MY JOB AT THE CASEMATE GROUP – TOM BONNINGTON

1) What is your job title?
Marketing Executive for Casemate UK

2) How would you describe your job?
I market and promote the books for Casemate and our distributed clients

3) What does an average day look like?
No two days are the same. If it’s time for a new catalogue, I’ll be busy cutting blurbs, designing the layout and ensuring all information is correct. If I’m preparing for the launch of one our key titles, I’ll be in close correspondence with the author to discuss how to get the book in front of potential buyers. This will probably involve working on promotional articles with various editors of newspapers and magazines too. Most days you will find me either writing press releases, or dealing with review copy requests too. I’ll also be communicating with our distributed publishers for their big books coming up and working out strategies with them.

4) What is your career history prior to taking on this role?
This is my first job in publishing and I’ve been here for just over two years. I was originally an intern and then the previous person in my role left so I got the job. Previously I worked at Domino’s Pizza as a delivery driver during my university years.

5) What do you like best about your job?
I am in regular contact with very interesting people who are experts in their field.

6) What are some of the challenges of the role?
The number of books I have to market and think about. Every year Casemate and the distributed publishers release many new books, so it’s important for me to judge which ones have the most publicity potential beforehand.

7) What have been some recent highlights of the role?
We had a centre-page feature in the Daily Mail for our book The Flag in November, which led to some very dramatic sales. The recent campaign I worked on for On Her Majesty’s Nuclear Service went very well too, with the book appearing in many national magazines and newspapers, as well as the MSN homepage.

8) What skills do you need for your job?
You need to be friendly, creative, analytical and good at time management.

9) Why did you get into publishing?
I think books are very important to our society in many ways. Specialist publishers like Casemate offer information and stories that would be lost otherwise, and I think it’s very important that we provide that platform.

10) What advice would you give to someone looking to work or progress in the publishing industry?
Do a Postgraduate degree in publishing. It’s very difficult to break your way into otherwise. I hand-delivered CVs and cover letters to almost every publisher in Scotland to offer myself as an intern, and I only heard back from one and I think that was because my friend worked there.

And finally, what do you like to do outside of work?
I play a lot of tennis. I read a lot of books, and I have a large vinyl collection after pilfering my parents’ records from their attic, and buying from several excellent charity shops in Cowley, Oxford. I’m also a very big fan of Newcastle United, and often like to torture myself by watching them lose again and again.

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