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Arts & Culture Series: Enterprise Spotlight

Byte the Book

My name is Justine Solomons and I’m the founder of Byte the Book, a digital publishing network. Prior to setting up Byte, I ran the sales and marketing team for a bespoke software development house. I now run Byte the Book and do some consultancy in the publishing industry.

by Justine Solomons

I started studying at City because I’ve always been a big reader and I wanted to try and improve my writing skills. I was also interested in getting involved in the publishing industry and thought that if I did a course at City – which has an excellent reputation – it might help me make useful contacts.

The first course I took was Novel Writing and Longer Works, which got me started on a draft of a novel. I then attended several other short courses just one night a week, which helped me finish a draft of my novel. I eventually applied to The Novel Studio, an intensive year-long programme for aspiring novelists. It was there I learned to redraft my novel.

In total I studied at City for three years. The courses were great, the teaching excellent and the standard of my fellow students was particularly high. I loved working with them all and still retain the strong friendships I made during my year on The Novel Studio.

City was a fantastic experience for me. Not only did it help me improve my writing, but I met some great people and got inspired by the courses to get more involved in the publishing industry. While doing Writers’ Workshop, I got involved in a short story event run by my tutor Paul Blaney, eventually collaborating with him to set up a publishing house, Apis Books. After working on the end-of-term reading event for The Novel Studio, I had the idea to set up Byte the Book. When asked, I always say Byte was born at City!

Originally I set up Byte the Book to help my fellow students get published and also for them to make connections in the publishing world. We are now an established membership organization with 250 members and three main aims: to help authors get published; to educate publishers and authors on technology; and to connect content producers with other creative industries that can use their work. Some of my fellow course-mates have guest blogged for us, or written articles and book reviews on the site, many more attend our monthly events at the Ivy Club. You can find out more about Byte the Book on our site, or if you’ve any questions please do get in touch at

I’m pretty busy right now with Byte, just back from New York where I took part in a Digital Publishing Conference and recently appointed Publisher-in-Residence at Kingston University, but if there was anything new I wanted to study in the future, I’d definitely go back to City. It’s a great place!

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