In July 1985 Michael O’Mara Books published its first book. At that time the firm’s only two employees were Mr. and Mrs. O’Mara and the offices were the spare bedroom of their semi-detached Clapham house, it was, quite literally, a Mom and Pop business.
Now, after thirty years of publications, with a backlist of a thousand titles, it is still a family firm, producing one hundred and fifty new books a year. Succeeding as an independent in a publishing world dominated by vast, multinational conglomerates is not easy but it is fun.
We hope that some of the fun we have had creating our list will filter through to our readers and we look forward to many more years of successful, independent publishing.
In our offices, we only use plastic-free jiffy bags for mailings. We are proactively limiting our paper use, reducing the amount of paper that we use by printing double-sided where possible. We are committed to using recycled and FSC® certified paper for printing, correspondence and marketing materials and we have a recycling collection service in place.
We are looking at all aspects of our business to see where we can conserve energy, by checking everything from our energy and stationery suppliers, to buying cleaning materials in bulk, using sustainable toilet roll and using greener taxi firms.
Production is a very important part of the publishing process, and it is where the most impactful changes can be made to create a more sustainable publishing industry. In our production department, there are a couple of methods we use to keep our work sustainable. The majority of our books are printed using FSC certified materials, so from well-managed forests or recycled sources. We also try to work primarily with printers who are similarly committed to environmental safety, often demonstrated with the ISO 14001 certification, or equivalent. Our suppliers include UK-based printers who have signed the recent Publishers Association’s Publishing Declares pledge, and an international freight forwarder with their own environmental policy that is regularly reviewed and externally verified. Some of the terms used here are explained below:
(EMS) ISO 14001 – the standard created by ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation)
specifying the requirements for an effective Environmental Management System. Certification demonstrates that an organisation is both conscious of their environmental impacts and actively looks to improve their operations.
FSC materials – materials made from FSC certified forests (meaning well-managed) and/or recycled sources.