F&W Media International

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F&W Media International
F&W Media International company logo.png
Parent company F+W Media (since 2000; 14 years ago (2000))
Status Active
Founded 1 April 1960; 54 years ago (1960-04-01)
Founder David St John Thomas and Charles Hadfield
Country of origin United Kingdom
Headquarters location Newton Abbot, Devon
Publication types Book, E-book, E-learning
Imprints David & Charles
Official website www.fwmedia.co.uk

F&W Media International Limited, formerly known as David & Charles Publishers (also styled as David and Charles), is a publisher of illustrated non-fiction books, eBooks, digital products, craft patterns and online education courses. It is the international arm of F+W Media Inc. and owner of the David & Charles imprint, which specialises in craft and lifestyle publishing, including sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting, papercraft, vintage, cake decorating and mixed crafts. The company also owns and runs the Stitch Craft Create ecommerce store (formerly the RU Craft store[1]) and publishing brand in the UK.

F&W Media International Limited acts as the worldwide (excluding North America) distributor for all F+W Media books and content outside of North America, and also distributes Interweave Press publications in the UK, Worldwide (excluding North America), and as foreign language editions.[2] In addition, the company distributes Dover Publications and Reader's Digest books into the UK Trade[3] and is also used by F+W Media as a UK and Europe distribution platform for the overseas acquired companies Krause Publications and Adams Media.

Origins[edit]

The company was founded – and is still based – in the market town of Newton Abbot, in Devon, England, on 1 April 1960 by David St John Thomas and Charles Hadfield. It first made its name publishing titles on Britain's canals and railways. In Newton Abbot, the company was based in the town's old railway station building and as the business expanded, the company took over the locomotive shed for use as a warehouse.

During the early years the company became particularly renowned for its classic books on the railways and canals of the United Kingdom. The railway linkage led to the company publishing a full page monthly advert "David & Charles News" on the back cover of the Railway Magazine. This started with a half page on the November 1966 back cover with the full page "News" starting in January 1967.[4]

In 1971, the company bought Readers' Union, a group of book clubs catering to enthusiasts of needlecraft, handicrafts, gardening, equestrian pursuits and photography. The company's publishing programme began to reflect these subject areas, moving away from the traditional transport titles for which it had become known.

In the period of about 1965-1970 David & Charles had an extensive list of their books published with the American imprint Augustus M. Kelley. These books were usually almost identical to the United Kingdom product but with changed dust jacket and publisher's information.[5]

Early Publishing[edit]

Among the early titles were The Canals of the British Isles series, edited and often written by Hadfield – he wrote in full or part, at least five of the volumes. Another series was the A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain (15 volumes); with the first volume written by St John Thomas and which led to the publishing of two companion series: Forgotten Railways and Railway History in Pictures.

The Scottish writer John Thomas wrote a series of books on Scotland railway lines and railway companies, first published in the 1960s and 1970s by the company. John Marshall was another railway historian published by the company.

The company also published travel and topographical works from the 1960s through to the 1990s of which the Islands series and the Light and the Land books by Colin Baxter were the most prominent examples. In the twenty-first century their travel publishing continued with the "Most Amazing Places" series.

The company also specialised in reprints of early technical and travel works and republished several issues of Baedeker's early-20th-century country guides as well some of the Edwardian works by Fred T Jane.

Acquisition by F+W Media[edit]

In 2000, David & Charles was acquired by F+W Publications (now F+W Media), a US publisher of special-interest books and magazines. F+W's audiences include crafters, quilters, fine artists, graphic designers, writers, genealogists and family historians, photographers and woodworkers. David & Charles' publishing list began to move to a craft, arts and cake decorating focus, to bring it more in line with F+W Media.

In 2008, moving into online markets, David & Charles launched the RUCraft E-commerce store, selling craft books and supplies.[6] RUCraft won several awards, including Best Catalogue Refresh 2012, and was Highly Commended by Craft Business magazine for its Direct To Consumer Online Store.[7]

The company changed its name to F&W Media International Limited in 2010[8] but continued – and still continues – to publish craft and lifestyle books under the David & Charles imprint.

In recent times, the company has launched several new websites, brands and partnerships:

Creative University[edit]

In November 2012 F&W Media International expanded into the online education market with the launch of new website and education brand Creative University.[9] Managing Director James Woollam summed up the aim of the new website: “The Creative University provides learning opportunities for busy creatives, on their own schedule and at their own pace, exploring topics that are key to their career growth and success.”

