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Floris Books

Floris Books – Chani McBain & Sarah Webster

October 30th, 2017 by Kate Bailey | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Floris Books – Chani McBain & Sarah Webster
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Our visiting speakers in week five were Chani McBain and Sarah Webster (a graduate from our MLitt) from the marketing department of Floris Books in Edinburgh. 70% of the books Floris publishes are children’s books, making them Scotland’s largest children’s publisher. The other 30% of their output are books for adults based around Rudolph Steiner education, philosophy, and holistic living. Floris likes to keep most of their work in-house, so they use very few freelancers and the people that work there usually work on all of their titles. The exception is that they have one person working exclusively on the adult books because he has specialist knowledge of the subject.

Chani explained to us that all the departments in Floris work very closely to make sure that all the elements of a book related to one another. For instance, the content needs to be reflected in the blurb, in the cover design and in the marketing materials. Apparently this can lead to some very strange tasks being shared across departments! Chani told us that the week before she came to visit, she and one of the production controllers had been scribbling on a copy of their new sticker book to see if the paper used in it was also suitable for a colouring book they would like to release next year!

Sarah’s day-to-day work in the marketing department is quite varied. She writes and proofreads marketing materials such as ebulletins to be sent out by email telling people about their upcoming or newly-released titles. Sarah warned us not to write this kind of marketing off – it is still one of the most effective forms of marketing that Floris uses! Design also plays a big role in Sarah’s work, as she uses programs such as InDesign or PhotoShop to create posters for events, catalogues or other promotional material. One of the new marketing strategies that Floris tried for the first time this year was having a Snapchat filter available for visitors to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where users could put their silhouette on the cover of Claire McFall’s Ferryman, which was published in June (see left). However, because Snapchat does not have live data analysis, they were not sure if it was a successful experiment or not!

When starting a new project, Chani says she finds it is helpful to imagine who her target consumer is for the book she is trying to market. She thinks about who they are, why they might be buying the book, how they might like to be contacted and where they might hear about the book. This helps her it market it towards this person in the most effective way. These things are obviously quite different for the children’s list and the adult’s list. For one thing, children are not the main consumers of children’s books, their parents are! So the children’s marketing is actually aimed at parents that might want to find their kids something to do on a long drive or while they are on holiday in Scotland. Whereas the adult’s books are more niche and the main consumers might look for them in speciality bookshops or hear about them online on community forums.

 Overall, Floris sounds like a really positive place to work and I am sure I was not the only person to leave Chani and Sarah’s talk to think seriously about a career in marketing!

 Picture credit: Floris Books

My Internship with Floris Books

April 29th, 2015 by Callum Mitchell Walker | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on My Internship with Floris Books
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9781782501824In February of this year I began a  4-month internship with Edinburgh based children’s and non-fiction publisher Floris Books and have greatly benefitted from this experience by enhancing my classroom learning in a professional environment. Mainly focused in the marketing department, I learned valuable new skills and was able to improve the abilities I had prior to my time interning. Although most of my tasks were marketing focused, one benefit of Floris being a small publisher is that I was given the opportunity to work on a wide range of tasks across other departments too and develop a greater understanding of the ways in which departments work together to optimize the effective running of company procedures.

Although Floris are a small Scottish publisher, they publish a wide range of non-fiction titles in areas such as biodynamics and holistic health as well as their popular children’s books. I was able to work on many projects across the different lists published by Floris and enjoyed working on marketing different books to different groups of readers.

9781782501251-3At the start of my internship I was warmly welcomed by the lovely Floris team and was introduced to the extensive Floris tea collection that I was encouraged to enjoy as often as I liked, before getting straight down to work. Throughout my internship I was able to work on a wide variety of tasks for the marketing department including writing press releases, drafting advance information sheets and designing promotional materials for events. I was unaware before my internship how often I would be utilizing my InDesign abilities in creating marketing materials and my first few weeks interning encouraged me too really practice these skills. However my tasks were not restricted to marketing, as I gained valuable editorial experience proofreading content and reading and reporting on submissions for the Floris annual Kelpies Prize, which encourages Scottish writing for children. I also helped assist the Floris team at the awards ceremony for the Kelpies Design and Illustration Prize, which awarded designers and illustrators who reimaged the cover of a classic children’s book in the Kelpies range of Scottish children’s fiction.

I’m very grateful for my time spent at Floris as I have received support, guidance and feedback from such a dynamic company. I have learned many essential skills that will benefit me in my future career from a fantastic, passionate small team. My internship has given me much more confidence in my abilities and has encouraged me to work on other skills to improve my employability when looking for my first job in the publishing industry. This experience has been completely invaluable to me by providing me with a hands-on approach to publishing practices and helped me to feel more enthusiastic than ever before about my future endeavours.