Entrepreneur realises e-publishing dream thanks to SWIG
By mpad_mark | Tuesday, January 08, 2013, 11:43
The rapid growth of eBooks and tablet computers provided a Cornish entrepreneur with the perfect reason to come out of retirement and back into business.
E-publisher Patrick Hawkey (centre) holding the Nook showcasing his latest venture. He has been supported by (left) Steve Braund (Award Leader MA Illustration, University of Falmouth) and John Peters from the South West Investment Group
Patrick Hawkey, 63, from Stithians was looking to put his 40 years of publishing industry experience to good use.
Now after originally retiring at 50, he and his wife Marianne have launched a new e-publishing business which is putting Patrick's industry experience together with the creative skills of graduates from Falmouth University.
The launch of the new business has been made possible by finance from the South West Investment Group (SWIG) through the South West Loans Fund, after Patrick struggled to raise the finance he needed from traditional sources.
The South West Loans Fund was set up with £3.75m European Regional Development Fund to provide loans finance to businesses with growth potential.
As Patrick said: "Banks aren't hugely keen on working with people of my age, who have been out of work due to retirement for some time.
"I picked up the phone and then went through the formal application procedure. It can be hard selling the idea of intellectual property and e-publishing to banks or lenders that only like to invest in ventures they consider 'safe', but SWIG seemed to 'get it' straight away."
Within a few weeks of submitting his business plan Patrick was given a start-up loan and he now has high profile clients such Apple buying his e-books to sell on iPads.
Patrick said: "Hawkey Publishing's first major contract was with Barnes and Noble to supply eBooks for the Nook tablet, which has just been released in Britain.
"The area has huge growth potential and with Apple and Barnes and Noble investing in it so heavily, we're pleased to hitch our wagon to a star."
Hawkey Publishing's clients are varied, some authors come to Patrick asking to be published, Patrick also looks for interesting people to work with and has even written and published a book himself.
His team of authors, illustrators, designers, developers, composers and recording engineers to add sound to the books, is local to Cornwall.
John Peters from SWIG said: "Patrick was a perfect candidate for support from SWIG. He has a huge amount of experience that he was able transfer to his new business alongside the brilliant skills of other local creative businesses and arts students.
"It's great that we were able to support this venture Patrick is already proving there is a viable market."
Helping graduates at Falmouth University into work is an ambition that is now being realised thanks to the new business.
"I've been working with the university for some time and now we even use some of the graduates from the illustration courses to help design our books," said Patrick.
Treverro – The Tale of Thomas Dudley, by Edwina Camm, is an imagined 18th century Cornish smuggling story being published in February.
Edwina is a Falmouth MA illustration graduate, who wrote, illustrated and constructed the content.
Patrick added: "We hired Petroc Trelawney, the Radio Three presenter, to do the narration, and a composer to write and record a song for the patrons of the Seven Magpies Inn.
"We are currently putting the whole thing together and I'm really proud of it."
For more information on how to turn your business dream into a reality contact SWIG on 01872 223883 or visit www.southwestinvestmentgroup.co.uk.