Happy New Year and welcome to 2010!!
We’ve had a little break, enjoyed lots of good food, some of us have moved house, and most of us have been snowed in at some point. So, now that’s all out the way, we’re ready to go and make this an even more spectacular year than 2009 – although it’s going to be hard to beat with all we’ve accomplished in the past 12 months!
Since we ended the year with an assortment of artwork from books currently in production, I thought we’d start the new year by introducing our Business Development Director, Richard Murphy, in the time honoured tradition of a short interview.
Richard, welcome to Insomnia Publications – now you’re on the Red Eye its official – great to have you on board. Over the past couple of months, amongst other things, you’ve been working on ramping up the scale of the company, analysing how we’re working and how we can push forward even further in the industry.
Tell us a little bit more about your background?
Thanks very much, it's great to be a part of Insomnia and I'm looking forward to working with everyone. My main background is in product design and business studies, particularly business in and around creative industries, although, I studied everything from national economics to art and in my later years in education I studied in depth creativity, production quality and project management. What I enjoy most is to take all the briefs and tasks and apply my methodology of analysis and problem solving to secure the strongest possible end result.
What inspired you to join Insomnia?
Crawford’s vision, drive and motivation to succeed in such an interesting, diverse and growing industry; the potential of the medium and the Insomnia brand really drew me in. The opportunities these present for the company and creators are fantastic and I instantly wanted to be involved.
You’ve been working with the Insomnia Management Team for a couple of months now, getting a feel for what the company requires and what you can do to help make these things happen. What do you find rewarding in your new role?
Since I joined the company, everyone has been very responsive to what I’m looking to achieve. There’s not much of a lag and Insomnia is a very tight network which is great to work in.
What’s exciting is that there’s no limitation to the vision of the company. Crawford is keen to try new things, and isn’t afraid to dive in the deep end and get his feet wet and he’s happy for his management team and creators to do the same. Seth Godin, the business and marketing guru said:
“Please understand that book publishing is an organized hobby, not a business. The return on equity and return on time for authors and for publishers is horrendous. If you're doing it for the money, you're going to be disappointed.” (Seth Godin, 2005)
Insomnia is not someone’s hobby, it’s a proper business and part of Crawford’s vision is to change this view of publishing - Insomnia is very different to what publishing used to be - and it's very exciting to be a part of it.
I love creativity, the creative industry and enjoy this the most – Insomnia has hugely tangible products which is becoming a rarity now days and working differently to the current industry makes it hugely interesting and challenging.
How do you feel about Insomnia’s ethos towards creators?
I’m fascinated by how much control and creative freedom the creators are allowed – as I mentioned before, the lack of restrictions really allows everyone to push themselves and strive to produce something to the best of their ability, which is a completely different way of thinking. It involves a lot more trust than traditional publishing models from all parties. One of the elements we’re looking to build on is the community feel to the company – it’s completely unique – and we’re enhancing this so creators have more communication between each other enabling them to build up an even tighter network. In fact, the private forum for “Insomniacs” will be live very soon.
What are some of your plans for the company?
Ah, see I was hoping you’d ask that! Obviously I think Insomnia is a great publisher, offering some fantastic publications and I’m very excited to see that extend to more publications with wider styles and variety, pushing the medium to its full potential. New stories can be told in fresh, innovative and interesting ways, rather than conforming to traditional ideas of what a comic book is.
I’m really hoping to get a broader sense of the industry, to appeal to a wider audience and get them to appreciate the medium. I believe we can do this by providing them with interesting, engaging and enjoyable stories, which can help them get into reading.
Although the comic book has been around for decades, this medium is just at its first stages of evolution – the story of Graphic Novels has just begun.
Finally, what are your thoughts on the digital movement?
I think Graphic Novels are already well placed to capture peoples’ interest and imagination in the rich media world which we live in – we have interactive bus stops and even adverts on buses and trains are now full videos which include sound, so developing this form of literature and art for screen is a logical step. However, I believe that digital isn’t competition, it’s complimentary; it’s an opportunity to expand the experience and Insomnia is hoping to show this with forthcoming digital projects.
And so the development continues...
Later this month, our first event of the year will take place in Edinburgh with Burke and Hare... in fact 3 events on the anniversary of Burkes Hanging, the 28th January.
First, at 4.30pm there’s a signing at Forbidden Planet which Joe Gordon and Kevin O’Donnell have very kindly arranged, next at 6pm, there’s a talk from Martin Conaghan at the Central Library, Edinburgh Room, with another signing after if you miss the first one at FPI, and finally there’s an opportunity to attend the Burke and Hare tour after the Library which John Landis recently attended during his research for his upcoming Burke and Hare movie.
More information will be available on the Insomnia website and Facebook pages in the coming days.
See you next week!