Name: Sandy Roydhouse
Role: Business Director
Company: Clean Slate Press
My first job in publishing was… Working for Strathmore Publishing, the original publishers of Metro and More magazines in the early 80s. They also started a magazine in opposition to the Listener in 1983, Cue, where I was editorial assistant. It was “monopoly-breaking” in those days, the first time any other publisher had been “able” to publish TV listings. We also published great interviews and reviews, had a fantastic team of journalists, including Phil Gifford as editor, and our core staff of Stephen Stratford and Pauline Ray, but sadly, it didn’t last. After several part-time editorial roles (while juggling three young children), I moved into my main area of passion, educational publishing, when my youngest was 10, and have worked full-time in this sector ever since.
I’m currently reading… I have fallen into the crime genre over Christmas, reading late into the night and early in the morning – they are compelling! However, I have also discovered John Boyne’s adult fiction (author of The Boy in Striped Pyjamas) – A Ladder to the Sky and This House Is Haunted. And Anne Tyler – I’ve always loved everything she writes and have just read Vinegar Girl, another modern take on The Taming of the Shrew. I constantly have a very big list on my Kindle and hard copies in my bookshelf just waiting… I am also reading our own titles more and more, all written by Joy Cowley, as our first grandchild, who has just turned one, is looking like she will become an avid reader – thank goodness, because my children were not quite so keen!
My biggest career highlight in publishing has been… Starting Clean Slate Press in 2005 with business partners, Frances McBeath (my colleague from my previous employment) and my husband as a (mostly!) silent partner. We worked backwards from the norm, successfully selling international editions of Clean Slate Press copyright series to publishers in Canada and the US before also moving into work-for-hire for major US publishers. We decided that if we could be successful there, we could also be successful in New Zealand. This proved to be correct and we’ve moved into many more markets since then, extending the reach of our wonderful friend and colleague Joy Cowley, along with our own series developed and written here in NZ. We are currently publishing a new series of Early Literacy titles written by Joy, with a series of high-low books written for struggling readers due for the third term of this year. And we’re working on next year’s releases, including new StoryWorld titles with a Pacific focus.