Society of Authors Webinar – How to Create a Sustainable Book
Touching on the ethics and economics of producing a truly ethical book, the discussion explored whether recent industry developments are making this possible in reality.
Mark Cropper, a sixth-generation paper-maker, environmentalist and renewable energy entrepreneur is the current chairman of James Cropper, makers of advanced materials and specialist papers in the English Lake District. Mark is dedicated to making places better and more resilient in holistic ways.
This year Mark has commenced the UK’s largest wildflower meadow restoration project and is creating large areas of wood pasture and orchards around Burneside. Another initiative on its way is the Paper Foundation (www.paper.foundation), a new home for handmade paper and book arts.
A passionate advocate for paper, Mark put forward that premise that paper is truly the last luxury. That people and society need to value paper more, and going forward somehow we have to make more out of less.
The potential is there to be able to produce sustainable books, the industry is on a journey and will continue to make strides towards this goal.
Meet The Panel
Piers Torday, a children’s writer and playwright, chaired the discussion. Piers is co-founder of the Paul Torday Memorial Prize and Chair of the Society of Authors (SOA) Sustainability Working Group.
Piers discussed how the UK publishing industry are making big changes, and that the SOA is currently preparing an educational and awareness campaign for authors and readers. He emphasised that an ethical approach to publishing will be all about a whole shift in mind-set.
Piers concluded the debate with a call to authors to keep inspiring one another and to keep asking those difficult questions of the industry, as that is how change will come about.
Daphne Astor is a regenerative farmer and founding editor of Hazel Press, an independent publisher with a focus on the environment and the realities of climate change. Hazel Press prints short runs of books in the UK, with local and regional pioneering environmental printers, using 100% recycled paper and vegetable-based inks.
Daphne has found it hard to produce books in a sustainable way. On her journey into ethical publishing she has noted that there is always compromise. At every single turn there is an ethical challenge in the way books are produced, delivered and enjoyed.
A lot rests on us all being positive activists, and Daphne urges readers to look on the imprint page to see how a book has been made.