Out and About with Matador

As the UK's most widely recommended self-publishing service providers we are often out and about talking about self-publishing at conference and seminars.

Each year, Matador are invited to appear at conferences, debates, panel discussion and trade fairs to talk about self-publishing. We run workshops on self-publishing at some of the biggest writing and publishing events in the UK and host self-publishing experience days, and sponsor an annual conference on self-publishing.

In this section, you can find out where we'll be next appearing and review some of the events we've appeared at most recently.

IPG Autumn Conference 2017

On 19th September, Matador was delighted to be present at the Annual IPG Autumn Conference in London. Sales and Marketing Manager Jonathan, Ebook Manager Megan and Marketing Controller Alexa attended the event, along with over 300 other delegates following a packed programme with more than 20 speakers across 17 sessions.

With Keynote speeches from Saatchi and Saatchi London’s chairman and chief strategy officer Richard Huntington and The Future Laboratory, the day was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about all aspects of publishing. Other speakers included Facebook’s Ed Couchman, Nic Bottomley of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights and BBC Radio 4’s books editor Di Speirs. The day also offered attendees the chance to attend sessions on pitching rights, making the most of freelancers and accessing the global supply chain, as well as leaving time for networking between sessions.

Speaking after the event, Alexa said: “The conference was an extremely interesting day. Not only were the sessions on marketing fascinating, but the sessions on the other aspects of the industry were all really informative and useful too. It’s encouraging to see such passionate and knowledgeable speakers and I can’t wait to put some of the new ideas into action!”

Scottish Association of Writers 23rd-25th March 2018

Matador’s MD, Jeremy Thompson, will be adjudicating the self-publishing competition at the Scottish Association of Writers Conference 49th Annual Conference in March 2018. As well as picking the winning entry, Jeremy has been invited to run a self-publishing workshop and will feature as a ‘dragon', in the Conference’s ‘Dragon’s Pen’ event which will see attendees pitching their ideas to an expert panel.

For more information about the event and competition, visit the Scottish Association of Writers wesbite:
http://www.sawriters.org.uk or get in touch on Twitter (@ScotAWriters)

Gardners Trade Show 2017

Members of Troubador’s Marketing team, Alexa Davies (Marketing Controller) and Emily Castledine (Marketing Controller) will be attending the Gardners Trade Show on Sunday 10th September 2017. The trade show brings together publishers and 100’s of independent booksellers to talk all things books and take a first look at the big titles for Christmas!

Speaking ahead of the event, Emily said: “As we work closely with Gardners, I am very much looking forward to the Trade Show on Sunday. It’s an excellent opportunity for Booksellers to gather and showcase our key Christmas titles, engage with publishers and members of the Gardners team. The keynote speech from Brian Blessed should be interesting, too!"

“I’m excited to show off the brilliant books that we publish,” says Alexa. “The trade show will be a great opportunity to cultivate our relationship with Gardners and the independent booksellers whose work is so important for self-published authors."

Gutenberg Press Visit

Troubador’s Senior Production team, Chelsea Taylor (Production Manager) and Rosie Lowe (Production Controller) will be visiting Gutenburg Press in Malta later this week as part of their drive to consolidate supplier relations and bring the best in print quality and supply to our authors.

‘We’ve worked with Gutenberg for several years now, and know them for their high quality colour work, but this will actually be our first visit to their plant in Malta. It will be fantastic to meet the production staff that we talk to day to day and to learn what exciting new developments are in the pipeline that can benefit our authors,' says Chelsea.

‘I’ve worked closely with our UK digital print suppliers previously,' says Rosie, ‘so am now looking forward to exploring the world of long-run full colour printing while in Malta.’

Chelsea and Rosie will be in Malta from the 26th to 28th July.

TLC Writers’ Day 2017

Last week, Matador’s Sales and Marketing Manager Jonathan White attended The Literary Consultancy’s third Writers’ Day. Jonathan took part in the afternoon’s Finding Markets panel alongside Julia Kingsford (literary agent, marketing consultant and formerly Head of Marketing at Foyles) and Stefan Tobler (Publisher at And Other Storiess and translator).

