I owe an apology to Edward because this interview was supposed to post last Monday, but I had a computer meltdown that morning and it completely slipped my mind. The first thing I must tell you about Edward is that he pronounces his name wrong. He says it’s Beechum. I’m telling you, I believe it’s supposed to be Bow-sham or something similar. But I suppose he gets to tell us the right way to pronounce it. Edward is one of the handful of males that works on the Harlequin digital team, and the one thing I’ve noticed is that they all have a fantastic sense of humor and are easygoing. I suspect this is the only way to survive when you work with a group of intense women. I always appreciate that when I email Edward and ask for help with something, or an explanation of something I don’t understand, he’s quick with an answer and the help. And yes, it is fun listening to him talk (see his interview below for the explanation of why).
AJ: To start, tell us your job title as well as what you do for Harlequin and Carina.
EB: My job title changed recently from Digital Marketing Manager to eHarlequin.com Advertising Manager.
I look after the Harlequin & Carina Press affiliate programs across 3 different networks, single-handed. With over 3.5k affiliates already and more joining daily, I get my share of emails!
Aside from the affiliate program I also look after paid search marketing for Harlequin and Carina, and I’m also now running most of our single title online ad campaigns totally in house, mainly on the Google and Facebook platforms – so if you see one of our ads somewhere, there’s a pretty good chance I’m somewhere behind it.
In my spare time I try to come up with new concepts for ad creatives and new ways to get more visitors to our sites. I’m always on the lookout for new traffic sources to test ad campaigns on, and ways to improve on our current efforts. I’m very lucky to have a boss like Eleanor who is open-minded, gives me a lot of freedom and lets me try out my sometimes crazy ideas!
It would be fair to say I have a long-term obsession with internet marketing, web design and indeed all things internet. I’m never far from a computer! One day I’ll get around to writing a book about it.
AJ: Do your friends every give you a hard time about where you work, being a man working for a predominantly romance publisher?
EB: Yes – I’ve heard probably just about every joke going about Fabio and all the stereotypes! I now avoid the inevitable ribbing and just say I work in internet marketing. It’s scarier being the gender minority in the office actually, I feel like an endangered species. I’m surrounded by women! (They’re all very nice to me though)
AJ: You’re driving in to work (or riding in on the bus or by other means), what’s on your radio or mp3 player during the drive this week?
Have to admit I tend to avoid Canadian radio stations, I can’t stand hearing pretty much the same 10 songs continuously repeated all day, for months on end. Like most people in the office I have a sometimes long commute so music and podcasts are a wonderful escape.
I have pretty eclectic musical tastes and listen according to my mood – on the drive in it might be stuff like The Editors or the Pigeon Detectives, and maybe the latest Sharam or Dubfire mix to get me home. It varies, I don’t have a particular favourite band or genre though. If I’m not in the mood for music, I’m listening to football (read: soccer) podcasts from the UK, or otherwise audiobooks.
I’m open minded, I like discovering new bands and music – I’ll listen to pretty much anything once!
AJ: What’s the first thing people notice about you?
EB: Only one answer there – my accent! Having moved to Canada from the UK (Salisbury, 80 miles south west of London), I get a lot of attention due to my British accent – particularly from women, to my wife’s continued general amusement. Always gets us great service in shops, banks and restaurants though, if I do the talking!
AJ: What are you reading right now? Do you read any of the Harlequin or Carina books?
EB: I have to confess I’ve never been a big fiction reader to be honest, even as a kid – regardless of the publisher! I’m a serial hoarder, and I own a lot of books, both print and electronic –but to most people they would probably seem jolly dull!
I tend to relax by reading non-fiction books about finance, economics, computers, the internet, internet marketing techniques – the area’s that interest me. I don’t tend to read books cover to cover although there are exceptions – I’ve generally always got 5-10 books on the go that I dip in and out of depending on what I feel like reading.
A sample of my favourite/current books on the go:
Soccernomics by Simon Kuper
The Search by John Battelle
When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein
Trillion Dollar Meltdown by Charles Morris
Kingpin by Kevin Poulsen
The Big Short by Michael Lewis
Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich
The Accountants Story by Roberto Escobar
Like I said, probably rather boring stuff to most people!
AJ: Dark, milk or white chocolate? Or no chocolate?
EB: All of the above as long as it’s European! I’m a complete chocoholic. The chocolate in North America is very different to what we get in the UK though – and not in a good way. Actually Lindt is good in Canada, that’s the same – but Kitkats, Twix’s and Cadbury’s here just don’t taste the same for some reason. Lindt milk chocolate would be my choice!
Edward’s cubicle area was quite bare when I was taking pictures, but in the true Harlequin spirit, he did have a Harlequin poster cover on his wall. Of course, his isn’t the usual hunky male, but instead a lovely lady. And who could blame him.