Tom Chalmers - A vantage point to a decade of change

Tom Chalmers discusses how the publishing industry has changed since he set up Legend Press in 2005.

'As of 20th April next month it will be ten years since, aged 25, I set-up Legend Press from an internet shop under my shared flat in Stoke Newington. The last decade has been a challenging but unforgettable personal journey but inadvertently it has also coincided with an industry that has irreversibly changed.

When I started publishers created, printed, stored and sold books to bookshops with certain book chains buying certain types of books usually published by certain publishers. To illustrate this, my first cashflow projection had the bookshops and wholesalers listed – Waterstones, Ottakers, Borders, Borders, independents, WHSmith, various wholesalers and so on – with a monthly increase for each line. Needless to say I would be a millionaire within three years…

As a further illustration, around 2007, I went to a talk on ‘non-traditional sales outlets’ and was keen to hear more about gift shops and other sales outlets I hadn’t previously thought of. To the nodding of those around me and to my personal astonishment we were told to consider selling books ‘on the internet’ and at WHSmith. I didn’t stay long...'


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Find out how Legend Press is celebrating 10 years here