Craft Focus - December 2022/January 2023 (Issue 94)

55 PROFILE SCHIFFER PUBLISHING +44 (0)7834 802 306 filled to capacity, after digging out the basement for more headroom, the barn on the farm where the Schiffers lived in West Chester was converted in 1980, to relocate both the antiques shop and offices and a storage facility for books. Family members worked together in the antiques business while growing the publishing efforts. In 1984, Peter became the first employee of Schiffer Publishing and, in 1985, Nancy became the second. Publishing grew and more employees were hired for distinct responsibilities; typesetters, editors, and shipping room workers joined the team. In the same year, a separate warehouse building was constructed at the West Chester farm to store the growing books inventory. By 1992, publishing was growing well, and a new facility was built in Atglen, Pennsylvania, where it resides today, with offices and a larger and more efficient warehouse. The focus of the team became books in niche areas of interest with high-quality information and excellent images. Art papers and special bindings were used more frequently to produce useful references for long-lasting use. The catalogues of Schiffer books grew in size and diversity of subjects. Military history became a separate catalogue with its own editors and audience. Arts and crafts how-to books became a distinct subject area. Lifestyle, New Age, architecture, interior design, regional, and supernatural subjects grew in numbers as editors concentrated on their specific areas of expertise. Books for children emerged and found a new audience. In 2009, Cornell Maritime Press/ Tidewater Publishers, of Centreville, Maryland, was acquired, bringing to Schiffer Publishing more books in many of its previous interest areas as well as new subjects: for example, texts for the Maritime academies and industries, Chesapeake Bay regional titles for adults and children, and historical books about the mid-Atlantic states. The subjects continue to expand. With growth came a transition of leadership to the next generation, as Pete Schiffer heads the company today. He has instituted creative marketing ideas that include a MAP program (Minimal Advertised Pricing) with the Schiffer LTD imprint. We look forward to our future evolution, with great authors, exciting subject areas, and books that make us proud. The Schiffer Publishing offices, and a complete library, are open to the public during normal business hours, with more than 7,000 titles available to browse and/ or purchase. What’s your background and why was the company started? I’ve been in publishing for over 25 years dealing with foreign rights, trade, export, special sales, packaging and representing authors. Schiffer is a family run company who is expanding in title range and subject as well as territories How has the company evolved? The growth has been organic in terms of subjects, scale and territories and we are focusing very much on a good foundation and growth in the UK. What do you specialise in? We specialise in Craft – practical and inspirational; Mind Body Spirit and Selfhelp; Architecture, Design, Lifestyle, pop culture, travel, Kids and Military. Talk us through the current books you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? In craft, the titles are very eclectic going from leather, through to crochet, jewellery and quilting, all offering a mixture of inspiration and aspiration giving some background about a culture, community and sharing the techniques. It’s a real eye opener to try a variety of activities. Do your books suit all levels of crafters? Yes – from beginners to advanced level. Craft has boomed over the last few years! Have you noticed any new trends? Indeed, people like understanding and embracing techniques from other cultures. We’re also publishing and revisiting more and more traditional activities especially needlework with a modern twist. How often do you launch new titles? We launch new titles every month. What sets you apart from your competitors? The quality and finish of the book is second to none. Do you visit any trade shows? Do you plan to visit any soon? Yes, we recently visited the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham and we’re looking at events for next year as we speak. What are you looking forward to most over the next year? To reach out to more customers on the ground and fulfil their needs in terms of requirements and subjects. We’re always open to new ideas!