5 minutes with Hermione Ireland

5 minutes with Hermione Ireland
Hermione Ireland
UK Trustee of Worldreader

Hermione Ireland is a UK Trustee of Worldreader and works with publishers to support their work fighting illiteracy around the world. Her background is in publishing, having spent 10 years as the Marketing and PR Director at DK, part of PRH, as well as time spent at Phaidon. She now runs Byte Consultancy, working for publishing technology clients. She’s passionate about using digital for educational and enabling purposes.

You can find Hermione on Twitter @hermioneireland.


What was the last book you read?
Jane Austen, The Secret Radical by Icon.

How did you buy it?
I didn’t—I got it at their 25th birthday celebration! But it was on my Christmas wish list so was very chuffed to get it.

And what did you read it on?
In print, it’s a beautiful book.

What’s next on your reading list?
Tough one—I think Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Which writer would you have loved to have met and why?
Jane Austen, I’m afraid—just so sharp and clever and seeing people.

What TV series are you obsessing over right now?
Unforgotten, written by a friend.

Tell us what your company does in twenty words?
Worldreader is a digital literacy charity, working to get books to the billions around the world who can’t access reading material easily.

What is the single biggest challenge facing the publishing industry right now?
Finding the sweet spot from a financial perspective in the value chain—it does such a brilliant job getting books to readers but there are so many threats to the existing model.

How does social media aid the publishing industry?
The engagement between readers and not just authors but the companies that support the authors is essential, especially in these days of one mega retailer who controls more of the retail marketing space.

Name your favourite app and why.
I have an addiction, which I’m about to seek professional help for, to a game called Hidden City. The developers are evil geniuses. Otherwise, I love Citymapper.

When was your first London Book Fair?
1994.

What is the one essential item you bring to the Fair?
My business cards!

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