Meet the team

Alison Jones is the founder and director of Practical Inspiration Publishing. A veteran of the publishing industry, she worked for over 20 years with companies such as Chambers Harrap, Oxford University Press and Macmillan as an editor, publisher and most recently Director of Innovation Strategy. She founded Practical Inspiration in 2014 as a pioneering new publishing brand for business and lifestyle books, is Head Judge of the Business Book Awards and also hosts The Extraordinary Business Book Club podcast.

She coaches every PI author on planning and writing their book, and making it work harder for their business.

Shell CooperShell Cooper is the lynchpin of the operation, providing support to authors, managing finance and royalties, and keeping everything running smoothly. Before joining Practical Inspiration, Shell ran her own Virtual Assistant business and she’s an engineer by training: we think she might just be the most organized person on the planet.

Michelle CharmanMichelle Charman, our Publishing Assistant, manages our bibliographic system and all the metadata, expertly handling titles after handover through production in liaison with the project manager for each book. With over 25 years experience with publishers including Hamlyn, DK and Penguin, she’s a total publishing pro, and also a horse nut.

Judith WIseJudith Wise, our Marketing Manager, has over 17 years’ experience in publishing, in marketing roles with publishers such as Class Publishing and Handheld Press. As well as marketing the books and securing great features, reviews and speaking and writing opportunities for our authors, she liaises closely with our sales rep force, Compass: they say she’s the best in the business at keeping them up to date with new titles and all the promotion she’s secured for our books.

We also have two Development Editors who work closely with our authors to give feedback on the first draft: Sonya Barker (a former colleague of Alison’s at Palgrave Macmillan) and Jonathan Norman (previously at Gower Publishing and most recently Routledge).

Our production and design team is Newgen UK (formerly known as Out of House Publishing – we’re still a bit sad they’re no longer known as OOH Publishing). Based in Stroud and led by Jo Bottrill, they’re a fabulous bunch who handle all the production essentials: project management, page and cover design, copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading, file conversion and so on. They can also help with additional requirements such as sourcing illustrators or providing marketing materials.

For rights (for example negotiating a deal with a foreign publisher for the right to translate your book) our partners are Rights2 Agency, comprising Clare Hodder and Ruth Tellis, both ex-Macmillan and both highly respected in international publishing circles (Clare formerly headed up the Publishing Association’s Copyright Committee). What they don’t know about selling rights probably isn’t worth knowing. We always check with you before making a deal, and one of our favourite publishing moments is sending on the [Russian/Vietnamese/Finnish/delete as appropriate] edition of an author’s book to them!

Our sales representatives in the UK are Compass IPS, who represent a host of other superb business book publishers such as Emerald Group and Kogan Page. They take our books into key trade accounts, independent bookshops and libraries throughout the UK and Ireland and they have a fabulous team of regional reps who are always happy to work with authors to support local events.

In North America, we’re delighted to be working with Consortium Book Sales and Distribution from January 2020. The CBSD reps will be promoting our titles to the US and Canada book trade and library system, opening up a great opportunity in the largest English-speaking market for our authors.

We also work with The Book Publicist, Bookswarm and other partners to bring in specific expertise for our authors in areas such as PR and website design.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Same goes for a really successful book….