Innovation That Matters

Publisher launches academy for aspiring writers

Publishing & Media

Faber & Faber, which describes itself as one of the last of the great independent publishing houses in London, recently launched an academy for aspiring writers. The Faber Academy‘s inaugural creative writing course will take place from October 9-12 at Shakespeare & Company, the fabled English bookstore in Paris. Novelist Tobias Hill will be teaching a four-day course that focuses on “How to Tell a Story Without Telling Your Readers What to Think,” with Jeanette Winterson joining in for a two-part seminar on authenticity and voice in fiction. The course costs GBP 500 excluding travel and accommodation (but including lunch) and tickets were sold out within days of going on sale. A second course—also taught by Tobias Hill–will be held in London from October 30-November 2, and the publisher plans to organize future sessions in Dublin, Edinburgh and Berlin. Viewed through a consumer trends lens, the Faber Academy is a clear example of what dubbed status skills: “In economies that increasingly depend on (and thus value) creative thinking and acting, well-known status symbols tied to owning and consuming goods and services will find worthy competition from status skills: those skills that consumers are mastering to make the most of those same goods and services, bringing them status by being good at something, and the story telling that comes with it.” Other successful examples include the Nikon School and the BMW Performance Driving School. By helping aspiring novelists hone their writing skills under the tuition of its well-known authors, Faber & Faber builds a stronger connection with its core customers (participants are likely to be readers and good customers), and promotes powerful word of mouth marketing, since participants will no doubt be eager to share their Faber Academy experience with friends and family. All of which is great PR for Faber & Faber, and emphasizes their dedication to writing and writers, as opposed to mega-publishers who often seem solely focused on the bottom line. Last but not least, the courses could provide a welcome additional stream of revenue. If your brand isn’t already boosting its customers’ talents and abilities, this is one to learn from 😉 (Related: Out-of-print books, printed on demand by Faber Finds.)



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