Book Depository Blog



  • National Geographic

    Mon, 16 Nov 2009 00:01

    National Geographic Books publishes books for adults and children in support of the National Geographic Society's mission: "to inspire others to care about the planet." It is an acknowledged leader in illustrated reference books, atlases, travel books and travel collections and monographs, as well as narrative non-fiction for all ages.

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

    National Geographic: Of course, our photography is well-known throughout the world, so anyone interested in looking at great pictures and learning the stories behind making them would be interested in our books. Travel is also one of our obvious strengths, and we appeal to both the seasoned traveler who's looking for cultural information about their destination, as well as the person who merely aspires to travel the world. Our kids' books are packed with fun facts and great pictures for any child (and adults, too!), and make for great gifts. But in general, anyone interested in viewing the world as only National Geographic can present it can pick up one of our titles in culture, travel, history, or science and hear directly from our exporers-in-residence and experts as they share their stories from the field.

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

    National Geographic: Two challenges are presenting themselves at the moment: The struggling economy and the change from printed page to electronic media.

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

    The Book Depository: We look closely at current trends in the marketplace that would mesh nicely with our brand, and work closely with our sales force to determine market appeal for our core topics (Science, History, Cultures, Natural History, Travel, Photography). We also work closely with divisions across National Geographic (the Channel, online, National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Kids, games, etc.) to determine cutting edge topics -- from discoveries to adventure to new views of classic topics -- that will make good book projects.

    We often create companion books that link to the latest science articles from NGM or NG Channel shows so that our books can have the lift of cross-promotion and a stronger than ever brand presence. Likewise, we are constantly scanning the marketplace for partnerships with museums, major corporations and other locales for unique ideas. Additionally, we sell some of our titles direct to consumer, and we survey our membership often to help determine titles that might be successful.

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

    National Geographic:

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

    National Geographic:

    • Weird But True: 301 Outrageous Facts
    • National Geographic Ultimate Dinopedia
    • Soul of a Lion: Harnas Wildlife Reserve
    • My Father, the Captain: The Story of Jacques Cousteau
    • Secret Journeys of a Lifetime

  • Book Industry Services (BIS)

    Wed, 04 Nov 2009 06:37

    BIS Publishers is an international English publisher based in Amsterdam. BIS has built a name as a publisher of well designed creative books for creative people and their clients on subjects like design, fashion, advertising and architecture. Holland is one of the most prolific design countries in Europe and the best of Dutch and European design can be found on the BIS list. Besides books BIS also publishes a magazine on art and visual culture called Elephant of which the design and editorial office are located in London.

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

    BIS: The primary market of BIS is creative professionals around the globe and students.

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

    BIS: The principal challenge is one of all times: find the books that really address a need in the market and/or are so creatively and well done that they are picked up by many, many readers. So we look for those special projects that differentiate us from the run of the mill offering that you see on the market.

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

    BIS: The basic question is: does it contribute something new and is it done in a creative, attractive way.

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

    BIS: I am very proud that we published Sketching for Product Designers, which proved to be just the book that teachers in drawing classes in design school wanted to use in their classes. Within two years we have sold 50,000 copies around the globe.

    I am also proud on our most recent bestseller Never Use White Type on a Black Background -- and 50 other ridiculous design rules. This is a very good looking, useful and funny, and not too expensive gift book for designers. It will be followed by 4 other titles which will focus on ridiculous rules in fashion, advertising, typography and web design.

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

    BIS: In our successful memory games series we now work on a new game which is very well done: Typeface Memory Game (find the matching typefaces) developed by designers from Sao Paolo in Brazil. It looks great and I am sure it will be loved by many designers and will even be used in design school as an educational aid. Also look out for London Memory Game and Street Style Memory Game.

  • Hay House

    Mon, 05 Oct 2009 09:57

    Louise L. Hay set up Hay House over 20 years ago when she was 60 years of age. She originally wanted to be able to publish her own book You Can Heal Your Life in the way that she believed it should be published. The company is now the world's leading independent self-help publisher with offices on the west and east coast of the USA, in Australia, South Africa, India and the UK. Louise's own philosophy has helped make the company highly successful and widely hailed for its innovative way of directly reaching its audience via online marketing, Hay House Radio and large scale speaker events.

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

    Hay House: We are in the great position of having a brand that people recognise and associate with certain values. People are attracted by Louise L. Hay's own inspirational books and they come to the Hay House list seeking to learn more.

    We appeal to people who want to help themselves expand into greater self-awareness and ultimately become more balanced, healthier and happier individuals.

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

    Hay House: We are seeing a surge in both consumer and media interest in the kinds of books that we publish. People are looking for positive ideas that offer them route-ways to greater happiness and personal wellbeing. It's an exciting time to be in the personal-development field.

