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Catching up with the Trail blazers

Catching up with the Trail blazers

The Trailblazer Awards, run by the Society of Young Publishers in partnership with the London Book Fair, aim to highlight young publishing professionals in their twenties who have already done great things in the industry. The first ceremony was held in February this year, and the winners have been keeping busy since.

Ella Kahn and Bryony Woods (Diamond Kahn and Woods Literary Agency):

  Kahn and Woods won a joint award for their work at the Diamond Kahn and Woods Literary Agency, launched in 2012. According to Kahn, working at the agency has given her “the chance to work in close collaboration with authors, and to be involved with them in every step of the publishing process, rather than just one particular stage of it”. Since the awards, they’ve been signing new authors and brokering deals. Some of their children’s authors have already added to the agency’s success, with David Owen’s Panther shortlisted for the Sheffield Children’s Book Award. At the same time, however, they both agree that literary agents are finding life harder in recent years due to the rising popularity of self-publishing among authors. Yet, they remain optimistic. “There will always be demand for books and authors-and for agents who can negotiate the best deals in a fast-changing market and protect those authors’ rights and interests.”

Clio Cornish (Harlequin):

 For Cornish, an editor at Harlequin, being named as a 2016 Trailblazer “really was a genuine honour and career highlight.” Like Kahn and Woods, she hopes that publishing remains relevant. “Authors have an ever-increasing number of routes to market on offer–which means that, as publishers, we need to offer the best service possible.”

Nick Coveney (Kings Road Publishing & Blink Publishing of Bonnier Publishing Group):

  As the Head of Digital and Social Media at Kings Road Publishing and Blink Publishing, Coveney has a good understanding of the digital market. “We’re definitely going to see things change again in the ebook market soon,” he claims. Though mobile and cloud-based reading is growing at a slower rate in the UK than elsewhere, Coveney believes that there will be “a second of third-wave with ebook sales spiking, but when it’ll come and exactly what it will look like is hard to predict.”

George Burgess

 George Burgess, the Co-Founder of the Edtech Founders Exchange and Founder and CEO of the UK’s most popular exam preparation app company, Gojimo, was just 17 when he created his own A Level prep app. Now, only a few years later, one out of five A Level students uses Gojimo to revise. “It’s an honour to have been named a Trailblazer”, says Burgess. “I think it’s a testament to the innovative work we’re doing at Gojimo. Since winning the Trailblazer award we’ve been working hard to prep for the exam season. This included the development of our new product, Gojimo Tutor, which goes live this month, as well as improving our existing revision app. It is now being updated every three weeks and we’re already seeing a quarter of a million users revising with it each month, and that number will only continue to increase through June.”

Source : Kirkbride, Jasmin “Catching up with the Trailblazers’.” London Show Daily, April 2016, 27


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