Georgina Aldridge is a sales executive at Clays who works with indie authors and small independent presses. Founded 200 years ago, Clays is based in Suffolk and specialises in the production of monochrome paperback and hardback books. We asked Georgina about the services Clays provides to indie clients, and her advice to authors looking to self-publish and print their book locally.
Tell us a bit about your role at Clays.
I have worked at Clays for around two and half years as a Sales Executive, looking after indie authors, micro publishers and small independent presses. Day-to-day, I help customers place orders, deal with production and new enquiries, and price up quotations for orders.
How long has Clays been working with indie writers and self-publishing clients?
Clays have been working regularly with indie authors for around four years, and have now worked with around 200 indie authors.
Clays invested heavily in digital printing several years ago, and digital printing has allowed us to offer short-run printing economically. This has then allowed us to work with a much broader range of customers who didn’t always want to print longer runs.
What are some insider tips for authors who are looking to self-publish and print their book in the UK? What is the smallest print run that you do?
My tip would be to do your market research by going into a bookstore; look at what size most books in your genre are; do you like any special finishes that are on the books?; what price are they selling at?; the cover design; cover finish, etc. And always have your distribution plans sorted before going to print!
The smallest print run we currently accommodate is around 50 copies, but most authors print between 100 and 500 copies (although some print much more if they have a good sales plan).
Tell us about some of the books you have helped to print.
I have been lucky to work on some fantastic books by indie authors so it’s hard to pick! Just a couple of examples would be working with Christine Webber on her two really human and heart-warming books Who’d Have Thought It? and It’s Who We Are, and with Mark Hebwood on Happiness Rules, which is an insightful and accessible exploration on happiness.
The small independent presses I work with are constantly bringing out great titles (and making my bedside reading pile higher and higher!) but a couple of highlights have been OWN IT!’s Moments of Significance by MC Angel, a really honest and gripping book of moments from her life, and 404 Ink’s Nasty Women, an eye-opening book of essays on being a woman in the 21st century – essential reading.
What are you currently reading?
I have just finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, which was absolutely stunning and worth the hype. Next up on my enormous bedside pile is The Leavers by Lisa Ko, which I can’t wait to get into!
Find out more about Clays Indie Publishing on their Twitter.