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23 July 2018

404 Ink seek non-executive board members

404 Ink seek non-executive board members

Following the June announcement where 404 Ink were the first publisher to receive a Scottish EDGE grant the award-winning independent publisher now seeks to appoint several non-executive board members to play a key role in the next stages for the company. They welcome expressions of interest from potential candidates, both from a professional publishing background and outside of publishing - particularly those with experience in bookselling, business strategy and growth.

If you would like to join the 404 Ink board, please send a CV and short cover letter for attention of Heather McDaid at telling us why you would like to be involved in 404 Ink's journey going forward and what you could potentially offer to the company.

The deadline for applications is July 31st, though we will be assessing applications as they arrive.

About 404 Ink
404 Ink is an award-winning independent publisher based in Edinburgh - dubbed 'the "Nasty Women" shaking up the book industry' - seeking to publish little but publish loudly. In its first trading year, this included Nasty Women, the bestselling essay collection on being a woman in the 21st century, Hings by Chris McQueer, and The Last Days of James Scythe, the collaborative, high-concept book with award-winning rock band Creeper. Their books have received national and international acclaim, featuring in Huffington Post, Bustle, Refinery29, The Guardian, The Times and more.

404 is run by two publishing freelancers, Heather McDaid and Laura Jones, whose backgrounds are in journalism and publishing respectively.  They were named the Saltire Society Emerging Publisher of the Year 2017, #1 on The List Hot 100, the Saboteur Awards' Most Innovative Publisher amongst a number of accolades.

Our vision is for 404 Ink to become a sustainable and reputable staple of the UK publishing landscape, and grow our professional international network and business over the coming years. We have utilised crowdfunding via Kickstarter and Patreon subscriptions to date, and look to develop this model. 404 Ink began trading in November 2016 following an initial £2,885 of Creative Scotland funding and has since turned that initial boost into a successful, profitable company. Going forward, we are focused on scaling up sensibly at this pivotal point for the company.

For more on 404 Ink, visit, or follow them on Twitter at @404ink


The role of the 404 Ink board is to determine the overall financial and logistical strategic development of 404 Ink and monitor progress towards the publisher's growth objectives, to be discussed and agreed with the board.

Main Duties
Board members will perform the following functions:

  • Contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation, with a focus on financial stability, and subsequent business development and growth
  • Set and maintain the vision, values and overall brand of the organisation, and evaluate 404 Ink's performance against these objectives
  • Ensure that 404 Ink complies with any relevant legislation or regulation

Time commitment
The 404 Ink board will meet 2-4 times per year - this will be discussed in our initial meeting. These meetings will be held in Edinburgh.

This is an unpaid post, however out of pocket expenses reasonably incurred in connection with carrying out the board's duties can be met.

Candidate Qualities

  • A proven knowledge of business finance and funding opportunities, both in or out of the creative sector
  • A significant understanding of the current publishing industry in the UK and internationally is desirable, especially within sales and rights
  • Experience and knowledge from industries outside the creative sector that can be applied to our sector welcomed
  • Familiarity with the 404 Ink brand and story is preferable but not necessary


  • At least 5 years' experience of working in publishing or literature in the UK. We would especially welcome a specialist knowledge of trade publishing, funding and/or sales
  • Experience in making and executing successful strategic decisions at board level
  • Acquaintance with developing businesses strategies and plans
  • Proven record working with business growths and SMEs

Desirable skills

  • Financial literacy, with experience and ability to assist with budget preparation, execution, and assessment
  • Strategic thinking and problem solving
  • Working as part of a team
  • We welcome unusual approaches to marketing, funding and reaching new customers so thinking outside of the box is desirable

Personal Qualities

  • Commitment to the vision of 404 Ink in growing its business
  • Commitment to devoting the necessary time and effort to preparing for and actively contributing to board meetings
  • Good independent judgement and creative thinking

Other Factors

Convenient access to Edinburgh is desirable as this is where 404 Ink is currently based and where meetings would likely be held but are open to conference calls where meetings are not possible.