author Earnings Report. Per his findings, “self-published authors are out-earning Big 5 authors by a 27% margin.”

While the report will surely be parsed at length, it is evident many writers are feeling optimistic and empowered in the new environment.

This was also apparent at the London Book Fair, where the Kindle sponsored Author HQ hummed with energy. Seminars on book discoverability and hybrid publishing models overflowed to standing room only, as authors eagerly sought to learn from those who have mastered self-publishing, including Howey himself, Polly Courtney, and Bella Andre. The Author HQ operated in a seemingly parallel universe to the traditional publishing happenings in the exhibition room next door, where business continued as usual.

The verdict: the terms “self” and “independent” publishing are perhaps misnomers, as the best of the bunch curate their own hand-picked teams to edit, proofread, design, produce, and market their books. 

It seems self-publishing isn’t about going it alone after all. The model for publishing a book has become more atomized, to use Mike Shatzkin’s term, but the fundamentals have not changed. 

Under the “new normal,” making that connection between the content creators and the editors, designers, and publicists becomes increasingly important. It’s the difference between books that get lost on the digital shelf and those that rise above the chaos.

Thoughts On Entering Publishing

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I recently attended a university student networking event. (It’s that time of year.)

At events like these, the idea is for professionals and alumni to mix and mingle with students to help them make contacts and find work. We’re there to give advice and suggest strategies based on our experience. Should you apply for an MA. Where are the most useful work placements? What do you do if you want to work in publishing and you don’t live in London? Good questions all. And alongside the old hands are more recent graduates, fresh into assistant or junior roles in local or large corporate environments. They’re also well equipped to talk about what employers are looking for now, to give tips on making applications stand out and on how to behave whilst doing work experience.

An observation. Whilst the book publishing world I have known for the last few years has never felt more challenging, exciting, dynamic, entrepreneurial and essential (I could go on), very little seems to have changed at events like these. The core of advice remains largely the same. No one mentioned LinkedIn, let alone Twitter. One of the questions I was asked to address was “is publishing dying?”. I realise that this was intended to make me launch into a staunch defence of the industry, to repeat that the rise of self-publishing and Amazon and consolidation doesn’t have to lead to diminishing opportunities for traditional publishing careers in editorial and marketing. But instead all it made me think was this: we all have to do a bit better.

If trade publishers are not going to morph into tech companies or retailers in the immediate future, if their proposition is the acquisition and exploitation of commercial rights, experimenting with new models along the way, then there needs to be a bit of a rear guard action at graduate events that connect new entrants with professionals. We need the next generation of publishing professionals to see that this is an world worth entering. To those students and graduates I say: go in with your eyes open, but embrace the process of dynamic change. You will be driving what the consumer facing, reader-centric manifestation of book publishing will be in 2030.

Maybe publishing is to blame. I lost count of the number of students who said they had applied for internships and not been accepted, or worse, not had any response at all. We hope whitefox can help some of them. But maybe academic institutions need to look within themselves, too. It will be in the interests of careers services departments at universities everywhere to help students leverage the skills they’ve acquired whilst studying. But if you’re, say, reading English and you know you want to go into, say, an editorial role in publishing any time soon, perhaps it would be good to think about what the context for that is going to be, not just now, but over the next ten years.

What we mean by publishing has never been more fascinating and fluid. We just have to get a bit better at illustrating that and its implications to the next generation of participants.

Show me the money (first)

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This blog post by John Bond was originally published on the FutureBook blog.

When we started our company two years ago, we were often asked why we were called whitefox. I mean, not a pun on books to be seen. The working title for the whole idea had been Maguire, after the 1996 Tom Cruise film Jerry Maguire. Specifically the scene at the beginning where the hard-headed commercial sports agent wakes up from a bad dream with a new business vision: one based on quality, not quantity, based on better, deeper personal relationships. He writes a mission statement in the middle of the night and calls it The Things We Think And Do Not Say and gets it copied up and given to every delegate at the conference he’s attending. He heralds the fact that he has “ lost the ability to bullshit”. He is, of course, promptly fired.

I loved that idea as the starting point for a new business. I loved the film, the script of which I defy anyone not to find some use in as a mantra for management in publishing (come on, how many times, publishing executive, have you wanted to lean over that desk two hours into an appraisal and say ‘ help me help you ‘). But my co-founding partners dismissed the idea of christening a start-up with anything so redolent of the 1990s and with even the slightest whiff of short Scientologists. So whitefox we duly became.

whitefox as a concept was about practical work that made a tangible difference, which could adapt to any environment and, if required, remain below the radar. A business that could blend into the background. It was always intended to be a symbol of trust and quality for our clients and suppliers. Our original assumption was that we would gradually be seen primarily as an opportunity for traditional publishers to outsource nitty gritty publishing expertise as the industry contracted and overheads lost the battle between fixed and variable costs.

That has happened. But simultaneously, even in the brief time we have been trading, new areas have opened up where publishing sensibilities are becoming increasingly relevant. No one seems to worry about using the ‘c’ word any more. Content is everywhere. Whilst trade publishers still see themselves as the arbiter of what should and should not be made public and endorsed, content owners and brands are choosing to look at their assets through the other end of the same telescope. And whitefox are helping them. Whether you are a newspaper or broadcaster, management consultants or breakfast cereal, brands are starting to use e-books for either marketing engagement or to create revenue streams through new channels.

The concept of brands becoming publishers, as Jens Bachem christened it at the Digital Minds Conference in 2103, isn’t new. Sales departments over the years have had custom publishing units, and rare is even the smallest chain of restaurants or cafes that don’t have a dedicated recipe book, often published on mainstream lists. But digital has opened up new opportunities for more DIY and cost-effective experimentation. And organisations are able to produce and share better quality, less ephemeral and more engaging material because companies like whitefox allow access to trusted publishing specialists. Our largely UK based network has started to play its part in what Mike Shatzkin over in New York has defined as the “atomisation” of publishing.

For some, this will all seem a rather alien concept. A distraction even. But in an uncertain world for some publishers, we would argue it represents a positive endorsement of having access to relevant, individual expertise, unbundled and available to anyone. So what if it is for content marketing. There is a commercial value in good writers, editors and designers.

The e-book explosion has seen traditional publishers look inwards first, obsess about understanding consumers of their books, differentiating themselves from their competitors and focus on digitising and selling their own copyrights as profitably as possible to offset any decline in physical sales. But there is a whole world out there. A world of words that can benefit from the skills that have long been traditionally associated with good publishing.

In the US, the successful self-publishing platform Blurb have just announced that nearly 40% of its revenues now come from businesses, who are using both illustrated and e-books, as marketing collateral or to commemorate events and anniversaries.

Its all just another way of being open to new opportunities. You had me at hello.