Gardners' sales and marketing director contributes to our Q&A series
Describe your current job
I'm responsible for all the sales, customer service & marketing activity for Gardners wholesalers.
What was your first job in the book industry?
It was as UK sales manager for Gardners - I joined the company in December 2013.
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
There are actually two answers to this. Simon Morley (buying director, Gardners), as he took me under his wing in the early days and made sure I knew as much about the industry and the people as possible, and Jonathan Little (MD and owner). He enhanced my drive for delivering excellence to our customers in our service offer, technology and customer service, and the desire to give the best range and availability in the industry!
How has the industry changed since your first job?
In the short space of time I have been in the industry I have seen many changes. Ebooks didn't have the impact everyone initially thought they would, and physical books have definitely stood the test of time, while we have seen bookshops start to grow in numbers again after years of decline.
What's the biggest challenge in your job?
The business prides itself on giving a first-class service. We hold ourselves to account, and my biggest challenge is making sure we deliver excellence on this, day in and day out!
What's the best piece of book-related advice you've ever been given?
Listen to booksellers, they know their stuff!
What are the most interesting things you're seeing at the moment in the industry?
Indie booksellers embracing e-commerce, either with their own sites or via site like Hive or bookshop.org.
What do you think might be the next big thing?
Audiobooks have been on the rise for some time, and I still think they have not yet truly seen their peak.
How do you think the industry will come out of the current Covid-19 crisis?
The adversity Covid has brought has made us all look at how we do things. It has given us time to question all that we do and change the things that we could have done better. With this, and with the great people within the industry, I believe that we will all come out of this period with a new outlook and an invigorated book industry.
What do you most like doing when you're not working?
Spending time with my family and going to the gym.
What is the best book you've read in the last year?
This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay.
What are you reading now?
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.
How do you like to read: on screen, on paper, or do you listen to audiobooks?
On paper of course!