‘Ahead of her Time’ is a fascinating memoir about Judy Piatkus who set up her own publishing house, Piatkus Book.
Attempting to start a career at a time when it was still hard for women to even have a career, Judy went one step further and set her own publishing house, Severn House before starting Piatkus Books. This is the story of how she built up an indie press to the huge success it became before it got bought by Little, Brown Book in 2007.
This tells the story of how her little indie press started in an office in her house with just a team of two to a team of twenty eight in a building in central London and the huge success it became.
Judy goes over the difficulties and challenges that she faced when owning your publishing house but the rewards you get too.
She was faced not only with owning her own publishing house but trying to figure out how to sustain a balanced life with a family of three. You learn a lot about her life as she was faced with going through a divorce and the choices that she was dealt with with a child growing up with cerebral palsy.
You could really feel the love she felt for her children and the sadness she felt with knowing that their marriage was no longer working. There was a couple of moments, I found myself choked up reading all about her story.
Judy was an outstanding woman who strived to do her best for her children and for the company, from ensuring her staff was looked after to author care.
She talks all about how she went from working in a publishing house to learning all about the business whilst also trying to figure out the ins and outs such as sales to marketing.
She also talks about the moments when she met the Queen and dabbled with other important people who worked in the book business.
It was such an interesting read and she goes into a lot of detail. I loved reading about such an inspiring woman. Despite the challenges she faced, she never gave up and succeeded in her dream.
I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking to go into publishing as its such an insightful read of owning your own publishing house and the insides and outs of the book business.