The SYP Conference, publicity and our paper fetish

On Saturday I had the pleasure of speaking at the annual Society of Young Publisher’s Conference 2011 – giving three seminars, together with Alison Baverstock, on publicity. When our lovely SYP host, Katie Lewis, told us our seminar was the most heavily subscribed to, admittedly my first thought was: ‘Uh oh, pressure is on!’ , but that was quickly surpassed by the delight in having so many enthusiastic young students and career-changers interested in publicity. The majority of interns and graduates who want to get into book publishing tend to always be interested in editorial (or occasionally marketing) whilst publicity is often overlooked.  So it was lovely to have the chance to describe the practicalities of the job – how varied, creative and stimulating it can be (and yes, frustrating too) – and show the important role it can play in the process of book publishing.

Whilst I was busy giving my own talks, there were plenty of other interesting seminars going on discussing rights, design, social media and digital content. I did however manage to make it to the opening debate about the Future of Publishing. The chair had hoped for some heated arguments but found the pannelists to be far too agreeable (we’re really a friendly bunch, us in publishing) but two claims stood out from the  discussion: Chris Meade’s (The Institute of the Future of the Book) revelation that we all have a secret paper fetish, and Alastair Horne’s (Innovations Manager, CUP) most tweeted comment, that ‘Publishers are like the Austro-Hungarian Empire pre-1914’. I’ll leave you to mull over that one.

All in all a memorable day. Thanks again to The SYP for inviting me to attend!

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity & Online Marketing Manager

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