A few days of Onix evangelism in the UK

Spent the last ten days traveling in the UK trying to see and help as many publishers as possible with their title information. Will write a little more later about what I found in terms of the acceptance and understanding of the importance of good title information and the role Onix has to play in the publishing supply chain. Anyway, a pictorial diary of a typical week.

Waiting on Sunday at the Bombay Bar by gate F63 for the SAS flight to Heathrow:

Bombay Bar, Arlanda Airport

Horrible hotel room in North London as had to spend time with France Lincoln in Kentish Town the next day but at least could walk to their offices from there:

Queen’s Hotel

Dinner comes from kebab shop by Tufnell Park tube station:

Kebab shop

Then spend time working on title information and training Frances Lincoln staff on Onix and title management generally and spend my evening before going back to lovely hotel reading newspaper and having dinner at Assembly Rooms pub in Kentish Town which importantly has free wifi:

Assembly Rooms

Then I have to get the train from Kentish Town up to Luton Airport so I can check in to the airport IBIS hotel in order to catch the 6.30 am flight to Edinburgh. Get up at 4 am and get ready; check out and get across airport to terminal and check in for flight. Arrive in Edinburgh and go straight to Edinburgh University Press and do much the same in the morning as was doing in London and then go to Black & White Publishing also in the city to again to talk up Onix. Like this image in their lobby not sure who the artist is:

Black & White Publishing

Check into IBIS in Edinburgh city centre:

IBIS Edinburgh

Leave 8 am from outside hotel to Geddes & Grosset publishers in New Lanark:

Outside IBIS

Arrive at New Lanark. This is an amazing place which is now a World Heritage Site consisting primarily of the old mills and the houses built for the workers:

New Lanark

And Geddes & Grosset are based in the house of the founder of the village (David Dale) with a great great view:

Geddes & Grosset office

Spend night in Edinburgh as 6 am flight to Heathrow next morning so spend evening at cinema and having UK pub food with its quite bewildering allegiance to bits of lettuce (as ‘garnish’) on the side of just about anything regardless of how inappropriate:

English garnish

Day in London catching up on few things then get train to Cardiff to see Welsh University Press to again talk about effectively managing title information:

Train One

So get to Cardiff talk through managing title information then back in a cab to the station for a five hour train journey to Aberystwth. I am going there to talk on behalf of the Welsh Books Council to their member publishers again about the importance of making sure good quality title information gets into the publishing supply chain in a timely manner and hopefully to demystify a little for them this whole ‘Onix’ thing they keep hearing about. So more trains:

Train Two

I note during all these train journeys that the cost of any one of these journeys dwarfs my flights to and from Edinburgh. Indeed for a few hours on the UK rail network you could get a an Aer Lingus flight from Shannon to JFK. Anyway, arrive at the Welsh Books Council high on the hill above Aberystwth bay and talk to lots of publishers and I think they get it but guess time will tell. At the end of the day many of these are small publishers who are under resourced so finding extra time to spend on quality title information is going to be tough when there are books to get out the door. But think I impressed upon them ‘better title information equals more books sold’ and they understand that.

Welsh Books Council

Great view from the door of the Books Council though! Can’t be too bad to have to come to work here everyday:

View from door of Books Council

Night in lovely UK Bed & Breakfast place on the seafront:


Before get back on train for five hour journey to Swindon to see a publisher called Green Umbrella to try and spread the Onix message even further:


Get back in London in time to watch the Arsenal v PSV game in a London pub with my friends Gary and Paul:

Gary & Paul

Get up the next day and attend a meeting with a very switched on guy at the Arts Council and the equally switched on Snowbooks team of Emma and Rob about the UK publishing industry and whatthe future may look like before makng my way to Heathrow and catching the flight home:



Filed under: Free wifi, Hotels, Onix, Publishing

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