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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.
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