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  • MIRA Books

    Mon, 29 Mar 2010 01:29

    MIRA Books is a young up-and-coming publisher focusing on the very best voices in fiction. With a small but passionate team we publish books we love and that we are sure will entertain -- from criminally good crime and thrillers to fantastically realised fantasy and utterly compelling women's fiction. We are always looking for outstanding new books and writers to introduce to readers.

    The Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    MIRA Books: MIRA publishes books for everyone who enjoys being entertained by a great story. We publish in a wide variety of genres and aim to have something that appeals to every kind of general fiction reader.

    The Book Depository: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    MIRA Books: Publishing debut or still-new authors can be challenging -- just competing with the big brand names can be tough -- but is so incredibly rewarding when an author we all absolutely love at MIRA really breaks out to new readers. Another area we are focussed on are ebooks and the role of digital publishing as it works alongside traditional publishing. However, our aim at MIRA is to deliver a great story to readers, no matter what format they choose to read it in.

    The Book Depository: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    MIRA Books: The MIRA editors are looking to be dazzled by a great book. As we publish in many genres, the editors are open to anything that delivers that magical compulsion factor -- the type of story that keeps you up all night reading or makes you miss your stop on the bus -- that's what makes great entertaining fiction for us, no matter the genre. Once the editors love it, they encourage the Sales and Marketing teams to take a look and choosing to publish a book is a decision the entire team makes together.

    The Book Depository: What books are you most proud of having published?

    MIRA Books: Highlights include the second-world war romantic thriller, Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff; the unputdownable The Lost Daughter by Diane Chamberlain and the outrageously addictive Study and Glass series of fantasy books by Maria V. Snyder, whose brand-new title, Sea Glass, is out now.

    The Book Depository: What books are you working on right now?

    MIRA Books: We are vampire mad at MIRA right now and are introducing some sizzling new stories in the paranormal genre throughout 2010, including books from Jennifer Armintrout, Gena Showalter and Maggie Shayne. But the book everyone at the office is talking about is our May title, Virgin Widow by Anne O'Brien. Set during the War of the Roses, Virgin Widow follows the fortunes of Anne Neville, Richard III's forgotten queen. It's a magnificent novel and is the most fantastic companion book to Philippa Gregory's The White Queen.

  • James Currey

    Mon, 15 Mar 2010 02:01

    The Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    James Currey: Anyone who is interested in learning more about Africa, its peoples, arts, civilizations, past, present and future, whether they are students, academics, business and government professionals, or the curious reader.

    The Book Depository: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    James Currey: Most of our books are written by academics for academics, and the challenge is to select books that not only meet an academic need but have the potential for broader appeal.

    The Book Depository: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    James Currey: The best books come from authors who are fully engaged with the topic of their research, who bring an analytical sharpness to the organization of their material and can relate it to areas beyond their immediate field.

    The Book Depository: What books are you most proud of having published?

    James Currey: Bahru Zewde's History of Modern Ethiopia and Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia are two books that immediately spring to mind. Bahru is a skilled Ethiopian historian who has practiced his craft with great dedication and professionalism under extremely difficult circumstances. We were delighted to be able to present these books to an international audience and to make sure they were available to an Ethiopian readership as well.

    The Book Depository: What books are you working on right now?

    James Currey: Terry Ranger's Bulawayo Burning, a magnificent and lively social history of Zimbabwe's second city by a veteran historian of Africa and Zimbabwe; the Malawian poet Jack Mapanje's prison memoirs, The Crocodiles: lest we forget recounting his Kafka-esque experiences of detention under the former life-president Banda. These two books are illustrative of our range of authors and subjects.

  • For Dummies

    Tue, 12 Jan 2010 04:31

    If you are interested in learning anything from computers to crocheting, look no further to find essential step-by-step advice which will make you an expert in no time! With over 1400 subjects covered and one book being sold every minute in the UK, For Dummies is the world's bestselling reference brand.

