Industry Insights with Sophie Seager, Marketing Manager at David and Charles
By Zahra Islam, Karoline Tübben and Katie Barnes
This week we interviewed Sophie, discussing her past experiences and current role, as well as her advice on keeping up to date with the latest marketing trends…
Have you always wanted to get into publishing? On that note, how did you know marketing was the department for you?
Oh, what a question! I have always loved books for sure, but never imagined I would work in publishing – especially without an education in publishing. Now that I’m in the industry though, I love it. It’s creative, ever-changing and presents new challenges all the time, which gives me space to grow, and I enjoy that! Marketing came to me partially by accident, and partially on purpose – I was always interested in marketing as a profession, and then, at my previous role, I was given a chance to train in it. I jumped at it and have been hooked ever since!
How did your roles at The Creation Station prepare you for marketing positions at David and Charles?
Well, my previous role sat in the arts & crafts space – which is the area we publish in at David & Charles, along with mind, body and spirit (MBS) books. That prepared me for the type of audience we try to reach, the trade and consumer shows we attend, as well as the language our customers use when talking about their crafts – which is endlessly useful!
What advice would you give for those looking to keep themselves updated on industry trends? Who do you follow on social media for industry insight?
I follow a couple of great accounts that handle a lot of industries but they’re always leading the way on the marketing front: Social Media Examiner, DTC Podcast & most recently I’ve been reading Steven Bartlett’s latest book – which I highly recommend. In terms of trends in the arts, crafts & MBS space, I am very lucky to work with some incredible commissioning editors who always have their finger on the pulse of the crafting community – they’re forever bringing in fresh ideas and concepts and I love it – those meetings are always my favourite!
What is the most unexpected or exciting thing you have experienced during your time as a non-fiction Marketing Manager with a focus on craft and creative categories?
Tough question! I was very excited when we started working with Pokémon™ – they are such an iconic brand, and it’s been amazing to see how they operate. In my last role, I was lucky to work with some other huge brands too and I always enjoy it. This year, we’ve published Knitting Peter Rabbit – again, an incredible chance to work with a world-renowned brand. The most unexpected thing from this job has got to be learning to crochet – I’d always loved the look of it, but just never knew where to start. Then Esme Crick published Mosaic Crochet Workshop with us and I was so stunned by the projects she designed, I thought “I have to try this!” and I haven’t put my hook down since.
When hiring, what would you say stands out for you/your organisation in a top candidate? Would you prioritise specific knowledge on craft and creative categories?
Oh, I don’t think you need to be into crafting to work for David & Charles. I think working for David & Charles will get you into crafting! A quality I think is present in everyone at D&C is adaptability. Publishing is an industry where things change all the time – there’s always a new hurdle to overcome, a new process to get used to, a new book to launch, and I think being nimble and able to adapt to new tasks as needed is key – the whole team here are great at this in my view!
What is something you're looking forward to for David & Charles?
I'm really looking forward to our publishing list expanding in 2024 – of course, I can't say too much about what's coming out soon, but what I will say is we have a new series in the MBS space that I think will be very popular and we've got an embroidery book that everyone is going to love – it will be iconic!