• The Publishing Post

Starting a Publishing Business: ReadIn Publishing

By Kayley Stanbridge and Kelly Hides

This issue we talk with María Fernández Ramírez, CEO of ReadIn Publishing, a small UK independent publishing business founded in December 2020. María tells us that “even though it is new, it is already growing!” and that it is “now a branch of a bigger brand: ReadIn Services”, a division that will allow the business to grow in different directions while keeping it centralised.


When asked what her inspiration was, María tells us,I have always been fascinated by books [and this fascination] grew and grew until it became a passion.” Although María originally thought she would express this passion as a writer, her approach changed when she started her Publishing MA at UAL in October 2020 and tried publishing her own work. “I wanted to learn more about the process of writing, making and selling a book. ReadIn Publishing started as a small project to put into action what I was learning during my masters.”


Looking at the challenges she’s faced during this process, María tells us, “although I was motivated, it was really hard. I had no idea about web management, I am not the best at finances, and my knowledge of marketing wasn’t what it is now.” Throughout the creation process, María explains that she “watched videos and attended courses and seminars about every single thing I needed to start my business.” As she was already working and studying, María had to do all of this “at night, with the little free time I had… It was exhausting, but I would do it all again.”

Regarding the skills that María needed to achieve her goal of setting up ReadIn Publishing, she tells us, “my MA helped me develop skills I didn’t even know I’d need. I’ve learnt how to use InDesign through a very frustrating process. The same applies to budgeting using spreadsheets, marketing, the working processes of the publishing industry and the wide range of options available for printing.” Alongside that, María has found the SYP (Society of Young Publishers) and International Publishers Guild very helpful with the “wonderful range of tools and information” they provide. Additionally, María is also a fiction reader for Outlook Springs, which she says is allowing her to “improve my editorial and proofreading skills.”


A particular element that distinguishes ReadIn Publishing from other publishers is its goal to focus "not on a single discipline”, meaning they publish not only books, but magazines and other forms of media. María explains that this decision was “inspired mainly by my character and personality. I am a very creative person, so I want ReadIn Publishing to be a safe place for creative minds and their ideas. Hopefully keeping this multimedia format will help me accomplish that.”


Looking at the goals that she has in mind, María explains, “Some objectives I have set are releasing the first issue of Insta ART Magazine, publishing our first book from an external author and to keep learning about the publishing industry whilst strengthening our position in the local market [Oxfordshire and the UK]”. In the long term, María would like to expand across Europe and publish in other languages, as well as grow the team. “We are always open to new submissions,” she says. “They can be submitted via email to readinpublishing@gmail.com.”


Currently, María does the majority of the work herself, with her partner in charge of proofreading and being a second pair of eyes. She tells us that “some people have started contacting me about work experience, and although at the moment we do not have an established internship scheme, we are open to it.”


Like everyone, María has been impacted by the pandemic. She describes her frustration at stumbling blocks and lack of opportunities to create connections within the publishing network, saying, “I cannot go to a bookshop and have a talk with the owner [and alongside this] limited access to on-site facilities and services has kept pushing our deadlines forwards.” María acknowledges the impact the industry has faced as a whole and says that “a massive change is taking place in terms of what readers want and expect from publishers… Big publishers seem not to be reacting quickly enough to that change, which could explain the appearance of more independent companies who are driven by passion and are committed to establishing meaningful connections with their audience.”


However, María is hopeful and aspires to work as a Managing Editor one day. “I don’t want to be a boss, I want to be a leader: someone who my team can trust and talk to freely. I believe that I could make a positive impact and change the image people have of leading roles.”


Twitter - @MariaFe07057052 / @ReadInPublisher


Instagram - @readinpublishing


Website - www.readinpublishing.com

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