The modern publishing management platform. Find out more

Our story so far

Advanced functionality borne from the need of our own publishing requirements

“Consonance was born from our need to work efficiently as a single team, to communicate effortlessly with trade partners, and produce beautiful marketing materials.”

When we started, in 2011, Consonance (named Bibliocloud, back then) was an in-house project by Snowbooks, our sister publishing company, designed to bring all our knowledge about our books together in one place.

Since then, the system has evolved through working closely with our ever-growing numbers of publisher clients to be enterprise publishing software — for publishers, by publishers. Our experience now spans all types of publishing lists, working in all manner of ways with the supply chain: academic, children’s, international, professional and scholarly, and the system is designed to share that knowledge with all our clients.

Along the way, we won:

  • a Futurebook Innovation award in 2012
  • a Digital Leaders commendation in 2016
  • IPG Services to Independent Publishers award in 2017
  • Inclusion on the Futurebook 40 list of innovators 2018
  • Shortlisting in The Pitch entrepreneur competition 2018 and 2019

Our largest customer has over half a million products, and we send out millions of ONIX updates a year.

We are a tight-knit, expert, high-performing team of hands-on programmers. Emma Barnes (CEO), Rob Jones (Chairman), Sara O'Connor and Deanna Marbeck (full stack web developers) have extensive publishing backgrounds. Emma and Rob founded and run 20-year-old Snowbooks. Sara worked for big publishers on both sides of the Atlantic over 13 years, most recently as Editorial Director at Bonnier’s Hot Key Books. Deanna has advanced academic qualifications in librarianship and managed the Consonance implementation during her time as in-house metadata expert at our client, Pharma Press. Emma, Deanna and Sara career-switched from publishing to be programmers, and combine highly technical and strategic roles.

Database expert David Aldridge (CTO) and senior programmer Andy Pearson both have deep technical experience. David has delivered technical solutions in publishing, utilities, defence, marketing, logistics, media and finance, moving from Oracle data warehousing, Business Objects, and Informatica and SQL-based ETL to data and system architecture and web application development with Ruby on Rails. Andy has over a decade of web application development experience, including roles on projects for HSBC and Nuffield Health, and is the driving force of front-end innovation and technical standards in the team.

We volunteer at coding education events such as RailsGirls, and Institute of Imagination, and run our own coding courses for publishers. We partner with The Bookseller at their FutureBook conference to provide a Day of Code for 40 publishers. We run the Side Project Summer initiative to provide a community for publishers who code.

We work in a streamlined way which encourages rapid, prioritised delivery of value to our customers, relying on tools including Basecamp, Freshdesk, GitHub, Heroku, AWS, Bugsnag and Skylight.

We feature in articles in The Bookseller, Publishing Perspectives, BookBrunch, and on blogs, podcasts and reports, and our speaking credits include the BBC, London Book Fair, FutureBook, Confluence, Bookmachine, the SYP, University publishing courses, Brighton Ruby and various publishing and software development conferences.