    The Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    For Dummies: Anyone who wants hands-on and straightforward information on, well, pretty much anything! The Dummies brand has a very loyal following -- most people who own a Dummies book go on to buy several more. For Dummies personal development and self help books are incredibly popular, as are the computing and business books. The student audience has also been a growing market this year, with great successes in the fields of student cooking, essay- and dissertation-writing and study skills. Each Dummies book appeals to its own audience and with topics as widespread as our readers' needs, we hope there's a book out there for everyone.

    The Book Depository: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    For Dummies: It's always a challenge deciding what to publish. There are so many potential Dummies ideas out there and it takes a rigorous selection process to choose the ideas that eventually make it into print. Given that we publish on topics ranging from flirting to tax, who knows what we'll publish next!

    The Dummies brand is also leaping into the digital era, producing forthcoming books in e-formats for the Sony Reader and Amazon Kindle as well as standard print books. This new technology does, of course, bring with it some challenging questions for the brand to figure out: Who is our digital audience? What do they want to read? What do they expect from the Dummies digital experience? Staying one step ahead is always going to be a challenge, but we're confident we've got our fingers on the pulse so far.

    The Book Depository: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    For Dummies: We get ideas for Dummies books from all over the place. The news, radio programmes, competing titles, trend reports and good old gut instinct all play into the decision-making process. Luckily for our readers, there are several hoops our ideas need to jump through before they make it into print, so we won't be seeing Inking Your Own Tattoos For Dummies for some time. Finding Dummies authors is a trickier premise -- the ideal author is an expert in their field, has a great media profile and really 'gets' the Dummies concept and writing style. That being said, we've had fantastic authors so far, so perhaps this is easier done than said!

    The Book Depository: What books are you most proud of having published?

    For Dummies: We've had some immense successes in our time, of which we're very proud. We've had bestselling titles on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neuro-linguistic Programming, Body Language, PRINCE2, Starting a Business and many more...

    Recent achievements include British Sign Language For Dummies, a fully illustrated guide with an accompanying CD-Rom, Growing Your Own Fruit & Veg For Dummies, which has truly tapped into the zeitgeist of sustainability, frugality and good old fashioned fun, and Student Cookbook For Dummies, a fabulous guide to crafty budgeting and canny cooking.

    The Book Depository: What books are you working on right now?

    For Dummies: We always have over 20 titles on the go at any one point, albeit at various stages in the commissioning and publishing process. Some exciting ones going through at the moment are Improving Your Relationship For Dummies -- a must have manual for every couple, Football For Dummies -- getting us geared up for the World Cup, and Allotment Gardening For Dummies -- the ideal way to welcome in the Spring. We hope you enjoy them!

  • Crombie Jardine

    Tue, 05 Jan 2010 01:46

    Crombie Jardine are a small company that tries to catch the latest trends in the media with books such as Twitter: A Pocket Guide. Many of their titles are aimed at a young market (e.g. 101 Things To Do At University), although they have been developing a gift range for the older market (e.g. Stumped! The World's Funniest Cricket Quotes) and have a Scottish list which is aimed at tourists (e.g. No' Rabbie Burns).

    The Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    Crombie Jardine: Most of our books are aimed at impulse buyers aged between 13 and 45; anyone looking for a fun, inexpensive book as a gift or for themselves.

    The Book Depository: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    Crombie Jardine: Publishing topical, fun books that interest a wide range of customers can be a tricky business. Having our gift and humour titles compete with all the others on the market, especially in the run-up to Christmas, is certainly a challenge -- one that keeps us on our toes!

    The Book Depository: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    Crombie Jardine: Good content, with a strong catchy title. It is often a title idea that will start the ball rolling and as we compile many of the books ourselves in-house, it is then just a question of whether we consider the content to be strong enough to publish.

    The Book Depository: What books are you most proud of having published?

