Five questions for: Joanna Reynolds, CEO of The Folio Society

Joanna Reynolds' company, The Folio Society, publishes illustrated hardback books.

What does your company do?

The Folio Society publishes illustrated hardback books. We select the key titles across all genres. Using artisan techniques we publish editions that are objects of beauty in their own right.

What’s been your greatest achievement?

Publishing attention-grabbing books, such as A Game of ThronesThe Aztecs and The Velveteen Rabbit, and seeing a new generation of readers turning to physical books and discovering the joy of The Folio Society’s editions. Another highlight has been bringing our books to a wider audience using omnichannel marketing – digital, social, PR, email and catalogues – with fantastic customer service. This was all done while growing The Folio Society’s US customer base. 

What has been your biggest challenge?

Not running out of cash. Publishing artisan-produced books is expensive and time consuming and margin is key. Ensuring all marketing channels work together and launching a new website were difficult tasks. Setting up a new enterprise resource planning system to improve our customer insight has also proved challenging, but it’s been worthwhile.

What are your plans for hitting your targets?

Publishing great books people want to read. We have a number of excellent titles coming up that I can’t share yet due to strict embargoes. We also plan to continue to grow overseas markets and to improve our retention rates by using data intelligently. 

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give fellow entrepreneurs?

You should always keep an open mind, keep a watchful eye and anticipate what’s happening in the world. Listen, because other people often have the best ideas, and then create a vision and plan for your brand, financial objectives and growth.

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