Hachette opens the book on publishing

News - Publishing Tuesday, 15th June 2021

Series of events designed to demistify the industry

Hachette UK is to run a series of panel discussions entitled "Opening the Book", designed to demystify publishing and to make the industry more accessible to under-represented groups. The initiative markets the fifth anniversary of Hachette's "Changing the Story" diversity and inclusion programme.
Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher at Dialogue Books and patron of Changing the Story, will chair the 10 discussions, each focusing on a different department at the company. The panels will be available to view later on Hachette's website and social channels, as well as through partner sites.

Lovegrove said: "From hosting the panels, I've learnt a lot from my colleagues, and I've been invigorated by their passion and expertise at all levels. My hope is that these interviews, and all our Opening the Book events this year, will inspire and inform and ultimately lead to a broader range of publishing professionals, illustrators and writers entering the industry."

The first panel, on Monday 28 June, will focus on marketing, with Gemma Shelley, deputy marketing director at Little, Brown; Emma Petfield, senior marketing manager at John Murray Press; and Lipfon Tang, marketing executive at Quercus. It will include a Q&A chaired by Josie Dobrin, CEO of Creative Access. Register here.

For part two of Opening the Book, Hachette will team up with partners in cities where it has new national offices - Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield and Bristol - to host sessions for aspiring authors on creative writing, editing and pitching, and the publishing industry in general. The programme will be run by Nick Davies, John Murray Press MD and Changing the Story patron.

Davies said: "We need to do a better job of making publishing accessible. We need to attract a more diverse range of talent to the industry and we need give voice to authors who feel excluded or side-lined. It's two sides of the same coin and the rationale behind the two strands of Opening the Book. It's also why Hachette UK is opening five new offices across the country. We're delighted to be creating a series of honest and open author events that will take this message beyond London and make the industry a more welcoming and inclusive place."