    Crombie Jardine: We are most proud of The Little Book of Chavs because it was our first title and a bestseller. We managed to write this quickly and publish it just at the right time, when the term 'chav' was just beginning to become known; 'The World's Funniest Range' (Laws, Puns, Proverbs, Cricket Quotes); the Sudoku puzzle books; and our Scottish list.

    The Book Depository: What books are you working on right now?

    Crombie Jardine:Stumped Again! More of the World's Funniest Cricket Quotes; Own Goals: The World's Funniest Football Quotes; Unusual Baby Names.

  • Duckworth

    Mon, 07 Dec 2009 06:36

    Based in Farringdon, Duckworth is an independent publisher with a general trade list and an academic list. Founded in 1898 by Gerald Duckworth, Virginia Woolf's half-brother, Duckworth publishes literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction, including history, biography and memoir, by authors including Beryl Bainbridge, John Bayley, Nigel Lawson, Max Brooks and Arthur Phillips. Duckworth Academic, which incorporates the Bristol Classical Press imprint, features scholarly monographs and student texts in Archaeology, Greek and Latin Classics, Ancient and Medieval History, and Ancient Philosophy. Its extensive backlist includes school and university texts in Latin, Greek, Russian, French, German and Spanish language and literature. Duckworth is owned by Peter Mayer, former CEO of Penguin, and is associated with the Overlook Press in New York.

    The Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?

    Duckworth: It really depends on the book. Over the academic and general lists we publish such a huge range of titles that there is something for all kinds of readers, whether they are interested in history, politics, contemporary fiction, science, biography, current affairs... or zombie hordes. There is a certain eccentric Englishness about our heritage as a company, and we have brought back into print a number of Duckworth's older titles, such as the beautiful editions of Heath Robinson's collected illustrations.

    The Book Depository: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?

    Duckworth: As a small business we have always faced the kinds of restrictions that the larger companies are only now starting to experience in tough economic times. We don't pay huge advances, so rather than competing with celebrity memoirs, we are forced to be innovative and imaginative, and sometimes to go against the grain -- for example in publishing Nigel Lawson's An Appeal to Reason, which challenged popular opinion about climate change. As an independent we have a lot of freedom in that sense. We are always on the lookout for good books that have been overlooked by larger houses, and for example in the case of the recent Buffett: The Biography, bringing acclaimed titles back into print for a new generation of readers.

    The Book Depository: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    Duckworth: It could be summarised as "instinct", really -- sometimes it's simply that we feel so strongly about an author's writing that we want to give copies to everyone we know; sometimes it's that a book addresses a specific issue in a timely way; sometimes it's a compelling and original idea. Ideally, it's all three.

    The Book Depository: What books are you most proud of having published?

    Duckworth: We are of course proud of all our books. But we are particularly pleased to have on our list Arthur Phillips, whom the Washington Post called "one of the best writers in America"; also the young writer Eleanor Thom, whose debut The Tin-Kin has just won the Scottish First Book of the Year; we are delighted, too, to be re-issuing the wonderful spy novels of Charles McCarry.

    Julia Child's charming memoir My Life in France has delighted many readers, and Max Brooks's hugely popular zombie titles have now sold over a million copies worldwide. And, of course, we are immensely proud of our highly respected academic list.

    The Book Depository: What books are you working on right now?

    Duckworth: We have just published Max Brooks's Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, our very first graphic novel, and Richard Neville's classic memoir of the 1960s Hippie Hippie Shake, updated with a new introduction and a fantastic new cover.

    On our spring list we're looking forward to Number Freak, Derrick Niederman's addictive book packed with number trivia, amusing facts and puzzles, Iain Hollingshead's new novel Beta Male, about four commitment-phobic men who live in fear of turning thirty, and Anil Ananthaswamy's The Edge of Physics, which blends enthralling travelogue with an investigation into cutting edge cosmology.

    And looking further into the future, J.J. Connolly's Viva La Madness, the fantastic long-awaited sequel to Layer Cake.

    Posted by Mark Mark

    Categories: publishers, Duckworth

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