The panel discussed the importance of marketing books, finding routes to market and building relationships, with each speaker offering key insights into the publishing industry. A rapt audience came away buzzing with new ideas and tweeting their praise using the hashtag #WritersDay17.

Speaking after the event, Jonathan said: “I thoroughly enjoyed attending the Writer’s Day and being part of the panel discussing marketing of writers and their books. With the panel including a publisher, an agent and myself we had a good mix of backgrounds and different expertise. The discussion was lively and informative and, I believe, the writers came away understanding the importance of marketing their books both in getting them published and in achieving sales of the book once they are.

I also enjoyed attending the other sessions while I was at the conference. It was a very successful day.”

Read a full write-up of TLC’s Writers’ Day at https://literaryconsultancy.co.uk/2017/06/tlc-writers-day-2017-write/

Winchester Writers' Festival 2017

Matador will once again be present at the Winchester Writer’s Festival which runs from the 16-18th June 2017. Our Editorial Assistant, Katherine Ward and Publishing Assistant, William Kelly will be running our exhibitor stand for the duration of the Festival and will be networking with the writers and other exhibitors.

Now in it's 37th year, the festival supports new and emerging creative writers, with a three-day programme of workshops and talks on all aspects of the writing and getting published. Attendees can also book one-to-one appointments for feedback on their own work. Speakers include top literary agents, commissioning editors and authors.

Speaking ahead of the event, Katherine said: “The Winchester Writers' Festival offers such great opportunities for authors to network and find about more about their craft. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to meet them and to show off the brilliant work that we do here at Matador.”

For more information about the Winchester Writers' Festival, visit http://writersfestival.co.uk

IPG Spring Conference 2017

Last week members of the Matador team were delighted to attend the IPG Annual Spring Conference in Oxford. The event took place from 8th – 10th February and featured a jam-packed programme with more than 30 expert speakers.

Keynote speakers included innovation expert and author Terence Mauri, and head of digital and communities at Innocent, Joe McEwan. Other speaker included copywriting expert James Spackman and web search guru Glynn Davies. The day also offered attendees the chance to attend talks on getting books onto retailer’s shelves and spotting market trends, as well as leaving time for networking with industry experts.

Speaking about the event, Assistant Marketing Manager Alice Graham said: “The conference was a really informative two days – the speakers were knowledgable and the whole experience was really helpful, not just for marketing but for the company as a whole. We've all come back with news ideas and initiatives that we can't wait to put into action.”

Book Marketing Society Masterclass

This week Assistant Marketing Manager Alice and Marketing Controller Jasmin had the pleasure of attending a Book Marketing Society Masterclass at Nielsen's offices in London.

The theme of the session was backlist marketing campaigns, focussing on how marketers can work towards increasing sales of backlisted titles. The masterclass, chaired by James Spackman, agent and publisher of cycling books, saw three marketing teams discuss their various approaches to multi-title marketing. The campaigns that were discussed included Penguin's Dawkins' Anniversary campaign, Little, Brown's I [heart] Atwood campaign and the #ByBook campaign run by Penguin Random House.

Speaking about the masterclass Jasmin explained: "Having the opportunity to listen to how other marketers have approached a campaign is always fascinating. The masterclass provided us with a chance to work collaboratively and to share ideas with like-minded individuals, and both Alice and I are looking forward to taking those ideas back to Matador with us."

Matador's 3rd Self-Publishing Experience Day

Following the success of previous events, Matador is pleased to announce its 3rd Self-Publishing Experience Day, which will be taking place on 25th January 2017. The experience offers existing and potential authors the opportunity to discuss their projects and self-publishing more generally with the staff from Matador.

Held at Troubador Publishing's office in Leicestershire, the day looks at all aspects of publishing a book or ebook: from editing the manuscript to cover design; print on demand to digital printing; marketing and distribution and much, much more.

The day includes talks and interactive workshops covering all areas of self-publishing, as well as a tour of Troubador's distribution and warehouse facilities.

If you're considering self-publishing as an option for your own work and want find out more about the Self-Publishing Experience Days that Matador offers, keep an eye on the website for future dates.

Futurebook Conference 2016

On Friday 2nd December, our Ebook Manager, Rachel and Ebook Production Controller, Megan are heading to the Futurebook conference in London. Futurebook is an annual, day long event that’s run by The Bookseller. This year, they have combined three specialist conferences into one; delegates can swap between them freely depending on the topics that are most relevant to them.