Creative University offers a mixture of instructor-led, self-paced and independent study course, using the Blackboard education platform. Initial courses focused on craft business but the company has since expanded its offering to include practical craft courses on subjects such as cake decorating and quilting.

Stitch Craft Create[edit]

In January 2013 the F&W Media International announced that it would be re-branding its RUCraft ecommerce store as Stitch Craft Create, in-line with the F+W Media magazine of the same title, and following on from the 2012 launch of the Stitch Craft Create Ideas content site and blog.[10]

Announcing the change, Brian O’Donnell, Head of eCommerce for F&W Media International Limited said: “Our customers know RUCraft as a reliable, trusted provider of quality craft products. Our content-rich website has the same dedication to the consumer as our eCommerce store, so we believe that merging the two brands under the Stitch Craft Create banner will better serve the crafting community.”[11]

In June 2013 F&W Media International further cemented its stance as a ‘media publisher’ (as opposed to a more traditional book publisher) by re-launching its digital craft pattern store at Stitch Craft Create, offering (for the first time) individual craft patterns and projects alongside its book publishing output.[12]

Interweave Press[edit]

Following news of the re-branding the company also announced that F&W Media International Limited would be taking over all UK, World (excluding North America) and foreign language edition sales of leading craft publisher Interweave, which had been acquired the previous year by parent company F+W Media, a move that united united two of the world’s largest publishers of illustrated craft content.[13]

Partnership with BurdaStyle[edit]

In October 2013 F&W Media International Limited launched a new UK ecommerce site in partnership with Burda Style.[14] The BurdaStyle website, and sister content site, features sewing and dressmaking patterns, digital downloads, fabrics and threads, as well as free dressmaking patterns and fashion and sewing articles. The launch was celebrated at the Knitting & Stitch Show at the Alexandra Palace, with BurdaStyle patterns appearing in a daily catwalk fashion show, using fabrics from the Coats PLC range.

BurdaStyle UK is an E-commerce store that provides both sewing fabrics, tools and equipment, and downloadable sewing and dressmaking patterns. It has a sister site (BurdaStyle Ideas) that functions as a sewing and dressmaking blog, offering free resources and patterns.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ RUCraft to rebrand as Stitch Craft Create, http://fwmedia.co.uk/rucraft-to-rebrand-as-stitch-craft-create/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  2. ^ F&W Media International to distribute leading craft publisher Interweave Press in the UK and international markets, http://fwmedia.co.uk/fw-media-international-to-distribute-leading-craft-publisher-interweave-press-in-the-uk-and-international-markets/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  3. ^ F&W Media International company overview, http://fwmedia.co.uk/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  4. ^ Railway Magazine (Tothill Press, London), back cover November 1966 & January 1967 dated issues,
  5. ^ An example is described in this extract from The Journal of Ecclesiastical History / Volume 21 / Issue 04 / October 1970, pp 377-378 retrieved 30th June 2013.
  6. ^ RUCraft to rebrand as Stitch Craft Create, http://fwmedia.co.uk/rucraft-to-rebrand-as-stitch-craft-create/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  7. ^ RUCraft to rebrand as Stitch Craft Create, http://fwmedia.co.uk/rucraft-to-rebrand-as-stitch-craft-create/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  8. ^ James Woollam About (Managing Director), http://www.jameswoollam.com/about/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  9. ^ New Website offers Online Education for Creative Professionals, http://fwmedia.co.uk/new-website-offers-online-education-for-creative-professionals/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  10. ^ RUCraft to rebrand as Stitch Craft Create, http://fwmedia.co.uk/rucraft-to-rebrand-as-stitch-craft-create/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  11. ^ RUCraft to rebrand as Stitch Craft Create, http://fwmedia.co.uk/rucraft-to-rebrand-as-stitch-craft-create/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  12. ^ The Future of Craft? Digital pattern store launches at Stitch Craft Create, http://fwmedia.co.uk/the-future-of-craft-digital-pattern-store-launches-at-stitch-craft-create/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  13. ^ F&W Media International to distribute leading craft publisher Interweave Press in the UK and international markets, http://fwmedia.co.uk/fw-media-international-to-distribute-leading-craft-publisher-interweave-press-in-the-uk-and-international-markets/. Accessed January 8, 2014
  14. ^ "Fashion Sewing Brand BurdaStyle Launches UK Ecommerce Business". F&W Media International. October 10, 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]