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  • Jawbone

    Mon, 08 Jun 2009 03:18

    Jawbone Press is a leading independent music book publisher based in London and San Francisco. Jawbone was launched in 2007 by the team behind many best-selling Backbeat and Thunder Bay titles, including How To Write Songs On Guitar and Totally Guitar. As well as publishing its own books, Jawbone continues to produce Backbeat-branded books for Hal Leonard.

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

    Jawbone: Pop/rock music enthusiasts -- people who read magazine such as Mojo; musicians; guitar enthusiasts.

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

    Jawbone: Challenges -- making well-written, hi-quality books in an ever more competitive market.

    Opportunities -- increasing opportunities to promote titles creatively, without resorting to expensive advertising.

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

    Jawbone: A few things:

    1. A good idea, that seems obvious once you've heard it but which you hadn't thought of before.

    2. An author that loves his/her subject.

    3. Someone who writes well and can command a lot of knowledge.

    4. Belief that there is an audience for that particular book.

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

    Jawbone: Million Dollar Bash by Sid Griffin and Bowie In Berlin by Thomas Jerome Seabrook are attractively-packaged, well-written books that find new angles on well-known subjects. And they're both selling pretty well.

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

    Jawbone: We've got the first ever biography of Metallica bassist and founder, Cliff Burton, who died in the 80s in a road accident, written by noted metal writer Joel McIver; a vast study of the Velvet Underground by Richie Unterberger; the first book about the Walker Brothers, by singer/author Anthony Reynolds.

    A little further on we've got the authorized story of Elektra Records, and books about acid folk, Arthur Lee, Elvis, more Dylan and Todd Rundgren.

    Posted by Mark Mark

    Categories: publishers, Jawbone

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  • Eland

    Mon, 01 Jun 2009 08:46

    Eland is an independent publisher, founded in 1982 and still owned and run by travel-writers. It is dedicated to reviving great travel books and has patiently built up a backlist of a hundred travel classics which includes biography, memoir and spirit-of-place fiction. We have in the last five years branched out to create three new categories: pocket books of the poetry of place, collections of travel writing called 'through writers eyes' as well as some original travel books.

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

    Eland: We have a worldwide readership that is quite independent of any analysable class, occupation, religion, nationality or income group. Eland books are for readers who wish to explore the world in all its wonder, humour, cruelty and magnificence. By talking to our customers we have found that beside their love of books, they tend to make use of public transport, like live music, fresh food and local cafes. They seem to share our delight in individual achievement and a distrust in political systems.

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

    Eland: Keeping to our high standards of book production whilst keeping our prices affordable. We occupy a distinctive niche and have no desire to grow beyond our small attic office complete with a bath and a sofa for the dog. Although it may be difficult for us to make first contact with our readers in todays bustling marketplace, once they have discovered our list they often become fiercely loyal and recommend us to like-minded friends.

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

    Eland: We select the books that we cannot put down, and that you look forward to reading again almost the moment after you have finished them.

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

    Eland: We genuinely love all the books on our list, but if you wanted to start somewhere, Norman Lewis's Naples 44, Portrait of a Turkish Family by Irfan Orga, Mungo Park's Travels into the Interior of Africa, Gavin Maxwell's Lords of the Atlas and Nicolas Bouvier's The Way of the World would be amongst the cherries on top of the Eland cake.

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

    Eland: We've just published an illustrated biography of an Arab artist, a sort of louche but much more handsome version of Betjeman, flavoured with bits of Cafavy and Lawrence of Arabia who was murdered in Jordan. About this Man Called Ali: The Purple Life of an Arab Artist is a very modern book. It is about an individual stranded between different cultures, language, sexuality and religion. It will be difficult to get reviews for a first time author, let alone a Lebanese woman writing about a gay Jordanian artist from an aristocratic Syrian dynasty, or to sell many copies into the UK market, but put in into the hands of the right reader, it could become a life-changer.

    Posted by Mark Mark

    Categories: publishers, Eland

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  • Thames and Hudson

    Thu, 14 May 2009 03:35

    Thames and Hudson was founded in 1949 by Walter and Eva Neurath. Their passion and mission for Thames and Hudson was that its books should reveal the world of art to the general public and to make accessible to a broad, non-specialist reading public, at prices it could afford, the research and the findings of top scholars and academics.

