Hope your week is going well? Overseas trips always provide me with new inspiration – it is good to get away and see what is happening in the rest of the world and come back refreshed and brimming with new ideas. As there is too much to share in one sitting I will spread this out over a few blog posts, this week I will be chatting about my visit to Search Press book publishers.
On Friday 14th June my daughter Stacey and I made our way to Search Press which is located just outside of Royal Tunbridge Wells a historical town in Kent, England. We had spent the last 2 days in a lovely country Inn and had the opportunity to explore some of the beautiful countryside around Tunbridge Wells.
We spent a day at Scotney Castle – a 14th century moated castle and country manor within a wooded country estate and I was in my element, it was so quintessentially English and the gardens and flowers were just out of this world! The beauty of these gardens, the numerous wildflowers, wildlife and insects that they attract were a huge inspiration to me and I plan to introduce these into future designs, so watch this spot!
As mentioned previously, two years ago I signed a contract with Search Press for future book titles, and have just completed my first commission with them for the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. The book will be released mid 2020. Search Press is the leading art and craft publisher in the UK , with offices in USA and Australia. They have won awards for the Best Craft Book Publisher in the prestigious Craft Business Awards, the craft industry’s highest accolade for a book publisher eight times since the awards began in 2006.
“With a team of nearly 40 people, many of them long-term employees, Search Press now publishes up to 100 of its own titles each year, as well as distributing books for other publishers. From the commissioning of an original idea to the final delivery of books into the warehouse, the publishing process is carried out ‘in-house’. A few books are bought in from other sources and labelled with the Search Press ‘stamp’, but they are always checked by Search Press before they are printed, so that they fit in with their style and publishing philosophy. “
This was my first visit to Search Press and we were warmly welcomed by Becky Robbins my editor and Mary Ellingham the publicity manager who showed us around the warehouse and offices. Having worked with Becky on the new book for several months it was great to put a face to the person behind the emails and phone calls and to see behind the scenes.
The warehouse where the books are delivered and stored was impressive! Rows and rows of books labelled and bar coded for easy access were laid out in an orderly fashion. The staff were busy taking delivery of shipments and moving boxes on haulage trolleys, packing and unpacking boxes of books, and preparing online orders for shipping.
I was surprised to see how many people were employed at Search Press, and the work environment seemed happy and relaxed in an open plan office format. My editor mentioned that working together like this could prove useful as if you needed something from another department you could just shout instead of picking up the phone ! There is a little garden outside with benches where the staff can have their tea/lunch and a dog lay quietly behind his mistresses’ desk whilst she worked.
I found I could identify with each department from Customer services, to print layout, graphic design, sales, editors,digital , and so much more. Whereas they have approx 3-4 staff members in each department I similarly tackle each job alone for my online business (on a smaller scale of course). I seem to remember asking a few of them if they wanted to work for me in Cape Town!!
Thank you Mary and Becky for showing us around, it was such a memorable visit and a great pleasure to meet you all. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we can’t wait to see a copy of the new book!
Till next time wherever you are in the world, keep smiling, and happy stitching.