Book commissioning


In my past life I was lucky to dream up big ideas for beautiful gift books for my day job. My brief as a non-fiction commissioning editor was to publish

on-trend books for gift retailers.

I faced one problem: colourful, shiny books are costly to make.

So how did I solve a commissioning conundrum that left most ideas

hibernating in the top drawer?



~

Poems for a World

Gone to Sh*t




The solution? To find an idea that would shine on the shelves, without the top-dollar razzle-dazzle.


By working from the problem, I could outline my priorities for the product:

a bold title and cover on the outside, minimalist b&w goods on the inside.


A dose of data-crunching and market and merchandising research later, I took two trends as a jumping off point: Instagram poetry, and sweary self-help and stationery. I created Poems for a World Gone to Sh*t, an antidote to our f*cked-up times in the form of restorative poems old and new.


Target gift retailers Oliver Bonas and Urban Outfitters put in repeat orders and its success led to a follow-up book being published.






~

Brand author Sarah Knight


Get Your Sh*t Together Journal



If you dont live under a rock, youll have heard of the overlord of tidying, Marie Kondo. You may even have heard of the parody book, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by author Sarah Knight.


When Knights second book, Get Your Sh*t Together, took her sales into the millions, a brand was born: The No-F**ks-Given Guides.


As commissioning editor at the series UK publisher, I put my brand-publishing thinking cap on. Why not blend the bestselling IP on our hands and the latest self-care trend, wellness journalling?


Cue the Get Your Sh*t Together Journal.


Within a matter of weeks, the idea had the seal of approval, Id briefed the text designer and written the zippy content. Easy to pitch, fast to create, a hit worldwide.