Looking back at 2015: our fifth year of publishing
Five years ago, in January 2011, Nosy Crow published its first book, and the following month, we published our first app.
So we’re five years old!
It felt scary and daring and exciting to have started a publishing company.
But we were clear in what we wanted to do.
We wanted to create books and apps that were child-focussed: we always have in our minds the child or children at whom a particular book is aimed, not to limit its audience, but to make sure that we have a real reader in our heads when we are shaping, packaging and positioning anything we publish.
We wanted to create books and apps that were parent-friendly: we always have in our minds the adults – usually parents, sometimes teachers and librarians – that we are speaking to when we blog or use social media.
Five years on, it still feels a bit scary and daring and exciting, and we’ve published:
- 238 books
- 17 multimedia apps
- 96 straight eBooks
- 60 audio books (as part of our Stories Aloud free downloads initiative)
- 38 enhanced iBooks
Many of these books and apps have won prizes, and, as a business, we’ve won multiple industry awards and small or new business awards.
Our awards shelf today.
We finished 2015…
- With a turnover of over £5 million. We are now the 15thbiggest publisher of children’s/YA books in the UK, measured using Nielsen data based on sales to consumers out of bookshops. In 2015, £1 in every £100 spent on children’s books in the UK was spent on a Nosy Crow book. Our books aren’t only sold in the UK though: around half our sales come from outside the UK, and we’ve sold rights in 28 languages.
- The winner of awards as diverse as the Blue Peter Best Story Award (for Pamela Butchart’s The Spy Who Loved School Dinners) and FutureBook’s Best Children’s Digital Book award (for our app, Snow White) to the Independent Publisher’s Guild’s Digital Marketing Award and Young Independent Publisher of the Year Award (for Tom Bonnick)
- In contact with people. We relaunched our website, and had 250,000 unique users (up 10% on 2015) and 928,000 page views (up 8% on 2015) from pretty much every country in the world. We have 34,752 Twitter followers and 5,379 Facebook likes. We ran a programme of masterclasses for aspiring children’s book writers and launched a series of illustrator salons.
- Having supplied hundreds of thousands of copies of Open Very Carefully to reception class children via Book Trust’s BookTime giving scheme
- Donating £30,000 for WarChild after selling 6,000 copies of Refuge within 2 weeks of publication
Our awards shelves after five years of publishing
Catherine Stokes joins Nosy Crow as Head of Sales and Marketing in January 2015. Since then our Sales and Marketing team has grown to five people and our UK sales have increased by 58%.
Tom Bonnick and Kate Wilson at the IPG Awards in March 2015
Assembling the Nosy Crow stand at the Bologna Book Fair in March
Paula Harrison receives a Golden Egg to celebrate sales of one million copies of The Rescue Princesses books
Thomas Flintham and Pamela Butchart (right) with Katie Thistleton at a Hay Festival event celebration of the Blue Peter Book Awards in May
Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton at the launch of Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Cat Burglar, in July
Philip Ardagh signing copies of The Grunts at the Edinburgh Festival in August
Cupcakes for the Nosy Crow Masterclass in September
David Solomons at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival in September
Sam Usher and Irving Finkel researching Refuge at the British Museum in October
The Nosy Crow stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October
Nosy Crow staff exchanging Secret Santa presents at the office Christmas lunch in December
In 2016, we will publish 95 books, most of which will be simultaneously published as ebooks, and a handful of innovative multimedia apps. There are brilliant debuts; a household name or two; and many, many authors and illustrators whose work we’ve been nurturing since we started.
We’ll launch our first list with the National Trust, and our first book – a tie-in with the forthcoming blockbuster Sunken Cities exhibition – with The British Museum.
We couldn’t have done any of this without our authors, illustrators, paper-engineers and other creative collaborators, who are as talented and hardworking as they are fun to work with. We couldn’t have done it without the booksellers, online retailers, librarians and publishers outside the UK who have found our books and apps engaging and attractive and just right for the people they sell or lend books to. And we couldn’t have done it without every single person who’s bought or borrowed a book or app to share with a child, who, in turn, we hope has enjoyed that book or app as much as we’ve enjoyed making it.
Now we are five!