1 What's your company called?
2 What do you publish?
If we have to label, contemporary fiction, but… as a proposition we’re looking for interesting voices—writers who wouldn’t or can’t get published by major publishers. We want to take risks and publish books that are not only great reads but have a cultural or intellectual impact.
3 What's the story of the company?
We love reading and books. But we weren’t always seeing the sort of novels or writers we wanted to see and read out there in the marketplace. With so many new independent publishers popping up, we decided to grasp the nettle and do it our way. We’re under no illusions and have our expectations realistically set—but it’s going to be a fun whatever we do and whatever we achieve.
4 How's business?
Having only just published our first title it’s far too early to say! We know it’s tough, and the indie landscape is expanding all the time—but that’s why it’s exciting. We can take risks the major publishers won’t. Sometimes there’s a feeling that a particular formula is being used or that similar stories are being told, because they sell. We can judge every book we see on its own individual merits; we’re not just looking for money-making machines and are happy to publish great books with something to say (as well as getting good sales!).
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
It’s early days but there’s a liberating feeling to being in charge. It’s been exciting to create a brand and, hopefully, as we grow and expand our horizons, we’ll become a publisher where you know exactly what you’ll get, if not necessarily what you expect.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
Speaking from our point of view then we would have to say the domination of known authors and ‘celebrity’ writers, enabled by massive marketing campaigns. There’s a place for that of course, but we like the idea of variety, rather than safety or regurgitation. And just as television is changing, with streaming services taking risks with their content, hopefully readers’ appetites are changing too, hungry for substance over style or quick-hit lit.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
The first time doing everything takes much longer than you expect, so whatever time you have allowed, double it!
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
I’m sure there will be more in the future but at the moment we’ve benefited from the pool of knowledge in the Skills Hub and support from the team.