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

    Thames & Hudson: Thames & Hudson was founded sixty years ago with the central objective of creating a programme of illustrated, non-fiction books that would educate, inform and entertain as a 'museum without walls.' It has always traditionally been regarded as pre-eminently a publisher of the arts, so our key market is really all those who enjoy the visual arts and the wide range of related disciplines in which we publish -- design, architecture, fashion, photography, travel etc.

    These may be general readers, but they may also well be professionals in these various fields -- many of our titles are conceived and created with the professional market clearly in mind. Students are also a key market for us -- from the early years of Thames & Hudson and the creation of the World of Art series over thirty years ago, we have always endeavoured to publish a range of titles that students will value, and many of our books are included on recommended course reading lists.

    In this, our 60th year, we are celebrating the diversity of our unique programme with a range of new titles, eye-catching reissues of 20 classic titles, and a host of special offers. There will also be a number of high-profile events all over the UK featuring a raft of distinguished authors from the T&H stable.

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

    Thames & Hudson: Publishing has of course been affected by the current global economic downturn, but here at Thames & Hudson, we are confident that books -- especially beautifully produced ones like ours -- can and do remain resilient. During these 'credit-crunch' times, traditional channels of entertainment such as reading and museum and gallery-going have been enjoying a resurgence in popularity, and books of course represent an enduring source of diversion and pleasure.

    Other challenges and opportunities both stem really from the same source -- the massive surge in new technologies, linked to the inexorable rise of the internet as a central part of our daily lives.It's a challenge inasmuch as our traditional readers have never been so distracted by alternative media, and perhaps never been so tempted to set their books aside. It's an opportunity because we, as publishers, have much to bring to the table. We spend much of our time here analysing and tracking the multitude of developments emerging from the new media, and we feel confident in our ability to keep up with the curve. Having said this, we also feel that books in their traditional form will continue to engage the market, and in the field of visual books, where we pride ourselves in our high standards of design and production, we feel that our core customers will remain loyal. There are, of course, limits as to how much one can replicate the look and the feel of a great art book on the web or an e-book reader...

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

    Thames & Hudson: It involves a multitude of factors: the expertise of the editor, who will know the chosen field intimately; the view of the marketplace, which we try to source and to study at every opportunity; and an awareness, again prompted by our knowledge of, and work with, the trade, of the most significant emerging areas of publishing. But perhaps as much as any other factor, we derive much simply from our vast experience of bringing books to the market over a period of 60 years.

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

    Thames & Hudson: Thames & Hudson has a wide-ranging backlist covering many different disciplines and areas of interest, so it's difficult to be specific, but here are a few suggestions!

    T&H has always greatly valued its close relationship with some of the key subjects of its publishing, be they artists, sculptors, photographers, designers or architects. David Hockney, for example, has been very close to the company for many years, and his book Secret Knowledge, published in 2001, was a fascinating and ground-breaking account of the working methods of the Old Masters. To see one of Britain's greatest painters engage with art history in this way really was thrilling.

    The World of Art series, which to generations of readers has offered an essential course in art appreciation, embodies many of the values that T&H cherishes as a publisher, and its success over such a long period is I think a testament to the early vision of our founders.

    In more recent years we have both led the way and embraced whole new fields of publishing. We have had great success in the area of street art, for example, and indeed published the first survey on the then little-known discipline of graffiti art back in 1984. This seminal book, Subway Art, has just been reissued in a large-size format to celebrate its 25th anniversary, and remains the 'bible' for anyone interested in street art.

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

    Thames & Hudson: We are focusing on our 60th anniversary for the whole of this year, and are very excited about our Autumn publishing programme, which forms a part of those celebrations.

    We have a new edition of our bestseller Magnum Magum, which was the volume created with the Magnum photographic agency to celebrate their first sixty years. It features 400 works from across the spectrum of Magnum photographers, and sold out in its first incarnation as a £95 hardback -- this new version (RRP of just £19.95) will make this wonderful book accessible to all.

    We are all very excited about Vincent Van Gogh: The Complete Letters, which will be an historic and ground-breaking publication. It is the most complete edition of Van Gogh's letters ever published, is illustrated extensively throughout, and draws on fifteen years of scholarship and dedicated research. This will be a major publishing event for the company in October this year.

    In addition, we have the first major monograph on Turner prize-winning contemporary artist GRAYSON PERRY; a magnificent illustrated survey, The Great Cities in History, edited by John Julius Norwich, and a really wonderful illustrated children's book, Timmy the Tug, based on a previously unpublished poem by Ted Hughes. These are just some of many new titles covering a wide range of disciplines.

