Today in our Meet the Boydell Team series, we invite you to glimpse into the marketing department, specifically the UK marketing department. Allow us to introduce Sean Andersson, Sales & Marketing Manager in our UK office.
What led you to your current role at Boydell & Brewer?
A small print ad in a Saturday issue of The Guardian. “Pah, no-one ever gets those jobs!” Catharina, my friend and usually much more encouraging work colleague explained when I mentioned it. “And where is Suffolk anyway?”
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in Marketing?
I’d say pick a business type first: academic book marketing is very different to Trade marketing and both are worlds away from many other marketing approaches. And some good sales experienced helped me too, being at the sharp end of finishing deals, grinding out quotations and exchange rates and INCO terms. It emphasised the significance of the mundane day-to-day issues that can slow, delay or derail customers’ purchasing decisions. Marketing should account for realities rather than just wishful thinking.
What’s the absolute best part of your job?
Leeds IMC! People spend almost all day complimenting B&B, spending money and saying how beautiful the books are. It’s like a really busy, quite stressful, very tiring spa day for the soul – for five days.
What’s the best day you’ve ever had at work?
Very early on I got a very large order (150 copies) for a single book (Vauxhall Motors and the Luton Economy, 1900-2002). “This is the way forward”, I thought. But it wasn’t and never happened again.
Briefly outline a normal working day for you.
When I’m in the office I get there at 7:10 or so, and open the lopsided metal gate. I unlock and open up the office, catch up with Vanda, catch up with Sofie, then hit what was left over from yesterday’s to-do list. Prep a new day’s to-do list and work down that. There’s no regular pattern, it could be anything unless a catalogue is underway in which case that’s always priority and other things have to fit in around it. Tuesday and Friday are review list days, which is always fun if time-consuming. I’m generally off around 16:15. Working from home is much the same, except I start a bit earlier and there’s no heavy, back-straining, mis-aligned gate to open. I hate that gate, BTW.
What’s the view from your desk?
Rectangular cork board ahead, with some offer codes, staff subject responsibilities, pictures of Garbo and William Holden (not together, unfortunately). To my left: hmmm, more pictures of Garbo and Holden, a picture of a B-17, some more info sheets and a view out of one of our two windows, which is mostly sky from my usual angle but if I sit up a bit I can see the train track and, between 08:00 and 09:00, the tangle of cars pulling up and parking outside the children’s nursery next door: large SUVs out of which pop, or are lifted, from their hulking and wholly unnecessary middle class armoured vehicles, tiny little ones, not all of them terribly happy about any of it.
What’s the best thing on your desk?
My PC is very impressive: super-quick and it never forgets. It’s a daily inspiration. That and my coffee flask.
What are you currently reading?
Scania Cavalcade (at breakfast), The Universe in Bite-Size Chunks (at lunch), and Almost Perfekt and/or The Tide Went Out in the evening.
What’s your beverage of choice?
Black coffee! Or a Sidecar.
What’s one Boydell book that you’ve worked on?
I’m going to pick Medieval Wall Paintings by Roger Rosewell. It’s glorious, absolutely beautiful, got great reviews, sold very well and was of interest to a very wide audience – it was an unalloyed pleasure to work on AND largely sold itself. Perfect.
If you could choose a book for us to publish on ANY subject, what would it be?
The world needs to know more about the remarkable life and military career of Karl XII. I think there’s still only one major work in English, so there’s definitely space for another.
What’s your favourite historical novel, film or play?
The Seventh Seal
You can choose up to four people from history to join your dinner party: who are they?
I think the people of genuine historical interest that I’m fascinated by would be a real handful all together: Joan of Arc, Richard III, Axel von Fersen, and TE Lawrence. So I’d probably go with people I’d really like to see and communicate with: Greta Garbo (of course); F. Scott Fitzgerald (if he kept off the sauce); Mike Collins (of Apollo XI); and either Pontius Pilate or Lt John Chard, the man generally believed to have led the defence of Rorke’s Drift.