1 What's your company called?
2 What do you publish?
Mainstream adult fiction and non-fiction, particularly history, biography and memoir.
3 What's the story of the company?
I’m the fiction agent for the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency, and four years ago we decided to set up our own publishing imprint. We wanted to generate more revenue from authors’ backlists, and also felt we had some terrific frontlist titles that hadn’t sold but which we thought we could publish successfully.
4 How's business?
Business is great. We’ll publish our 500th book this year, and in that time we’ve had numerous bestsellers, award nominations and lots of media coverage. For example, we recently published the biography of journalist Clare Hollingworth, which was serialised in the Mail on Sunday, and have sold its film rights to Eclipse Films. And a few weeks ago, another of our titles—A Life in Death by Richard Venables and Kris Hollington—won the non-fiction prize at the 2017 People’s Book Awards.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
I particularly like the freedom we have to publish books across a wide range of genres of fiction and non-fiction. If we believe in a book, we’ll publish it.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
The decline in ebook sales.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
As a fairly new publisher we’re still learning all the time, so I’m not sure I’m really in a position to offer advice. But the importance of Amazon reviews cannot be overstated.
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
Publishing is obviously dominated by a number of huge global companies, so organisations like the IPG are crucial to help small companies work collectively and share information and resources.