To set the company up for future growth and support the rapidly expanding trade divisions at Bonnier Books UK, Emilie Marneur, director of audience and business development, has announced a new structure of the marketing and publicity departments and a handful of senior promotions across both teams and the audio department.
Since joining Bonnier Books UK in late 2020, Marneur has been responsible for driving the company’s digital growth and transformation with an increased emphasis on direct-to-consumer and consumer-centric initiatives.
“As a business, we’re constantly looking to take the next steps forward to publish and promote our books in the best possible ways, meet the needs of our customers, and play to the strengths of the immense talent within our ranks,” Marneur said. “I am confident that these promotions, and the skills of the leaders we now have in these roles, will power us through the next phase of growth as we continue to challenge ourselves and innovate on behalf of our authors, readers and listeners.”
After five years at Bonnier Books UK, Francesca Russell will step into the role of trade publicity director, working across the children’s division, Zaffre Publishing Group, and the newly created Black & White Publishing Group. Francesca first joined as publicity director for fiction and has seen her role expand across both adult trade divisions and now the children’s division too. Marneur said: “Francesca is a seasoned and excellent publicist and has been instrumental in the success of many of our fiction and non-fiction bestsellers over the years. She’s a fantastic leader and I continue to be amazed by her team’s output, creativity and the quality of coverage they are able to secure for our books and authors.”
Rob Power is promoted to trade marketing director, with the adult and children’s marketing teams reporting into him. Power joined Bonnier Books UK as head of children’s marketing in late 2021. Under his leadership, the children’s marketing and publicity team delivered its best-ever year last year with a record number of bestsellers including Where’s Spidey, which was the 31st bestselling book of 2022, with a TCM of over 170k copies sold across the year. Marneur said: “In less than two years, Rob has brought incredible new talent into the business, put digital marketing and innovation at the forefront of our activities, developed his team and transformed how the children’s marketing team operates. We can’t wait to see him apply that innovative thinking across all adult trade marketing as well.”
Reporting into Power, Emma Quick is promoted to head of marketing, children’s trade. In the last three years, Quick has risen from senior marketing executive to heading up marketing for Bonnier Books UK’s children’s fiction list, Hot Key Books. She launched Hot Key’s TikTok channel in 2020 – the first publishing TikTok channel in the UK – and has been instrumental in driving some of the business’ bestselling titles including What I Love About You, We Were Liars, and Holly Black’s bestselling Folk of the Air series. Power said: “Emma is a real talent – a first class marketer, an innovative thinker, and a passionate advocate for children’s publishing in all its multifaceted variety. She’s grown into an exceptional leader and mentor, and we’re all excited to see what she has in store for our best-in-class children’s marketing team.
Two further changes are being made within the audio division. Jon Watt is promoted to trade audio and business development director. Watt – also the current chair of the Publishers Association audio group – has been leading the audio team at Bonnier Books UK since 2018. Under his leadership, the company has seen its audio revenue increase over 30% YoY over the last few years. In this new role, Watt will expand his business development responsibilities beyond audio and will support Marneur in identifying new retail and publishing partners with a view to maximizing revenues for our books and authors. Marneur said: “Jon’s agility, commercial acumen and strategic thinking have helped us forge strong business partnerships, which have in turn enabled us to grow our audio sales and revenue year on year. It’s that entrepreneurial mindset that makes him a natural fit for this expanded business development role and I look forward to working closely with him in this capacity.”
Reporting into Watt, Laura Makela will step up to the role of head of audio, to oversee audio across both the Zaffre Publishing Group and children’s trade. Makela also joined the company in 2018, as audio operations manager. Watt said: “Laura’s exceptional understanding of and insights into production, operations and the market have been instrumental in developing the audio division at Bonnier Books UK. In the last three years alone, Laura has been responsible for producing acclaimed audiobooks, including Minnie Driver’s Managing Expectations (winner of the IPG Non-Fiction Audiobook of the Year 2023), Parenting Hell (shortlisted for the Nibbies Non-Fiction Audiobook of the Year 2023) and Lynda La Plante’s Prime Suspect (shortlisted for an Audie in 2020).”
All changes will become effective on July 1st 2023.