Before we finally wave goodbye to 2011 I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on another busy publishing year for Accent Press and Xcite Books. Thankfully we have managed to flourish despite the tough economic times.
Much of this has been due to the growth of digital content in both eBook and audio formats. Ebooks are a wonderful development for publishers because there is nothing to print, store, ship or get back (in a damaged unsaleable condition!) The downside though is that everyone can, and is, publishing so the quality is often atrocious. I firmly believe that this is where branding will rise within publishing and the discerning consumer will seek out brands that have known editorial standards. Xcite Books now has two editors, Antonia Adams and Elizabeth Coldwell – they have done a great job this year in selecting and editing our award-winning range.
Another big development in 2011 was developing our board – it was a bit scary moving from our cozy husband and wife format but it has enabled the company to grow and added a lot more structure. We were very lucky to be able to appoint Peter Newsom as Sales Director and Peter Ferris has taken a non-executive directorship. We meet quarterly at the Welsh HQ and, after the business is all wrapped up, a hearty soup lunch is shared. Their combined publishing knowledge is immense and their help and humour is much appreciated.
Peter Newsom – Sales Director Peter Ferris – Non-executive Director
We have published some great books this year and been privileged to work with some wonderful authors. Alison Stokes has been involved with two incredible books and helped bring these stories to market. The first, Running Free, was about Kate Allatt who has made a miraculous recovery from ‘Locked-In Syndrome’ following a stroke in 2010. As a young, fit mother of three she refused to accept the gloomy prognosis that would leave her trapped in her body, only able to communicate by blinking. Instead she fought every step of the way and in May 2011 was awarded the Extraordinary Women of the Year Award. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when she walked on stage and gave her acceptance speech!
Another amazing story is that shared by Hayley Okines and her Mum, Kerry in Old Before My Time. Hayley suffers from the rare genetic disease Progeria which causes her body to age 8 times faster than normal. She is already well known and loved by the nation because of a series of Channel 5 Extraordinary People documentaries and her books has been a huge success – we reprinted 3 times in December! They were both incredibly open and honest in their book which is why it is getting such great reviews. Click here for her blog.
It has been a fun year promoting the business at various trade shows and conferences. In April we were at the London Book Fair which was a whirlwind of marketing and partying! June found us at the Erotic Trade only Show where we won Best Erotic Book Brand for the second year in a row. In September I flew to Las Vegas for the Erotic Authors of America Conference which was fast and furious – a great few days. Peter Newsom represented us at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October – so far he has established new distribution for us in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and there have been some exciting rights sales too.
My thanks go to all the amazing authors and everyone on the Accent Press and Xcite teams that make it all happen. Here’s to an even better 2012!!