Research with UK publishing leaders reveals the dramatic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on all aspects of UK publishing.

Research conducted with publishing leadership during the first stages of the Coronavirus pandemic in May and June shows widespread impacts across the publishing industry, with industry leaders reporting deep financial, sales and operational challenges as a result of the crisis. The findings contained in a new report, "The COVID-19 Pulse Check Report: The Impact of COVID-19 on the UK Publishing Industry,” published today, provides a snapshot of the current state of the industry.

The full report and analysis can be downloaded from the following URL:

Report author, Jeremy Brinton said,

The findings show that publishers of all sizes and in all sectors are experiencing unprecedented disruption in sales and to normal working practices. Unlike other major disruptions the industry is facing, publishers are struggling to plan for the long term for the impact of Coronavirus as they do not know how the pandemic will unfold, how long the lockdown will last and what the overall financial fall out will be.

The report highlights major challenges facing the industry from the immediate and rapid falls in revenues, an accelerated move from print to digital, supply chain disruption and adjustments to operations from individuals and teams facing working from home challenges to decisions to furlough staff. Co-author, Chris Wilkins commented,

Our research show that that the financial effect is deeper and more severe for educational and academic publishers than for trade. Trade publishers are delaying major launches, but it is the academic houses who are most deeply affected. With the number of overseas students planning to study at UK universities declining precipitously, there is a major effect on revenues. The economic fallout will be huge, some universities are looking at declines in revenues of over 75% and this is affecting procurement and expenditure with the industry.

The report authors conducted 18 in-depth interviews, with an online survey deployed through ALPSP and the Publishers Association. In interviews, publishing leadership flagged how Coronavirus is accelerating market trends that were already challenging traditional publishing practice. The findings cover not only major changes within sectors of the industry, but also surfaced how the pandemic has affected patterns of sales between lists and content types, with some notable winners and losers.

ALPSP Chief Executive, Wayne Sime added,

ALPSP was pleased to support this research from its inception. The impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented, and the need for our members to respond both rapidly and effectively to the pandemic required them to quickly adapt their business models to continue delivering quality content. This report captures the UK publishing industry’s initial reactions to the impact of the virus and is intended to assist individual publishers by refining their short-to-medium term strategies.

Jeremy Brinton added,

The crisis is accelerating trends especially for houses that were not yet fully engaged in the transition from print to digital. It is forcing changes in how customers, such as universities, receive and pay for content and will inevitably drive changes in business models for many publishers that haven’t yet gone through this process. Trade, while partly escaping this, is also having to deal with impacts from changes in home working and vendor relations. One positive emerging from the crisis is the industry could become more agile with a digital-first product focus.


Covid-19 Pulse Check

What is the new normal for the UK publishing industry?

Maverick is conducting research into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the UK publishing industry. Headed up by Maverick Senior Associates, Jeremy Brinton and Chris Wilkins, the research will explore impacts on customers, staff, supply chains, operations and product roadmaps and will result in a comprehensive report that will be freely available to download from Maverick.

The initiative is being done with the support of ALPSP. We are urging publishers to participate by completing a brief online survey. To supplement information from the survey, Jeremy and Chris are also conducting more detailed interviews.

For more details contact and

Digital Transformation the Maverick Way

Content consumers, customers, users, society members and producers within the scholarly ecosystem have been undergoing a profound digital transition in the way that they consume, produce, share, collaborate, learn and research. The past few years have seen a major shift away from the traditional print-centric paradigm to a web based virtual paradigm and online pedagogy, which has been accelerated by recent global events. It is imperative as this process accelerates that your organizations keep pace and undertake a similar holistic digital transformation across all business segments and functions to deliver a superior user / customer experience, drive operational efficiency and build in the agility to respond to the evolving environment. 

Any type of organizational change is complex to manage and here at Maverick we understand the challenges inherent in making the move to digital. Due to our unique set up we can build a team of cross-divisional experts to cover all elements and deliver a smooth digital transformation. We appreciate that your businesses are on different trajectories and therefore require different levels of support and we have adapted our approach to reflect this: we can deliver a comprehensive program to manage the full end to end process or provide focused support for a specific area such as content production, digital marketing, and vendor selection.

Maverick Publishing Specialists Adds Four New Senior Consultants to EMEA and US Operations

Maverick Publishing Specialists Ltd, announced today the addition of four Senior Consultants to their worldwide team of industry experts. The newest team members support Maverick’s rapidly growing US operations and further strengthens the company’s expertise in Association and Society support, as well as Business development and Organizational Change and Transformation.

