The Thought Fox honoured in the Webby Awards

A long time ago, in a digital agency far, far away, we designed and developed Faber’s blog, The Thought Fox (named after a Ted Hughes poem, as if you didn’t know). It’s always been a piece of work we were proud of, and it’s also one of the first WordPress projects we undertook for a publisher. So we’re very pleased to hear that it was an Official Honoree in the Blog – Cultural category of the 16th Annual Webby Awards. Apparently fewer than 15% of submissions were distinguished as an Official Honoree, which signifies an outstanding caliber of work. It’s a great testament to the content and editorial vision of Faber. Check it out.

If you’re a publisher who would like to get blogging, we can help – get in touch.

Bookswarm builds website for Faber Factory

Faber Factory is a unique digital service by a publisher for publishers that offers:

  • text digitisation: file conversion, management and distribution
  • excellent relationships with a wide range of retailers and aggregators around the world
  • free storage
  • expert and comprehensive sales reporting

Bookswarm designed and built the new Faber Factory website in time for the 2012 London Book Fair, using WordPress as the content management platform. Visit the new website now to find out more about Faber Factory.

A new look for Gallic Books

Bookswarm has designed and built a new website for independent publisher Gallic Books. Gallic was founded by Managing Director, Jane Aitken, working with Editorial Director, Pilar Webb. Colleagues for many years at Random House UK, they are both committed francophiles.

In the five years since they began publishing the very best of French writing in English, Gallic’s range of titles has broadened significantly. This year they are introducing an exceptional author to their list, Pascal Garnier. They are also publishing original fiction for the first time with Jocelyne Rapinac’s Freedom Fries and Café Crème, a delightful collection of foodie short stories – with recipes attached! And they will continue to publish more from established authors, including Anna Gavalda, Guillaume Musso, François Lelord and Jean-François Parot.

Now that Gallic owns and runs its own bookshop, Belgravia Books, the brief was to create a new site with a clearer focus on the book trade – so we have built a streamlined catalogue site allowing easy browsing and searching. To simplify title data management as much as possible, the catalogue is uploaded by means of a simple spreadsheet, rather than having to be laboriously managed directly on the site – and, like Gallic’s previous site, the whole thing is based on WordPress for simple and effective content management.

Visit the new website at

If you’re an independent publisher and would like to talk about your website needs, please contact us.

Canongate works with Bookswarm – Imagine the possibilities

Bookswarm has worked with Canongate Books to create a new site in support of Imagine, by Jonah Lehrer. The site is a bank of ideas, a place where users can share their creative thoughts and tips for harnessing the imagination.

Created in association with Wired Magazine, the site is a celebration of Imagine, a new book by leading neuroscience writer Jonah Lehrer, which shows us how we all have the capacity to be creative. Users can share their own ideas, or browse the categories to see examples and tips from Jonah himself.

The website is based on our favourite platform, WordPress, and uses the excellent Gravity Forms plugin to take the contents of the ‘Share your idea’ form and convert it directly in to a blog post, which, once approved by Canongate, appears on the home page in an attractive PostItNote style.

If you have a need for title-driven or campaign-driven microsites, please contact us.

Bookswarm develops Sales Extranet for Faber

Bookswarm has developed a Sales Extranet for Faber that combines the ease of use of WordPress with the power of Faber’s bibliographic data systems. The password-protected website is designed to allow both export and UK trade customers to keep up to date with Faber’s forthcoming titles and search all of the publisher’s in-print and print-on-demand titles. It also allows easy access to all a title’s sales assets and Faber’s catalogues and stocklists.

As well as using WordPress’s tried and trusted interface to manage news articles and manage customer login details, Bookswarm developed an importer that takes an ONIX data feed from Faber’s Biblio system, and its associated Digital Asset Management (DAM) system. That means users can search across Faber’s list of titles and view digital Advanced Information pages for every title.

If your company uses ONIX-based bibliographic systems and would like to discuss ONIX-powered Extranets or websites, please contact us.

Bookswarm and Aimer Media deliver Guru apps for Octopus

As part of our consultancy enagement with Octopus Publishing Group, and working with app developers Aimer Media, we are proud to be able to showcase the Guru apps: My Pilates Guru and My Yoga Guru. These free apps, developed for iPad and iPhone, are designed to accompany the books of the same name and have been created as an integral part of the experience of learning Pilates or Yoga.

Using the apps, the user can search and browse exercises, view step-by-step photography for each exercise and add exercises to their own custom exercise plans. They can also track their acitivity levels so they know what level of difficulty they are achieving and what parts of their body will benefit the most.

As well as being released for the UK market, an initial batch of five co-edition publishers have also contracted for the books and apps in their own languages and some of these have already launched, with the remainder following on soon.

Search My Yoga Guru or My Pilates Guru on the app store to download the apps today.

If you have books that would make good apps, or need apps as an integral part of your publishing strategy, get in touch.

All the fun of the (London Book) Fair

Bookswarm will be attending all three days of the London Book Fair – so if you would like to take the opportunity to talk about a project or just meet up for a coffee and a chance to get to know us better (Simon’s favourite drink is green tea and he’s very partial to cake) please contact us – we’d love to see you!

April is Double Points Month on Love Your Indie

Love Your Indie, developed and operated by Bookswarm on behalf of the Independent Alliance, and sponsored by The Guardian, has double loyalty points in April. Until midnight on 30th April, cardholders get TWO points on your card for every £10 they spend in participating shops.

Bookswarm is very proud of the work that has gone in to Love Your Indie – if you haven’t visited already, take a look.

Hamlyn launch QuickCooks – with innovative digital element

Hamlyn, an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group, has launched an innovative new mass-market cookery series, with a significant digital element realised by Bookswarm.

The books themselves are clever and convenient: simply choose a recipe from the book, work out how much time you have then cook the 30-, 20- or 10-minute version. To make life even easier, this website allows you to use the special code on each recipe page to email yourself a recipe card for printing (see image) or a text-only shopping list.

The digital functionality was conceived and specified by Bookswarm as part of our consultancy engagement with Octopus, and we also designed the QuickCooks website and, working with Django developer Steve Jalim of Some Fantastic, developed the database that holds all of the recipes and the content delivery mechanisms.

Visit the QuickCook website

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