Ann Lawson's enthusiasm for the publishing industry is infectious. She has experienced our industry from the position of a sometime scholar contributor, editor, publisher and intermediary, and this range of different perspectives gives Ann valuable insights into publishing.
Ann has been a committee member of UKSG since 2009. Motivated by the desire to share industry knowledge, she participates actively in the business of UKSG, as well as several other industry committees, including the Oxford Publishing Society. Ann says the most important thing she has learnt, through working with colleagues at UKSG, is that there are many bright and keen people looking to share their ‘light-bulb moments’ to shape the future of the information industry.
Throughout her twenties, Ann was immersed in full-time academia. A fascination with language led to a PhD in German Literature, following which she was Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and later the German national research institute for language, specializing in lexicography and lexicology (the science and practice of writing dictionaries). During this time, she ran research and networking projects, organized conferences and training events for researchers, published in conference proceedings and journals, edited a lexicography journal and worked on several dictionary projects. However, if you think all this would make Ann good at Scrabble, you would be wrong!
In 2000, the commercial world beckoned and Ann joined first HarperCollins then Oxford University Press to work on business development and brand management for their dictionary and reference content. That role grew over time, until Ann was Head of Rights for the Academic Books department at OUP. Six years later, with a keen interest in the evolving journals business, Ann joined EBSCO to work with their major publisher partners across Europe. Today, she is European Publisher Sales and Marketing Director, leading two teams of people working remotely across Europe. Her knowledge of the industry has stood her in good stead to understand what publishers need.
Highlights of her working life include being interviewed for Chinese TV while walking the Great Wall, getting smuggled into a TV studio in an unnamed Asian capital, occasional ‘aha’ moments when things appear to fall into place (if only briefly!) and getting to know the complex and fascinating world of scholarly publishing. Ann enjoys live music and theatre, local volunteering, travel, riding, kayaking, exploring the wonderful west of Scotland, and is currently exploring the limits of her comfort zone in a small dinghy.