Featuring talks from experts in all different aspects of digital publishing, it’s the ideal opportunity for us to engage with speakers on elements that are important to us and to our authors. A range of topics are going to be discussed: the evolution of audiobooks, developing workplace skills in accordance with emerging digital requirements, and enhancing ebooks to greater effect, to mention just a few.

Speakers include members of the Futurebook and Bookseller teams, audiobook gurus and technological trailblazers from start-ups as well as from more established companies. It promises to be an excellent forum for digital minds to come together and get to grips with how technology continues to affect the publishing industry as a whole. We can then interpret how that’s going to impact on self-publishing and on what we do at Matador. It’s bound to be an inspiring day that gives us lots of ideas that we can integrate into the ebook department.

Lightning Source Visit

Troubador's Production department will be visiting one of our printers, Lightning Source, in Milton Keynes on Friday 25th November where they'll be learning more about their printing process and how their manufacturing works.

Rosie, Rob, Hannah and Will, as well as our Distribution Manager Sam, will be touring Lightning Source's world-class printing facilities and will be able to see first-hand how print on demands orders are dealt with and printed.

Ahead of the visit Production Controller Hannah explained, "I am really looking forward to our upcoming trip to Lightning Source and the opportunity to meet our contacts there. I am especially interested to see how a print on demand printers works in comparison to the traditional printers we have visited before."

Triskele Lit Festival

Matador are proud sponsors of the Triskele Lit Fest, a free festival packed with author talks, publishing information and a pop-up bookshop for indie and traditionally published authors to sell their books. The festival will be taking place at Lift, Islington on Saturday 17th September.

Production Controller Jack Wedgbury will be chairing the sci-fi and fantasy panel, which is one not to miss! But, there are also exciting panels throughout the day focusing on crime and thrillers, historical fiction and romance. Jasmin Elliott, from our marketing department, will also be on-hand throughout the day to offer advice on all aspects of publishing.

For more information about the event, click here: http://triskelelitfest.blogspot.co.uk

Matador attend People's Book Prize 2016

Group Marketing Manager Sarah Taylor was proud to attend the People’s Book Prize awards ceremony this summer where two Matador titles were finalists.

Among the children’s entries is The Tragickall History of Henry Fowst by Griselda Heppel, a fantasy book for children aged 11 and over. Griselda’s first book, Ante’s Inferno, won the Children’s award in the People’s Book Prize 213 and the silver award in the 9-12 year old category of the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards 2012.

Described as ‘the perfect blends of engaging fiction and vile historical reality’, 16mm of Innocence by Quentin Smith was also nominated in the fiction category.

Speaking about the event Sarah explained, “It was a great atmosphere and a joy to see our authors nominated. Even though they didn’t win just being nominated is a fantastic opportunity.”

We wish Griselda and Quentin the best of luck with their writing endeavours!

For a full list of People’s Book Prize winners click here: https://peoplesbookprize.wordpress.com/2016/07/13/the-peoples-book-prize-winners-for-20152016-announced/

Swanwick Writers’ Summer School

Assistant Production Manager, Chelsea Taylor, and Marketing Controller, Sian Orrell, will be hosting a two-hour workshop as part of Swanwick Writer’s Summer School on 6th August.

The workshop will cover all aspects of book cover design from picking the right image and font, to how to write a blurb. Participants will have the opportunity to work on their own cover design, as well as getting feedback on their ideas and experiencing the different options and finishes available when designing a cover. Chelsea and Sian will be on-hand to offer their advice and answer questions throughout the day.

Speaking about the event, Chelsea said, “I'm really looking forward to talking at this year's Swanwick Writers' Summer School and giving prospective authors advice about cover design in particular, as it's such an important part of self publishing.”

Swanwick is famous for its eye-catching programme of speakers, courses, workshops, panels, talks and more. For a full 2016 programme, head over to the Swanwick website: http://www.swanwickwritersschool.org.uk/programme.html#.VvujFsagpft

Frome Small Publishers' Fair

Matador are delighted to be attending the inaugural Frome Small Publishers’ Fair this summer, organised by Frome Writers’ Collective. Marketing Controller, Sian Orrell, and Publishing Assistant, Hannah Virk, will be attending the event help on Saturday 2nd July at the Silk Mill.

