5 Minutes with Rebecca Smart

5 Minutes with Rebecca Smart

Rebecca Smart is Managing Director of Ebury Publishing, one of Penguin Random House UK’s publishing houses. Ebury is the group’s non-fiction specialist and the UK’s leading publisher in many categories including food and drink, personal development and parenting. Understanding a broad range of readers is therefore crucial to the company and Rebecca has brought consumer insight into the heart of its publishing.


What was the last book you read?

I’m currently reading Peach by Emma Glass, and Educated by Tara Westover.

How did you buy it?

I bought Peach as an ebook via Kobo – I’m a long-standing customer. The Tara Westover is a proof.

And what did you read it on?

I’m reading Peach on the Kobo app on my iPhone 7+.

What’s next on your reading list?

I am about to re-read Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager, a brilliant thriller we’re publishing later this year. I read the manuscript but Gillian Green, the editor, tells me that the ending is now even better and I can’t wait to read it again.

Tell us what you do in 20 words.

I support, encourage and challenge people to help them fulfil their potential and to achieve success as publishers and entrepreneurs.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out in publishing today?

Hustle hard. Be proactive and show your passion – ask to be involved in everything. And keep questioning until you fully understand what’s behind any issue.

Which is your favourite bookshop or e-bookstore and why?
It has to be Blackwells in Oxford – you can almost literally get lost in books there. It’s a maze. A maze of books.

Go on, let us know your musical guilty pleasure.

I love a cheesy dancefloor anthem. I am well-known for requesting the same two tracks on any night out – Disco 2000 by Pulp and Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.

What was your first job?

My first job was as a production controller at a small medical publisher in Oxford. It gave me a brilliant grounding in the whole publishing process.

What do you love about The London Book Fair?

I love the sense of community – it’s a great reminder of how lucky we are to work in an industry populated by lovely people who share a belief that books change lives.


Rebecca Smart will be chairing the discussion on Know Your Readers: Practical Consumer Insight to Help Improve Your Decision-making at Quantum: Inspiration Informed by Data on Monday 9 April 2018

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