Questions for: Emma House

News - Interviews Tuesday, 3rd December 2019

The Oreham Group founder contributes to our Q&A series

Describe your current job in one sentence
I'm a consultant helping UK and International companies with international business development in the publishing sector

What was your first job in the book industry?
I started as key account manager for the London Book Fair in 2002

Who has been the most influential person in your career?
I've had a series of "unofficial mentors" in my career who have influenced me at different stages in my career and some who continue to do so. I have a great circle of influencers around me, which I think is important for anyone.

How has the industry changed since your first job?
The independents have become a force of nature, and it is is a pleasure to see them grow and prosper. Obviously the tech giants have entered the market and we have seen the demise of the high street chains, but publishing continues to be robust and confident.

"It's a pleasure to see these great stories from Africa, India and elsewhere finally getting on screen"

What's the biggest challenge in your job?
I have a range of clients with different needs and need to juggle my time effectively. This makes it interesting as well as challenging. What is really great is making connections between the clients and see how things can emerge and flourish in the most unexpected ways.

What are the most interesting things you're seeing at the moment in the industry?
The switch to being customer and community focused. We still have a way to go on this, and there is a lot we can learn from other industries.

What do you think might be the next big thing?
With the streaming giants entering the market, book to screen is exploding. These giants are global in their nature and acquiring content for a global audience, so diverse content is finally getting its moment. This isn't a "big thing" as such, as this should have been happening anyway, but it's a pleasure to see these great stories from Africa, India and elsewhere finally getting on screen.

What do you most like doing when you're not working?
Spending time in the outdoors. I am fortunate to live and work both by the sea and in the South Downs. Home is where the heart is, but I also have the travel bug and love to visit new countries and cities.

What is the best book you've read in the last year?
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

What are you reading now?
Three Women by Lisa Taddeo.

How do you like to read: on screen, on paper, or do you listen to audiobooks?
I mainly read on screen, but love it when I get a good hardback book I can snuggle up in bed with. I haven't got the audio bug yet, but I haven't really given it a fair chance yet!