If you are passionate about music, books and publishing, there is no career finer than the job that my guest, Mark Smith, does! Mark is a publisher with the independent publishing house, Rufus Publications, that specialises in creating and distributing high end coffee table books about bands and music. Working directly with artistes and bands, the books and the photography bring to life some iconic concerts. I’m thrilled to welcome Mark on the blog, to find out more…
Hi! I am Mark Smith, a 52 year old publisher from Newbury Berkshire. Married (30 years) with three sons, a daughter and a plethora of grandchildren based in the UK and South Africa.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in publishing?
I have worked for myself since I was 19. I ran a design and marketing company until 2007, stopping after having a small stroke (probably stress induced). I have always loved books, music and films so I decided to start a business that would encompass these passions in 2010.
Rufus Publications specialise in creating & distributing high end coffee table books about bands & music. What were the reasons why you decided to stick with bands & music?
Well, I’m starting with the music I know and love. The biggest surprise is how long it takes to pull a book together. I thought it would take 4 months but really it’s a year or more.
What has been the most popular publication so far?
AC/DC followed by Zeppelin and Deep Purple.
What has been your favourite book to date?
We are just launching a Whitesnake book and we worked directly with David Coverdale and his producer MIchael McIntyre, following the band on an arena tour of the UK and taking many of the shots used in the book. This time we haven’t licensed other people’s work so we have more freedom. They have been fun and professional to work with and we got to visit the band’s studio in Reno. Good fun. We are also working with legendary guitarist Peter Green on a forthcoming title. He’s amazing to work with and it will be quite some book.
You have worked with bands in the past such as AC/DC and Deep Purple, however, if you were given the chance, who would you love to publish a book about?
We would love to do Metallica and perhaps some of the more obscure American blues artistes. We are also considering some classic film books.
Most of your books are designed, printed & bound in the UK. Are they available to purchase outside the UK?
We ship anywhere in the world. We are passionate about UK production because we have lost so much to China and England used to be a major centre for book production.
I have seen AC/DC a couple of times, including the concert where Axl Rose was the lead singer. My last concert was to see Paul Rodgers. What was the last music concert you went to?
The Iron Maidens and Bernie Marsden a few weeks ago and The Darkness next week.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Jeans, t-shirts and converse boots.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
Amazon because I can’t buy music in Newbury but the internet has taken the fun out of the high street.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
A decent striped jacket, if I can find one that fits.
Boots or Shoes?
Boots. They’re chunkier!
Links to follow & discover Rufus Publications:
I do hope you enjoy seeing The Darkness next week – I saw them live in 2004! I really enjoy seeing bands that put on a show – like Metallica, Alice Cooper, Kiss, AC/DC, David Bowie and Whitesnake – to name a few that I’ve seen. Dear readers, do you like seeing live bands? Any favourites? Do share your stories…
All photographs (apart from the Pinterest photo) have been published with kind permission from Rufus Publications and the photographers have been credited in the article.
The Pinterest photo was taken by myself, Linda Hobden, at a Status Quo concert held at Newmarket Race Course in July 2015