ALPSP Seminar:

The Future for Smaller Publishers


Tuesday 24 September 2013 (full day)

Royal College of Pathologists, 2 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AF Tel: 0207 4516740 (map)

Chair: Timothy Wright, Chief Executive, Edinburgh University Press

Overview: This seminar will focus on the future for smaller or Society publishers and how they can compete in the fast moving scholarly publishing market. Initiatives that work for big publishers with large portfolios, staff numbers and turnovers would just not be sustainable for smaller publishers - so how can they modernise, advance and participate?  The day will include case studies of small-medium sized publishers highlighting their plans, innovations and how they see their roles changing and developing. It will be accompanied by input from agents, intermediaries and third parties on how they can assist smaller publishers, as well as advice from a larger publisher.

Who should attend: Small to Medium Book and Journal Publishers publishing 1 - 50 titles per year.


09.15  Registration and coffee

09.45  Introduction from the Chair
Timothy Wright, Chief Executive, Edinburgh University Press

10.00  Case Study - The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery
Peter Richardson,
Managing Director, The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery
This session will focus on journal publishing strategies for smaller publishers, based on the speaker’s experience at a leading specialist orthopaedic publisher, and previously at the Royal Society of Medicine Press. Topics will include: The need to focus and specialise; Wholly-owned  vs society-owned titles – winning society journals against corporate publishers; Strengths and weaknesses vs larger publishers; Marketing & sales issues, including consortia sales and Successful out-sourcing and partnerships.


10.30   Case Study – Bioscientifica
Kathryn Spiller
, Head of Publishing, Bioscientifica

This session will take the form of a case study of the speaker's own experience of coming into a small publisher that had not launched a new product for 25 years and developing a long-term strategy for growth and a culture of innovation. The session will look at identifying distinctive capabilities, and developing a strategy around these; launching new products (including market research) and developing your team.


11.00  Coffee


11.30   Why big isn’t necessarily beautiful: Surviving and thriving in an uncertain world

Julia Mortimer, Assistant Director, The Policy Press

There is nothing as constant as change and this couldn’t be truer for journal publishing right now.  Where should smaller publishers be focusing their attention in order to stay afloat and indeed flourish amidst all this chaos? What can we flaunt that is impossible for larger publishers to emulate and how can we bat alongside them when we need to?  These are some of the issues that will be discussed in relation to the Policy Press’ future strategy.


12.00   The heat is on – get out of the kitchen or call in the experts?
Ann Lawson,
Senior Director Publisher Relations and EBSCOAdvantage, EBSCO

Technological advances, globalisation, library budget cuts and new business models can present apparently insurmountable challenges to the smaller publisher. This presentation casts an eye over the historical landscape, considers what it means to be a smaller publisher today,  before exploring techniques and tips to remain competitive. Do new business models such as Open Access and pay-per-view offer exciting new ways for SME publishers to compete? How can working with intermediaries help publishers focus on their core business, reduce costs, gain efficiencies and remain viable?


12.30  Lunch


13.30   Making the most of your assets - how strategic marketing can help smaller publishers

Camilla Braithwaite, Marketing Manager, TBI Communications

Future-proofing your organization is not about crystal ball gazing; rather it is about ensuring you are in the best possible position to be able to adapt to whatever comes your way, and seize the opportunities presented. Greater competition for readers, authors and library budgets means smaller publishers need to make clever use of new marketing tools to keep up with the better resourced, larger competitors. The greatest asset for any small society publisher is their connection with their communities; but is this being leveraged effectively? How can they connect with their customers better and ensure they keep in touch with their needs?


14.00   Seven steps to punch above your weight: how working collaboratively helps
Suzanne Kavanagh, Director of Marketing & Membership Services, ALPSP
Working collaboratively can add real value to what you do and how you do it and there are a number of ways in which you can do this through formal – and informal – networks. Drawing on a number of  industry case studies and examples drawn from the history of ALPSP and other membership organisations, this session will help you understand the seven steps you can take to punch above your weight as a smaller publisher.


14.30  Coffee


15.00  A practical guide to online hosting

Louise Russell, Consultant, Tutton-Russell Consulting

With evolution occurring within the digital publishing landscape, the number of options for how publishers deliver their content online have increased, the number of standards publishers must adhere to have multiplied and the number of tools readers wish to utilize as part of their content consumption habits have grown considerably. With this landscape in mind how can small and medium sized publishers keep up with the latest developments and remain competitive in a cost effective manner? Which factors should be considered when selecting an online hosting partner? This presentation will review the hosting options available and provide a practical guide to some of the key factors in this space including industry standards, branding, visibility and discoverability.


15.30  Both sides now: Advice from a larger publisher
Kathryn Earle,
Head of Visual Arts Publishing, Bloomsbury

This presentation will provide concrete tips to smaller publishers from a larger publisher perspective. From market knowledge to author relations to innovation, there are many ways smaller publishers can compete.  Kathryn Earle will provide some insights resulting from the sale of Berg Publishers to Bloomsbury.


16.00  Questions and closing remarks followed by networking reception



For further information please contact:
Melanie Goinden (email; +44 (0)208 3900964)

Registration Fees (including lunch)
ALPSP Member: £200.00 excl VAT (£240.00 incl VAT @ 20%);
Academic: £220.00 excl VAT (£264.00 incl VAT @ 20%);
Non-Member: £335.00 excl VAT (£402.00 incl VAT @ 20%)