I’ll be honest, I’ve not been as vocal on here as usual and it’s the result of a maelstrom of wonderful things.
Firstly, Magic Oxygen is positioning herself for a spot of gentle expansion and growth and is has just become a limited company which is rather nice. It feels a bit like she has taken the stabilisers off her bicycle and she’s getting ready to do a bit of off-roading!
MO is also about to get a bit more leg room by moving to a larger office: The Flat, 53 Broad Street, Lyme Regis. The final filing cabinets should be in place by early June but not before an exhaustive amount of painting, decorating and re-carpeting has been done first. This is not just our office however, the space above it is going to be our home too and every single square inch (yes, I’m an old fashioned measurer at heart) needs attention.
As we speak, Simon is sitting opposite me in a rather fetching pair of grubby dungarees catching up on a few urgent computer tasks and then we’ll be whizzing off to put in another full day of getting the new pad ready, then returning home to catch up with MO business proper.
I confess – it is seriously stretching all of our resources – physical, mental, even spiritual – but in a few more weeks, it will be all done and worth it.
With a proper office centrally located in beautiful Lyme, MO will have the space to be what she needs to be – even more successful.
The next step exciting step will be staff.
As you know, we’ve been reaching out for an intern to help us through the summer. Our quest has gleaned an interesting set of results and the challenge of finding people who want to carve a route to a career in publishing has been met with joy and thorns.
We know and fully understand that an unpaid internship could be a difficult thing for an individual to commit to, however, we’ve laid out an extensive training programme which will give a candidate a wide variety of experience in this fascinating sphere. If we do manage to make it happen, we hope our investment in training the intern will be productive for us and for them; mutually rewarding on all fronts.
For us, taking on an intern will bring us a step closer to taking on staff. We currently manage our workload with a small but perfectly formed freelance team who are exceptional but in order for MO to do a better and more efficient job, it needs to climb the ladder and take on staff; we have every faith that the internship will help us migrate towards that pivotal point.
Why are we only able to offer an unpaid internship? We have nothing to hide, it’s simple. Magic Oxygen is still a young company and our expansion has depleted our funds enormously. We think MO has always punched above her weight and we have aspirations to grow her family of incredible authors and expand to being a remarkable ethical employer in the south west in an absolutely fascinating sector, publishing.
MO has always operated with transparency and sustainability in her heart and with an ethical core. These deep rooted values are key to our survival and enjoyment of what we do. They colour our blueprint and run through our veins in everything from the Fairtrade and organic coffee we serve to the Good Energy that powers our equipment.
Our corporate aims are many fold: to run a great, green business that earns enough to keep the proverbial wolf from the door in a vocation we love leaving our beds for and to make talented authors’ dreams come true by breathing life into their words (especially those who have struggled even to be heard by the big boys). Additionally, we want to achieve our goals as a pioneering green publishing house and build an international reputation for wide ranging, well produced quality titles. We also wwant to inspire other companies to adopt more sustainable policies too – all in all, a big ask, but we feel it’s doable.
Soon, MO will be opening the doors to the second Magic Oxygen Literary Prize, or MOLP2. We’ll continue the great work we started last year by planting a tree in Bore, Kenya for every entry received in our writing competition – incidentally, with the help of our Go Fund Me Campaign, we are sitting up around 1,500 trees.
We’re not setting out for world domination but we would like the planet to be a more sustainable place. Simon and I believe if other publishing houses had a more ethical strategy and adopted eco-policies and protocols, it would be!
I guess that’s about it for our exciting update but as if that weren’t enough to be chewing on, we are also working on some amazing new titles including Elizabeth Walker’s The Resilience Handbook, an incredible book that will help you survive the 21st century by living more sustainably – one of my favourite topics. More on that soon but for now, take a look at her superb blog.
So, with a deadline for carpets being laid in about 2 weeks and not an inch of skirting board painted, I must close here and scuttle off to The Flat!
To all of our wonderful authors and friends working with us: thank you for your kind words of encouragement, your patience and understanding while we struggle to juggle all the balls. We should land soon… and to anyone who fancies coming to do a bit of painting and decorating in lovely Lyme, do let me know, I’ll get the kettle on!
PS: Just in case you hadn’t guessed, we will be – very proudly – voting green!