The event will be attended by 15 exhibitors, as well as a range of publishers from across the country. Sian and Hannah will be on hand all day to offer valuable advice to budding authors about their projects, from editorial through to marketing and distribution.

"I’m very excited to talk to prospective authors at this year’s Frome Writers' Collective," explains Sian. "I can’t wait to share some top tips for producing and marketing books effectively and looking forward to talking about all things self publishing."

Frome Small Publishers’ Fair is part of the 2016 Frome Festival held from 1-10th July. For more information about the event, go to

Winchester Writers’ Festival

Matador will be at the Winchester Writers’ Festival for a fifth year running. Production Controller, Hannah Stewart, and Marketing Controller, Jasmin Elliott, will be attending the festival held at Winchester University and will be on-hand to offer writers the opportunity to enquire about self-publishing.

Speaking about last year’s event, Assistant Marketing Manager Alice Graham said, “I had a great time at the festival. It’s a fantastic place to meet writers, hear about their projects and help them on their way to publishing.”

Held from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th June, Winchester Writers’ Festival offers an exciting and innovative programme to authors, involving workshops, talks and one-to-one appointments with around 60 literary agents, commissioning editors, best-selling authors and publishing experts. The event aims to nurture and encourage new and established creative writers from around the UK and overseas working in all forms and genres.

"I think it will be a great opportunity to meet people interested in writing and publishing; I'm really looking forward to it and hope to see lots of faces there," explains Jasmin.

The Winchester Writers’ Festival is now in its 36th year. More information about the event is available at www.writersfestival.co.uk

The Self-Publishing Conference 2016

The 4th Self-Publishing Conference takes place on Saturday 7th May 2016 at the University of Leicester, with the event bringing together key figures in the self-publishing industry for the benefit of self-publishing authors.

This year’s Keynote Speaker is Caroline Sanderson, Associate Editor of The Bookseller; a plenary session is being given by Dr Alison Baverstock (Kingston University).

Other confirmed speakers for 2016 include Debbie Young (ALLi), Cressida Downing (The Book Analyst), Helen Lewis (Literally PR), Helen McCusker (Booked PR), Diego Marano (Kobo), and Clive Herbert (Nielsen), who between them will offer advice and expertise on everything from making sales, getting book reviews to publishing an ebook and editing manuscripts.

Registration is £65 per person – this includes a delegate’s pack, morning coffee, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, an early-evening drinks reception and a wide choice of over 16 sessions on different aspects of self-publishing.

For more information about the event, go to www.selfpublishingconference.org.uk

London Book Fair 2016

2016 marks the 10th year of Matador’s attendance at the London Book Fair.

Located at Olympia, the London Book Fair will take place from 12th to 14th April and a selection of Matador staff will be on hand throughout the event to answer queries about all aspects of self publishing.

Matador are exhibiting on Stand 2C70.

More information about the Fair is available here: www.londonbookfair.co.uk

Matador’s 2nd Self-Publishing Experience Day

Following the success of the first event, Matador are hosting another self-publishing experience at Troubador’s office in Leicestershire on 16th March 2016.

The day will offer attendees an insight into the world of publishing, with sessions being held by a variety of Matador staff on editing, production, ebooks and marketing, and much more. As well as talks and interactive workshops, Matador author, Andrew Lowe, will also be speaking about his experiences of self publishing.

Another experience day is scheduled for September 2016.

Assistant Marketing Manager at Writing East Midlands conference

Following the success of their 2015 events, Writing East Midlands have partnered with Loughborough University to give the East Midlands’ writing community access to leading professionals from the industry at their conference on 5th March.

Our Assistant Marketing Manager, Alice Graham, is delighted to have been asked to be a part of the panel, which discussed ‘creating a presence on the web as a writer’.

‘It’s a pleasure to have been asked to participate in this event,’ explains Alice. ‘I talked about how authors can build a marketing strategy, particularly about how writers can engage with the internet and social media to help them.’

Writing East Midlands is a charitable, not-for-profit organisation that works to promote, support and champion writing and reading within the region.