Miles Kelly’s cofounder and Managing Director, Jim Miles, will retire at the beginning of 2015, almost 19 years after he started the company with Gerard Kelly in July 1996.
Jim began his publishing career in 1975, aged just 24, at Macdonald Education. He went on to join CBS, Letts, Marshall Cavendish, Quarto and Kingfisher. It was whilst working at Kingfisher that Jim and Gerard became friends in 1994. They soon realized that they shared the same ambition – running a children’s book publishing company of their own. Just two years later, they started Miles Kelly Publishing with only £100, working from Jim’s basement.
Miles Kelly began by packaging books for large UK and US publishers, and in just one year established its own imprint, publishing Flip Quizzes, a series that would go on to sell millions of copies. In the years that followed, Miles Kelly published more than 1000 titles, including the bestselling Convertible books, 100 Facts and Discovery Channel range. The company has seen steady growth, now employing 32 staff and reaching £7.5 million turnover in 2014.
The staff at Miles Kelly were left shell-shocked in January 2011 when Jim was diagnosed with brain cancer. He underwent surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and four years on, the tumour has not grown. Jim is keen to point out that there is life after being told you have brain cancer. His retirement will allow him to step back and enjoy the simple things in life, from walking his dogs with his wife Cathy and playing golf, to visiting new places and writing a blog.
Everyone at Miles Kelly wishes Jim a very happy retirement.