The Boss: founder and public face of the company. An outdoor enthusiast with over twenty years' publishing experience, he’s the author of Vertebrate’s best-selling Peak District Mountain Biking and White Peak Mountain Biking guides. A keen runner, climber and mountain biker, he spent much of his twenties touring the world as a ‘professional’ (his words) climber and has now settled down with a young son and novelty show dog. His wife professes that after ten years he still seems resistant to training and doesn’t understand why he slips the lead and heads out to the hills at any opportunity.
John manages Vertebrate Publishing and is responsible for developing VP into one of the leading publishers of outdoor books in the country. Under his guidance, our titles have picked up numerous awards – including both the prestigious Boardman Tasker Prize and the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival on multiple occasions – and have been shortlisted for more. John is a keen rock climber and mountain biker and is author of the award-winning Peak District Bouldering. He’s also our in-house photographer, shooting many of the stunning images you see in VP’s guidebooks.
Jane has over twenty years' creative design and print experience. After qualifying in art, design and photography in her native South Africa, she honed her skills in several thriving design studios before moving to the UK sixteen years ago. As well as the distinctive twang she brings to the team’s cocktail of dialects, she is motivated and enthusiastic with a fine attention to detail and an eye for a catchy cover. She’s responsible for designing award-winning books, ebooks and print-on-demand for Vertebrate Publishing. Jane is married with a son, you might spot her doing her best to be athletic pounding the pavements in Sheffield's suburbia.
Our Head of Marketing, Lorna is a publishing Masters graduate. She is responsible for promoting our growing list and organising author events. Originally from the sunny(ish) seaside town of Southport, out of the office, she can often be found getting lost, exploring the many mountainous streets around her new home of Sheffield, looking for foxes or travelling the world in search of pandas.
Sophie is our office manager and without her the wheels would definitely fall off! She's super-conscientious and has an incredible eye for detail, especially with the all-important numbers. She lives in the heart of the Peak District with her super-keen MTB family.
Sarah joined the VP team as our Digital Assets Editor on a year's internship during her university studies and has proved herself invaluable. She's responsible for the rapid growth in our digital programme this year, especially our new audiobook titles. She's now back at uni, due to return to VP in 2020.
Jess has also joined the team as a Digital Assets Editor. An English Literature graduate, she completed multiple internships in London before joining Vertebrate. She will continue to expand our growing digital programme, and is excited to work on some brilliant ebooks and audiobooks!
Rae has been working in marketing for eight years at a local secondary school and she’s now relishing the swap from textbooks to adventure books. She describes her childhood as 'being brought up on Stanage' and is trying to do the same for her own young daughter. Rae enjoys walking, running and climbing in her native Peak District with her husband and daughter, and they have been known to pack their harnesses for trips overseas even after a 'scarring' mishap in Menorca …
The only non-Sheffield resident, Cameron graduated from the University of Leicester in 2017, a city he still calls home. He has worked as a production assistant for two years, typesetting books across genres, before joining Vertebrate in August 2019 where he continues to design book interiors, covers and social media graphics to a high standard. As part of his degree he also spent a year abroad in Virginia where hiking, climbing and bouldering were everyday activities. When he’s not on the train up north, he enjoys cycling around Leicestershire, watching rugby and working on his own novel, a children’s adventure set in Britain’s great outdoors.
After going to university in London and living there for five years Issy needed to leave the concrete jungle and head for the hills. She's an enthusiastic climber and loves the mountains so the outdoor capital called out to her. Her dream weekend would include long (easy!) multi-pitch routes up into the UK mountains. She's worked in sales since she was sixteen and landed her dream job at Vertebrate - few people can say they can get to climb in the Peak before AND after work!
Helen joined Vertebrate in 2019 as our Guidebooks Editor. She has brought with her fifteen-plus years of publishing experience to the outdoor market. A Sheffield native and a keen walker and runner, at weekends you’ll usually find her out and about enjoying the green spaces in Sheffield and the Peak District with her family.
Emma joined the team in April 2019 as a Production Editor. Originally from Staffordshire, she worked in ELT (English Language Teaching) publishing in Oxford for nearly eight years before being lured up north by the delights of Vertebrate. She loves editing and walking – although not necessarily at the same time – and is powered by tea.