Thanksssss, Harry


At the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, drinking Butterbeer alone on Privet Drive like some kind of wizard rebel

Today – 26 June 2017 – marks 20 years since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

It’s fair to say I have invested quite a lot of time and energy on the Harry Potter books over the past 20 years so, in honour of the occasion, here are a few personal memories for the show reel:

  • ‘Borrowing’ my little brother’s copy of Philosopher’s Stone at the age of 14 during a family holiday to France and ignoring the beach/sun/all human people to read it from cover to cover.
  • Passing Harry Potter related notes with my friends in sixth-form history classes, because that’s the kind of rebel I was (sorry, Hermione.)
  • My first boyfriend stopping by my university hall of residence to give me an empty Harry Potter biscuit tin because I had a Harry Potter watch and he thought (correctly) I’d be interested in keeping the tin (still have the tin.)
  • Becoming a little bit obsessed with the ‘ink-and-paper-twin’ dedication in Half-Blood Prince (it’s the loveliest book dedication ever, don’t argue.)
  • Pre-ordering Order of the Phoenix weeks before it came out but somehow oversleeping during a summer holiday lie-in and missing delivery, then having to drive my parents’ car to the teeny tiny village sorting office in order to pick it up when a) it was still ridiculously early, b) I hated driving and, c) there was nowhere to park so I left the car on a double yellow line (it was fine, there was no ticket.)
  • Being devastated when an ‘I Open At The Close’ Golden Snitch necklace my sister ordered as a birthday present went missing in the post (still gutted now.)
  • Visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour ON MY OWN. TWICE. (In my defence, the first time was because my friend was ill, the second time was because I got a ticket to Hogwarts in the Snow on a last-minute deal and nobody else could make it.)
  • Pottermore – thank you, Pottermore.
  • Autocorrect’s repeated changing of Dobby to Debby. There it goes again – how is Dobby not a universally known name after 20 years? (Before anyone starts, I know Dobby didn’t appear in Philosopher’s Stone so technically it’s not 20 years but you know what I mean.)


Thanks for the memories, Harry.

BookMachine Works

So here’s some news… I’m very excited to be part of BookMachine Works, a creative events and marketing agency for the publishing industry and wider book trade.

As of this week, myself and four other amazing ladies are ready and waiting to help you with your book-related event, project and/or marketing campaign.

Between us we have a vast array of experience in events, marketing, PR, project management, content creation, copywriting, email, social media, digital campaign management, publishing, editorial, brand management, stakeholder engagement and A LOT more.

BookMachine, for those who haven’t heard of it, is a global community for publishers. Providing everything from events to white papers and job alerts to industry news, it’s a place for anyone working in the industry to get together, learn and network.

Now, the launch of BookMachine Works offers authors, businesses and publishers big, small and in-between the opportunity to make use of all our expertise. We’ve worked for a lot of different businesses, publishers and author brands. Oh and also, we all love books. So let us help with yours.

Interested? Take a look at the website for more information.

What is a copywriter?

I’ve been asked variations of this question a few times so three months in, a couple of projects down, and one slightly-neglected-blog-crying-out-for-content later, I thought I’d attempt a response.

‘Attempt’ being the operative word. Copywriters are basically (obviously) writers and every writing project is different, so there isn’t an easy answer.

But let’s try.

So – what is a copywriter?

A copywriter is someone who writes content for marketing, advertising or brand communication purposes. Typically, they will be commissioned by companies or editors to create content for a campaign based on a specific brief and for a particular audience.

What sort of projects do copywriters work on?

There are all sorts of ways a copywriter can help your business, including:

  • Drafting Search Engine Optimised FAQs, features, interviews, blog posts, company biographies and other pages for your website
  • Creating Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram captions, email newsletters and much more for your other digital media channels
  • Writing copy for posters, advertising material, signage, brochures, flyers, listings and other promotional print material
  • Other writing projects such as crafting press releases and captioning catalogues

How do copywriters work (and charge)?

It depends on the project and if you have something specific in mind then you will want to create a brief first, but for me, there are a couple of ‘typical’ copywriting projects – either:

  • Providing ongoing copywriting support across various channels (digital and print). This could mean agreeing a set amount of days per week or per month on a rolling basis, or it might be a specific engagement on one particular project. In either case for me this usually goes hand in hand with digital marketing planning and social media management
  • Otherwise, I might respond to a brief to create one discrete piece of content – be it a blog post, an interview, a feature, a webpage, a flyer, a list, whatever. This is usually paid on a per-project basis

If you’re hiring a copywriter for a specific purpose, should they be a specialist in your sector?

Generally speaking (and there will be exceptions) I would say that if YOU are a specialist in your sector, then it is not essential that your copywriter is. Good written content is good written content, no matter what the subject matter. I’d argue it is more important that you find a copywriter whose style works for you and your business, rather than someone who is a technical specialist.

If you work in a specialised industry, though, it becomes even more important to ensure that the brief you provide to your copywriter (and to any supplier) is thorough. Make sure you are totally clear about what you want them to provide, and be willing to work with them on any edits.

Got more questions, or a project you’re looking for help on? Get in touch here.