Charlie Rapple has worked in publishing since her student days, when she was general dogsbody for a small art publisher. On graduation from the University of Bristol, she entered the scholarly information sector as an electronic publisher at CatchWord – putting content online and creating metadata for journals including Death Studies and the Journal of Genocide Research. Good times. She became an account manager, handling day-to-day digital challenges for publishers of all shapes and sizes, and learning publishing's arcane secrets along the way (from hacking fonts to calculating ISSNs).
Having been excited by the potential of reference linking, Charlie took over management of this area when CatchWord merged with Ingenta, before moving into product management and then marketing (completing her postgraduate diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in 2006). These roles – at the coalface and cutting edge of the digital transition – proved a great way to meet publishers, librarians and other technology and service providers, and to gain experience from many perspectives. The UKSG conference played a vital role in strengthening those connections (on and off the dance floor) and feeding a growing mind with ideas, insights and inspiration; Charlie joined the UKSG fold by volunteering initially for the marketing subcommittee and then for the main committee. In that capacity, she managed the first phase of the KBART initiative (with Peter McCracken, representing NISO), chaired the marketing subcommittee and is now serving as Treasurer (and member of the Insights editorial board!).
Back in the day job, after seeing Ingenta through a second merger (with Vista, to become Publishing Technology), Charlie moved on to TBI Communications where she is now Associate Director. She continues to work at the intersection of technology, publishing and marketing – recent projects have included developing a social media strategy for a membership organization, researching the target market for a new mobile app and creating a scorecard methodology for measuring sales and marketing effectiveness. She also enjoys grappling with clients' wider marketing challenges, from branding to business models to PR to resource management, and considers herself lucky to be consulting in the e-publishing sector at such a fascinating time; regular speaking engagements and articles provide opportunities to keep exploring.
Outside work, Charlie sings (with Tamesis Cathedral Singers) and writes (currently working on a play about Glastonbury), and is happiest driving her 1974 Citroën DS, sneaking off to festivals in her VW campervan or messing about on a river.