Spotlight on our Speakers: Meet Margot Atwell!

We’re hosting the Export Exchange conference on January 28th in Montréal, a new event bringing together some of the best creative minds for a dialogue on innovation.

Ahead of the day, we’ve been asking our speakers to tell us a bit more about themselves, their business, and their export strategy. Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Margot Atwell from Kickstarter!

Name: Margot Atwell
Company: Kickstarter

1. What made you want to be a part of Export Exchange? Which topics and themes are you most interested to explore throughout the day?  

I’m interested in learning more about the challenges and opportunities facing Canadian publishers. I’m also hoping to discover new ideas from other industries that can help inspire the publishing community.

2. Which project or strategy has had the biggest impact on your career? Why?

If I Did It by The Goldman Family. It was a major challenge and a huge opportunity for Beaufort Books, the tiny publishing company where I worked. We had to figure out how to scale from a company with an average print run of about 3,000 copies, to publish a book with a print run of 200,000, all in less than five weeks. It was a real make-or-break moment for the company, and for me. After that success, we were much more confident about approaching difficult projects, and on a personal note, I was promoted from Managing Editor to Associate Publisher in recognition of the work I did on that book.

3. What inspires you the most about working in a creative industry?

The thing I love most about working in publishing is that I’m constantly learning, and constantly being exposed to new ideas by people who are passionate enough to dedicate years of their lives to writing and publishing a book on a subject.

4. What is the key to making a product stand out in today’s global marketplace? What makes an international success?

Not thinking of a book as a product! Taking the time to publish a book the way it needs to be published, and that starts with imagining who will read this book—forming a clear picture of who will enjoy this book, what attracts them to read a certain type of book, how they’ll find it, why they’ll enjoy it. From there, a publisher should always keep the readers in mind, and tailor the design, production, and marketing efforts to the individual book and its potential readers, instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach.

5. If you had to choose an alternate career, what would it be?

Does bookseller count as an alternate career? If so, definitely that. I just love talking about and sharing great books with others.

6. Which book has stayed with you the longest? Why? 

100 Years of Solitude is a book I return to again and again. The language is stunning, and the imagery is truly arresting. But more than that, the way time passes in the book, and the way the interests and traits of the characters are remixed and reborn in later generations of the family, is really fascinating, and feels true to life.

For more information about Margot, other Export Exchange speakers, or to register, please visit our website. We hope to see you in Montreal!

01/14/2016 | Events, Export, Export Exchange, Interview