Innovation and enterprise blog

26 October 2016

Writer in Residence update: Books mean business


Is that the time? Really? I can’t believe how fast these ten months have gone by. When I started as Writer in Residence at the British Library Business & IP Centre in January this year, with a long list of activities I wanted to undertake, it seemed there was plenty of time. Now, with just a few weeks to go… not so much. Will it all be done in time? Yes, but only just! Still, I think the residence can be declared a success. By the end of it I will have worked with over two hundred people through workshops and one-to-ones. Their thoughts, questions and feedback on my initial ideas and research (several days’ worth in the Reading Rooms!) led me to write two books and create two mini-exhibitions.

Get involved

If you’ve not yet interacted with me during this residency, I’d love to get you along. Here’s how you can still get involved:

Book yourself a place on the Books Mean Business workshop on 17 November. It was our best-received workshop and completely sold out when we first ran it, so it seemed only fair to offer it one more time for anyone who missed out the first time. Think a book isn’t relevant to your industry or business? Come along and think again!

Pop into the Business & IP Centre any time throughout November to see our Sacred Bundle exhibition. This is a concept drawn from the native peoples of North and South America and allows you to identify the core values of your business and how to use them to communicate more effectively with your customers, investors and other stakeholders. It’s a process I developed during the residency and you can see examples from the nine companies, who I worked with, displayed around the networking area. There’ll be a slideshow explaining the ideas and a leaflet that takes your through how to create your own Bundle.

Not in London?

Not to worry. Keep an eye out if a library near you includes a Business & IP Centre, as we’re hoping to send a little pop-up exhibition on tour, which will show you how to make the most of classic out-of-copyright literary texts, turning them into commercial products. There are also some exciting big names of literature about to go out of copyright in the next few years.

Look out for the two books I wrote during this period: they’ll be available on Amazon and other online retailers as both eBooks and paperbacks by 1 November. The Storytelling Entrepreneur is a guide for entrepreneurs in how they can use storytelling in their business, from pitching for investment to making sales and includes the Sacred Bundle process. Merchandise for Authors is a book for writers who want to create their own merchandise and explains how to research, plan and develop products that will both engage your readers and bring in income.

I was thrilled when I first heard I would be Writer in Residence at the British Library Business & IP Centre. Ten months on I’m no less thrilled and very proud of the work that’s been accomplished during this time. I’ve drawn on the ideas, time and stories of authors, entrepreneurs and British Library staff and I’m very grateful to them all for an inspiring (and very busy!) residency. It’s been a pleasure and an honour.


Melissa Addey, Writer in Residence at the British Library Business & IP Centre