MEET THE SUPPLIER: BOOKSWARM

1 What's your company called?
Bookswarm.

2 What services or products do you offer?

We design, build and host websites for publishers and authors, almost always using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS), which is now the most popular CMS in the world (although it wasn’t when we started). We’ve been around since 2008, so we’ve got an extensive portfolio of projects for publishers, including ecommerce websites, catalogue sites and promotional microsites.

3 How can you help IPG members?

Although we’ve only just joined the IPG we’ve got a long track record of delivering website projects for IPG members, including indie stalwarts like Icon, Atlantic and Profile, and more recent start-ups like Swift Press, Barbican Press and Academie du Vin Library. We’re always happy to talk to IPG members about creating new websites or evolving and updating existing ones.

4 What do you enjoy about working in publishing?

The people—and I’ll admit, when I [Simon Appleby] started working in publishing, the opportunity to come away from a meeting with a bag of lovely free books was always a thrill! It’s also given me the opportunity to meet and work with some amazing authors, the standout being the late, great John Le Carré, who I met at the launch of his son’s debut novel.

5 What do you think is the single biggest opportunity and the single biggest threat for independent publishers right now?

Some of the threats have been around for so long that they may no longer feel like threats any more, but the newest one, that we’re seeing a lot at the moment, is that Brexit and the new VAT rules for British publishers selling into Europe mean that many publishers and specialist retailers will put it on the ‘too hard’ pile and withdraw from that market—a sad state of affairs.
Websites and social media do still offer great opportunities for publishers and authors to build stronger relationships with readers, which is more important than ever now. Publishers need to think of innovative new ways to use the technology, though—you can’t just run the same kind of campaign or promotion all the time.

6 What do you want to get out of belonging to the IPG?

We are looking forward to attending the conferences, which we’ve heard great things about from many clients over the years, taking advantage of networking opportunities, and getting more industry insight from the IPG team.

Visit the Bookswarm website