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

    Hay House: We are very author-focused and look for people who can write distinctive and authoritative books on their particular topic, and who ideally have the charisma and skill to convey their ideas via the media, online and to live audiences.

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

    Hay House: We're happy that we can offer books for people at a variety of levels. We have books aimed at readers who are completely new to self-help, right through to complex cutting-edge books that are likely to be the classics of the future. We hear so many readers say that our authors have had a profoundly positive impact on their lives and this makes us proud. What works for one person may leave another person completely cold and so it's great to try and ensure that we offer a wide range of authors, speaking to every level of reader. We are of course really proud to have published Louise Hay's own book, which has now sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

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

    Hay House: Our publisher is just reading the manuscript of a book that we think will be one of those future classics, Waking From Sleep by Steve Taylor. His work has already attracted great endorsements from people like Eckhart Tolle and Ervin Laszlo, as he has the ability to write about profound ideas in a really accessible way. We publish this next spring and believe that it will be one of those word-of-mouth bestsellers.

    She is also just finishing her input on the latest book by the wonderful medium Gordon Smith. Why Do Bad Things Happen? is Gordon's response to the big questions that people continually ask him about tragic loss, karma, fate and destiny. Gordon commands such international respect and affection and this book is sure to help thousands of people to see life and death from a new perspective.

    Posted by Mark Mark

    Categories: publishers, Hay House

    Write a comment | Comments: 0

  • New Holland Publishers Ltd

    Mon, 28 Sep 2009 03:08

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

    New Holland Publishers: We publish for the passionate. So many of our books are directed at a wide range of specialist niches. If you're a birder, a cook, a globetrotter, a gardener, a diver, a crafter or a sports enthusiast, you could well have a well thumbed New Holland book on your bookshelves. I think many of the people who buy our books, do so with a view to using them again and again as support for their own personal interests.

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

    New Holland Publishers: The universal challenge hasn't changed. That remains to create books that readers pick up, enjoy, and recommend to their friends.

    From a commercial perspective, in current times managing working capital has climbed swiftly to the top of the agenda!

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

    New Holland Publishers: We start by asking "Where can a book add value" within the specialist areas where we publish, or "Does this press the right buttons?" if we're looking at a more general mass market title. Then if we think there's a gap in the market, we ask ourselves if there is a market in the gap. When a concept creates a certain excitement and frisson at the earliest stages, that's usually a good portent for the future!

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

    New Holland Publishers: Mmmmm, ok this is a question which I could dance around diplomatically, not wanting to upset any of our publisher whose book I may not have chosen. Also, the ones you are proudest of aren't always the ones that sell well.

    OK, let's risk mutiny. Since I arrived here early last year my own personal source of publishing pride is Bob Woolmer's Art and Science of Cricket. I could write pages on this book, but for me it is the Cricket Bible. A lifetime's experience from an amazingly accomplished player and coach condensed, yes condensed into 655 pages of brilliance.

    In second place, and much more understated is a moving work Heroic Voices of the Spanish Civil War: Memories from the International Brigades. I've always been fascinated by the idealism, courage and passion of the International Brigades, in contrast to the cynicism and manipulation that they suffered. The first-hand accounts of these veterans of the war is moving and totally compelling.

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

    New Holland Publishers: We're about to launch two great cookbooks. The Billingsgate Market Cookbook is a wonderful source of simple and delicious recipes for fish and seafood by C.J. Jackson who runs the cookery school at the Billingsgate Market and the second is Fresh, Simple, Tasty, a cookbook by Celebrity Masterchef winner, Matt Dawson. Matt's recipes again, are simple and nutritious and evoke the admiration of the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Mitch Tonks. Enough said! But with around one hundred books a year being published, we always have something for everyone.

  • Smith/Doorstop Books

    Wed, 16 Sep 2009 03:01

    The Poetry Business publishes books, pamphlets and audio under the Smith/Doorstop imprint, and publishes literary magazine The North. It also runs Writing Days, the Writing School and the original Book & Pamphlet Competition.

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

    The Poetry Business: We have a very large database of people interested in poetry, which is not the same as a list of poetry-buyers, though there is some cross-over. Actually I think people like buying poetry books. Real people too I mean, not just poets (who make up most of our database).

    It's heartening that you start with this question, and it's the sort of thing that Arts Counil England quite properly are keen on us being interested in, and it does occupy us periodically. Markets come and go -- that is sad about the Borders closures, for instance, and I remember when Watersones regularly stocked our titles. Even so, like every poetry publisher, we're really only interested in poems and to some extent poets. Fortunately, we do want to do the best we can for our writers, and that includes selling them. Selling them is easier than selling their books. Readings and all the ancillary bits & bats, workshops, Arvons, competition judging, these all bring in income for poets and incidentally mean booksales. Readings sell books directly, the others build towards sales at your end, the bookshop end, don't they?

