Reflections of a Newcomer

In this post Julia Morris reflects upon the qualities and values we aim to develop at Critical Publishing.


It’s been about three months now since Critical Publishing won the IPG Nick Robinson Newcomer of the Year Award. The hectic schedule of the last few weeks, with the bulk of our books publishing during May and June, has meant that Di and I have well and truly come back down to Earth. Sticking inspection copies in envelopes isn’t the most glamorous of activities! Nevertheless  it has been amazing to experience the warm glow of industry recognition, which means a lot when you are working in isolation in your front room. In addition it has provided an opportunity to both reassure and share our success with all those who have taken a punt on us – authors who could have chosen to go with bigger and more established publishing houses, suppliers who believed us when we promised we could pay them, and students / professionals who have placed their trust in the quality of our products.

In recent times there has been a focus on the question of where our value lies as publishers, as free content, open access and self-publishing trends continue to impact on our businesses. For small publishers this must to some extent lie in the very personal service we can provide to our authors and customers, and for Critical Publishing this is manifested in the following characteristics:

  •  Fun – we love and enjoy what we do and we want our partners to experience this too, from the joy of having your first book published to reading a case study that makes you laugh;
  • Accessibility and support – it’s important that all our partners can reach us really easily and that we offer a high level of support whenever it’s needed;
  • Simplicity – we are committed to making things easy, from ordering an inspection copy to understanding a contract;
  • Flexibility – we can adapt quickly, and can offer bespoke commercial solutions  in terms of production and promotion for any book that requires special treatment;
  • Criticality – this is in everything we do, from the way we think about strategy to individual student questions in our books.

Of course Critical Publishing wants to get bigger, but as we grow we are determined to keep these values and ways of working at the heart of what we do.


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