Boydell & Brewer selects the AVATAR publishing management system

Boydell & Brewer, the independent academic publisher in the humanities, has selected AVATAR to enable it to manage its future business process requirements. According to Peter Clifford, Boydell & Brewer Managing Director: “As a forward looking publishing business, what really impressed us about AVATAR was the way it has been built to cater for the future.

“We were looking for a system that not only differentiated itself from other general financial management packages by handling all of the very specific requirements that publishers currently have, without the need for any additional development, but also one that would enable us to respond to our future needs in this rapidly evolving industry. We were also looking to work with a team that has a real understanding of the particular challenges and issues facing publishing. AVATAR offers us both.

“As a specialist publisher, we have to understand what it is exactly that our customers want. It is likely that, in the future, that will require us to deliver something much more flexible than the conventional book, and AVATAR, which despite offering publishing-specific modules is not actually an ISBN-dependent system, will certainly facilitate this.

“Boydell & Brewer is really a family of niche imprints and we need to be able to take a view on them both together and separately, and look, for example, at the performance of different subject areas across several of those niches and then shift the perspective again and home in on one particular unit. Thanks to the strength of its reporting and business intelligence capabilities, AVATAR will enable us to analyse performance in this flexible and in-depth way and this will be enormously useful.

“Integrity and financial security were also important considerations for us and the fact that the system also comes from a firm of chartered accountants makes me confident that, in selecting AVATAR, we are helping to futureproof our business.”

Ian Singer, the IT partner at PKF Littlejohn LLP responsible for the development and management of the AVATAR system, said: “We are delighted to welcome Boydell & Brewer as a new AVATAR client and have been impressed by their forward-thinking and professional approach. They are well aware of the challenges facing the book publishing industry and have committed to making their processes more efficient and to improving their financial and sales reporting capabilities to enable them to make quicker and smarter decisions.

“AVATAR is their selected tool to achieve this. In addition to the issues we encounter almost inevitably with a new publishing user such as accommodating existing systems, ensuring appropriate financial and sales reporting, coping with new product formats, the increasing use of Print on Demand (PoD) and so on, Boydell & Brewer also face an additional challenge by virtue of having two parallel publishing operations, one in the UK and one in the US. Trading in foreign currencies, inter-company accounting, and the need to control and monitor gross margins extremely closely are all key issues for them which AVATAR will help to resolve. We look forward to a long and mutually fruitful relationship over the coming years.”

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For further information, please contact:

Peter Clifford
Boydell & Brewer
01394 610600
Michael Collins
07779 602 865

Notes to editors

About Boydell & Brewer  (
Boydell & Brewer Ltd was formed in 1978. It merged two companies, Boydell Press and D.S. Brewer, whose founders, Richard Barber and Derek Brewer were themselves scholars - Brewer a Chaucer specialist and subsequently Professor of English and Master of Emmanuel College, Barber a medieval historian and Arthurian.

Medieval studies originally formed the core of the list, but it has rapidly expanded to embrace a wide range of specialist subject areas across the humanities, including early modern and modern history, music, and Spanish, German and African studies. Its publishing partnerships include the Victoria County History, Early English Text Society, Royal Historical Society, York Medieval Press and, in the US, the University of Rochester Press, a unique partnership with the University of Rochester.

While embracing a philosophy of innovation and growth, Boydell & Brewer remains a defiantly independent publisher of scholarly works for the academic community and thought-provoking, attractively-produced books for the general reader.

About AVATAR (
AVATAR is a complete business management system for book and journal publishers, book packagers and distributors. Functionally rich, AVATAR’s modules are seamlessly integrated yet flexible enough to meet publishers’ individual business needs.

AVATAR is also able to integrate seamlessly with existing systems, and protects investment through the use of industry standards like Oracle database compatibility. Partnerships with leading technology providers such as IBM, ensure a ‘best of breed’ approach to all aspects of the software’s design. The system has been used by publishers for more than 10 years and is constantly being refined and enhanced. It is currently used by publishers with between 4 and 400 users.

AVATAR is supported by PKF Littlejohn LLP, one of the UK’s top 40 firms of chartered accountants.

About PKF Littlejohn LLP (
PKF Littlejohn LLP is an independent Top 40 UK firm of chartered accountants and business advisors based in London’s Canary Wharf. It is an independent member of PKF International, a worldwide association of accounting firms.