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Apt Portfolio

Portobello Books

“Holding” site

We first started talking to Portobello Books just after their launch in 2005.

At that time, Portobello Book’s sister company, Portobello Pictures, had commissioned us to build them a web site. We had also produced a promo for Douglas Coupland’s Hey Nostradamus, which was published by Philip Gwyn Jones (Publisher at Portobello Books) when he was at Flamingo, prior to moving to Portobello.

Our first task was to build a “holding site” to capture email addresses, and to promote the site to Google. As we planned “Phase Two”, this single page site evolved organically into a temporary home for Portobello’s increasingly brilliant, diverse and unique list of contemporary fiction and engaged non-fiction.

2008 saw the “beta” launch of the new, “full” version of the Portobello Books website, which contains the sum of our 10+ years of learnings about what an independently minded, spirited and owned publishing house should be doing with the web.

The website is the first site to be built on TLC, our exciting new publisher platform, and includes a breadth of features:

Publishing System Back end

  • Fully ONIX compliant backend publishing system
  • Auto-generation of catalogue, rights list and individual title AIs
  • Other sales and marketing reports on demand
  • Multi-user support

Web site front end

  • Highly flexible content management system
  • Powerful, flexible eCommerce system with “multibuy” and other discount structures
  • Multiple mailing lists for trade and consumer visitors
  • Scalable author blogging platform integrated into book listings
  • Dedicated trade section
  • Incorporation of rich media files – audio, video, text and digital downloads
  • Search engine optimised
  • Incredibly fast

Primarily though, the site will help communicate and emphasise Portobello Books’s purposeful publishing agenda online – and will be the entrance to their international, risk-taking, brave and brilliant outlook.

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