Sara Purdy, Senior Associate, Head of EMEA Societies and Associations

Sara Purdy comes to Maverick with over two decades of STM publishing industry experience. As Maverick’s new Head of EMEA Societies and Associations, Sara will support scholarly societies with the complexities of publishing their content alongside selecting the right publishing partners. Most recently Sara was Publisher at SAGE Publications, working closely with scholarly societies to develop their journal publishing portfolios in both subscriptions as well as open access. Her skills include strategic planning, society relations, journal development and publishing business models, the RFP and tender process and negotiating contracts.

Rick Naylor, Senior Associate (US), Marketing, Branding + Market Research

Rick Naylor brings to Maverick product and brand marketing knowledge gained from helping international companies build successful marketing organizations. As Senior Associate, Marketing, Branding and Market Research, Rick will support Maverick’s US regional team as the company continues its growth in that market.

Rick has worked in several industries, including academic publishing where he managed the marketing of hundreds of digital, reference databases serving libraries and professionals. He has also overseen product marketing and branding for enterprise software, financial technology, consumer apps and digital entertainment. His strengths include messaging, publicity, content, digital, CRM, advertising, social media and research.

Jeremy Brinton, Senior Associate, Business development, Rights + Licensing.

Jeremy Brinton brings extensive senior level experience in publishing and book retail in the UK and overseas. As Senior Associate, he will support Maverick clients with their sales and global account growth strategies, planning and execution, as well as digital strategy development, rights & licensing, and process improvement. He will also join Maverick’s own business development and key account management EMEA team to support their continued company growth.

Appointed Head of Publisher Relations at the Publishers'​ Licensing Services (PLS) in October 2015, he was principally responsible for managing more than 3,500 publisher relationships across education, business, and public sectors. Jeremy has in-depth understanding of publishers’ changing business needs to ensure the development of appropriate collective licensing and rights management services for its primary stakeholders.

Chris Wilkins, Senior Associate, Business Change and Transformation

A business change and transformation specialist with 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, Chris Wilkins will help Maverick clients navigate the ever-changing landscape in publishing as Senior Associate, Business Change and Transformation. Chris joins Maverick from Pearson, where he served as one of their senior, internal business change and transformation specialists, overseeing and delivering both regional and global projects and initiatives.  

Chris is a certified Change Management practitioner and has delivered many large-scale as well as closely targeted assignments, including major systems implementations; organisational designs and restructures; new workflows and ways of working; outsourcing and offshoring; and cultural change. In addition to a business change and transformation specialist, Chris is adept at project and programme management.


Martin Marlow, President of Maverick Publishing Specialists, commented,

“At a time when the publishing industry is undergoing significant change and upheaval, it’s important to add personnel with the skills and expertise our clients need now and down the road. These four newest members complement Maverick’s expert team and help position us for continued, worldwide growth."

Maverick’s Journals Tender Support Service

We know that selecting the right publisher for your journal or portfolio is a key decision for any Scholarly Society. Your publishing partner plays a vital role in supporting your strategy, protecting and developing your publishing programme, guiding you in an ever-changing scholarly landscape, and ensuring profitable growth and new revenue streams. They should also be trusted business advisors who understand your vision, and work with you to build a strong partnership, with the level of communication – and cultural fit – that suits you, your society, and your editorial team.

Maverick Publishing Specialists can help you find the perfect publishing partner

  • Are you self-publishing and considering working with a publisher?
  • Are you considering selling your journal or publishing programme?
  • Are you in a partnership already, and considering changing publishers?
  • Do you know how attractive your programme is, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie?
  • Is it time to renew your current publishing contract, and ensure you are on the best possible terms?
  • Would you like professional support going out to tender, and help running the journal RFP process from beginning to end?
  • Do you need help transitioning your journals to a new publishing partner?

The Maverick team has specialized expertise, with experience in both the Commercial Publishing and Scholarly Society sectors, to help guide you through the process from RFP to contract signature, and beyond.

We offer a phased service that can include:

  • Liaising with society personnel, editorial team, and key decision-makers about their vision and priorities for the journal or portfolio.
  • Reviewing your current arrangements and publishing agreement.
  • Drawing up a comprehensive RFP based on your needs, including an appropriate schedule for the process.
  • Researching and shortlisting publishers to invite to tender.
  • Assessment of submitted proposals and financial offers.
  • Managing the publisher shortlisting and interview process.
  • Support in selection of successful publisher and contract negotiation.
  • Ensuring a suitable transition.

Please contact us to learn more:

Rebecca Rinehart, Head of US Operations and Senior Associate, Societies and Associations​ :
Sara Purdy, Senior Associate, Head of EMEA Societies and Associations​ :
Rebecca Moakes, Head of EMEA Business Development :
George Farina, Head of US Business Development :