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

    The Poetry Business: Audio and e-books are interesting, and we're taking a few tentative steps that way, though I don't know if there's a market. And in fact with the internet and print-on-demand it's never been easier to get poetry out there, especially bad poetry -- and this quantitive easing is a threat as well as an opportunity. Even in book form, it's often clear nobody's read, let alone edited a lot of the verse jostling for attention. Which underlines why people tend to steer clear of poetry, and makes you wonder why more poets aren't beaten up. It's important to build trust with readers, and indeed to build up a readership.

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

    The Poetry Business: We have to really love a book to publish it. With so few resources -- in terms of marketing etc -- we simply can't afford to publish more than we do. Also, we've only got so much time to edit the poems -- there's only me and Ann doing that -- and depending on how you look at it we're either assiduous editors or control freaks, working with an author over weeks or months, or years. But I should say it is working with an author, and they're always really in the driving seat.

    Like every poetry publisher, we have better judgement than every other poetry publisher, especially when it comes to knowing what's genuine. I also like to think we have broad tastes, but I expect we haven't really: we have a house style, which is quite distinctive I think -- but we don't want to have one. I do know that the dull-but-worthy need not apply.

    We find poems in a number of ways -- not least at our Writing Days, where poems which are started there (and occasionally actually completed) can sometimes make their way into our magazine, The North: and from there we may get to realise how good a poet is, and work with them towards a pamphlet or even possibly a book. Similarly, we meet poets when we're teaching -- on Arvon courses or at Ty Newydd for instance -- and I always say "networking" is really only human nature -- an editor can't help reading a poem differently if they've met the writer. (With some people I suppose networking isn't always an advantage!)

    A good third of the Smith/Doorstop list comes from our annual Book & Pamphlet competition. Michael Laskey, one of our key (and bestselling) poets won our competition back in 1988 for instance. More recently a couple of our other bestsellers, Catherine Smith and Allison McVety, came to us originally through the competition. We've found some wonderful poets that way.

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

    The Poetry Business: Stanley Cook's Woods Beyond a Cornfield. Cook was born in the same year as Larkin and has many of his virtues, though he's a warmer voice, and ultimately quite unique. We did a big feature on him in The North back in 1995 when the book came out -- articles and poems -- which is still a good introduction. We have approximately three rooms full of this issue, or a box or two anyway, if anyone would like a free copy. It's a huge issue, quite heavy, so we'd be glad of a pound towards postage, or just call round with a forklift and take as many as you like.

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

    The Poetry Business: Had a quick count up and it seems we're working on fifteen collections, at various stages, from first discussion of a manuscript in progress through to proof stage of our pamphlet winners, and one title, the remarkable New & Selected by John Lyons, which is at the printers -- something of a find this book, you know. John won't mind me saying he can be a bit uneven, but distilled Lyons is quite heady stuff, and a joy to read, especially the poems about his Trinidadian childhood, full of sunshine and calypso. We're intending to do a cd of his reading too, such a rich wonderful voice -- there's already some Lyons audio on our website.

    What else can I tell you? We work closely with our poets, as I say, sometimes over two or three years on the same book. Recently Ann and I have had intensive back-and-forth editorials with Yvonne Green, Allison McVety, Paul Mills and Jane Routh for instance, all of them very different but outstanding books, and all of them still at least a year away.

    Even our pamphlets are an opportunity to work with poets -- and, as well as our very deserving competition winners -- Carole Bromley, Sally Goldsmith, Anna Woodford -- we're bringing out pamphlets by Forward-Prize Best-Poem-winner Sally Baker and by Mike di Placido. Mike incidentally is the only ex-professional footballer with an MA in Poetry -- and Theatre of Dreams features a sequence about his youth-trial year with Man U's greats -- the Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, George Best era.

    This autumn too we publish our most weighty volume, Michael Schmidt's Collected Poems (initially in hardback), which brings together 35 years of his work. Michael is best known for Carcanet and PN Review, and as a critic, but actually his Selected Poems (which we published in 1997) was a Poetry Society Special Commendation, and this Collected includes the amazing book-length sequence Love of Strangers (which is otherwise out of print) and his amazing in another direction Resurrection of the Body, a book which got brilliant reviews in such as the Times and Independent. We love his poems.

    And last but not least the overall winner of our 2008/9 competition, Michael McCarthy, who is an Irish priest living in Sherburn-in-Elmet -- a rather wonderful collection called At the Races -- we're hoping that handsome filly will come romping home (sorry, couldn't resist) -- it is a lovely, strong, imaginative, insightful sort of book, packed with life, and all with a real storyteller's voice, so we're hoping it'll get plenty of attention.

    Actually it's sixteen books -- just remembered we're going to bring out an anniversary anthology, rather wittily entitled, Twenty Five Years in The North. That will be autumn next year -- a quarter century of poetry editing -- how did that happen? And more to the point, why? Equally surprising is we're just as enthusiastic now as we were when we started.

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