Our Loves

Launching in Dec 2009, our brand identity has gradually emerged. We are resourceful, adventurous types living life to the full. We love birds and animals, travel, history, art, romance, natural health and environment, enterprise, humour, the surreal and magic.

Our Bird

We are named after this friendly lady blackbird who has made herself at home on our balcony.

She settles down to relax in the sunlight for long stretches of time. A blackbird habit known as ‘sunning’. She holds her eye in the direct beam of the sun and fluffs her feathers out. “Sunning would appear to perform two separate functions: maintaining the bird’s feathers in good condition, and helping to regulate it’s temperature.” says the RSPB’s Darren Oakley-Martin... 

 

 

 ...“There is even a suggestion that they do it simply because they enjoy it.” That sounds like a good enough reason to us.

 

 

Our Aim

‘Why will authors need publishers any more?’ asked Russian literary superstar Boris Akunin at the 2011 London Book Fair. Four reasons why was the reply: added value, editorial, shaping and communication to the reader. Our aim is to build our name into a quality brand that readers and authors can trust. Old School BBC ideas like manners, trust and communication with our authors and contributors are important to us. Our 50/50 contracts are built around flexibility and co-operation. 

Our Ethos

Business with a conscience: Blackbird Digital Books is run on the principles of business practice based on the Diamond Cutter Sutra, an ancient Tibetan text. A percentage of sales revenue from selected publications goes to charity [chosen and supported by the authors themselves] and we make a regular monthly contribution to our favourite Diamond Cutter charity The Asian Classics Input Project, preserving literature and empowering Tibetan refugees. Learn more about the charities we support. 

Our Team

Stephanie Zia, Owner and Editor
Stephanie Zia, Owner and Editor

"Blackbird Digital Books came into being in December 2009 with an ebook of my Guardian Space Solves columns, Done & Dusted - The Organic Home On A Budget, and a two-page website. The ex-Transworld author Susie Kelly got in touch via my blog, wondering if I’d be interested in epublishing her latest travel book. Susie became a bestseller, more authors found us, and so Blackbird Digital began to take on a life of its own..." Click here to learn more about Stephanie's story

Sarah Tomley, Associate Editor
Sarah Tomley, Associate Editor

Sarah worked in advertising for 6 years before doing an MA in book publishing. After editing books for several years for Nelson Thornes and Berlitz, she took some time out to have a couple of unruly kids before returning to the publishing world as a commissioning editor, first on a weekly partwork (Inside The Human Body), and then for two of the UK’s most successful companies, Quarto plc and Octopus Books. At Blackbird Digital's associateEditorsOnline, Sarah specialises in commissioning and editing non-fiction illustrated books for Dorling Kindersley. She’s also tackled digital projects for io global (a subsidiary of bt.com), foboko.com, busconcept.com and several ecommerce sites. 

Rosalie Love, Commissioning Editor
Rosalie Love, Commissioning Editor

Rosalie graduated with a first in English Literature from King's College, London. After attachments to several well-known publishers and a volunteer teaching post in India, Rosalie spent 18 months in China on a British Council assignment. She is now looking forward to settling back into the UK and searching for a special submission or two that she can take through the editing process to publication. Passionate about travelling the world, Rosalie always has a book or her trusty kindle in her bag. Authors she admires include Virginia Woolf, Ian McEwan, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, JK Rowling and Dorothy Richardson.

Elle Ford, Author, Editor and Illustrator
Elle Ford, Author, Editor and Illustrator

One of Elle's first interviews was with Lauren Weisberger when she was just 17 and she’s continued to spot the on-the-up-and-up ever since. Elle found Blackbird online back in 2010 and joined as a holiday intern whilst studying for a history degree at Exeter University. By the time Elle graduated, we had already published her book A London Steal - The Fabulous On-A-Budget Guide To London's Hidden Chic. Elle progressed from Blackbird, via various exotic fashion commissions, to a full-time job in mainstream publishing. Multi-talented Elle is also a novel and fashion illustrator – her artwork has featured in several of our titles.

Mark Binner, Ebook formatter
Mark Binner, Ebook formatter

Mark has worked in IT since the days when it was called data processing and software developers were called programmers. In that time he has resolved thousands of IT problems, installed and fixed hundreds of PCs and written the documentation that nobody else wanted to write. He is a staunch advocate of free and open-source software, which he uses every day. Mark's chapter in Self-Publishing Ebooks: The Absolute Beginner's Step-by-Step Guide is for those techie-minded readers who want to go beyond the basics. In addition to his non-fiction work, Mark has had poetry published in two anthologies. He is a keen photographer, a half-hearted rock guitarist and has been known to make a rather tasty lamb tagine, given half a chance. He lives in not-so-sunny Lancashire with his Brazilian wife and a ridiculously-sized book collection.

Andrew Ives, Proofreader
Andrew Ives, Proofreader

Andrew worked in translation, localisation, copywriting and proofreading in several European countries before trying his hand at writing ebooks. He currently lives in SW France on an old walnut farm with his fingers permanently crossed for the electricity to remain on as he finishes his fourth novel.

Natasha Chilman, Accounts
Natasha Chilman, Accounts

Natasha graduated from Sheffield University with a first in psychology. She works for Rethink Mental Illness charity as a mental health recovery worker. A statistics whizz, she spends 1 day a month at Blackbird calculating our authors' monthly royalties and payments. Natasha's favourite reads are crime thrillers and psychology books.  


Logo design - Jennifer Copley-May at Armadillo Central.

 

Cover design -  We work with various cover designers. We particularly love the work of Mecob DesignRobert Ball, Nuno Moreira,  Fena Lee and Damonza.