  • Osprey Publishing

    Tue, 05 May 2009 02:40

    Osprey Publishing has been providing books for enthusiasts since 1968 when it grew out of the collectable cards that were packaged with Brooke Bond tea. From the first series, Aircam Aviation, and then Men-at-Arms, Osprey Publishing has grown into a global publishing company covering all aspects of military history including uniforms, campaigns, equipment, hardware and fortifications. With over twenty series built up over the last forty years it really is the destination for military history.

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

    Osprey Publishing: Primarily military history enthusiasts of all ages and with varying degrees of enthusiasm. They can be very active modellers, wargamers, re-enactors or armchair generals. Or it can be someone who read a Bernard Cornwell book or watched Band of Brothers and now wants an accessible introduction to the actual history of that Napoleonic campaign or World War Two battle.

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

    Osprey Publishing: Encouraging those military historians who have never tried an Osprey to read one. Within our slim, illustrated volumes is a wealth of information written by experts that can add a huge amount of understanding to a study of military history. For example the maps and birds-eye-views can really aid the reader's understanding if used alongside a book by Anthony Beevor or Max Hastings.

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

    Osprey Publishing: It is based on the expertise of our editors and authors, feedback we get from our customers at events and through our blog and forum, and from listening to our book-sellers; then it is all thrashed out in the Publishing meeting. Some titles are chosen because they will be a huge success, some because we are committed to being comprehensive in our coverage -- eventually!

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

    Osprey Publishing: Can we say all of them? Osprey Men-at-Arms: A Celebration was a beautifully bound hardback of the best artwork from that series featuring some of our finest artists. It was a fitting celebration of a great series.

    Our Duel series which we launched in September 2007 has been great to work on and the concept of machine-on-machine comparison has proved to be very popular.

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

    Osprey Publishing: We have a new series launching in September 2009 which will cover the daring operations of small units and Special Forces. Launch titles include books on the Rangers raid at Pointe-du-Hoc on D-Day and the SAS Iranian Embassy Siege of 1980. They are going to look fantastic and provide a really accessible view of these exciting actions.

  • Saint Andrew Press

    Mon, 06 Apr 2009 02:21

    Saint Andrew Press was founded in 1954 as a means of dealing with the prolific output of William Barclay, the highly popular Church of Scotland theologian. Barclay's New Daily Study Bible series remains a central part of the Press' publishing programme, but over 50 years, the range has grown to include books for children, biographies, popular history and humour.

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

    Saint Andrew Press: It would be fair to say that our core audience is made up of outward-looking Christians keen to explore their faith in today's world. That said, we publish plenty of books reaching well beyond that market, from biographies such as Reith of the BBC to the poetry of Kenneth Steven.

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

    Saint Andrew Press: There are so many exciting opportunities available to get titles old and new to a wider range of readers through a multitude of platforms at the moment. The key challenges are keeping up (without alienating any of our loyal audience) and maintaining a focus on the quality of the end product -- it's always got to be about the content: not the package.

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

    Saint Andrew Press: The roads to publication at Saint Andrew Press are many and varied, rarely following the route we initially planned, because the whole team is involved in the creative process. Primarily, it has to be something we want to read -- if we're not enthusiastic about it, how can we expect our customers to be? Secondly, does the book fit our market and are we able to provide that market -- it could be a great book, but if we can't do it justice, someone else should publish.

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

    Saint Andrew Press: I'm particularly proud of our new Insights series (The Lord's Prayer, Christmas and Easter) -- we've taken the work of William Barclay, which is still as fresh as it was when he wrote it 50 years ago, and made it accessible to a younger generation by breaking it into really attractive little books full of bite-sized and truly remarkable facts about the New Testament. Diane Louise Jordan said, "Thanks to Barclay, I'm now devouring my Bible in the same insatiable way some devour a best-selling novel. The Bible is brimming with texture and dimension and history and politics and romance and heartache and promise and love and more and, at last, it is coming into full focus for me." If we can engender that kind of reaction in just some our readers, then I think we've done a very good job.

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

    Saint Andrew Press: Kenneth Steven's beautiful new collection of essays, Making the Known World New, has just arrived back from the printers and is a thing of lovely wonder -- Robert Macfarlane gave us a brilliant quote summing it up as "gentle and fierce, local and global, metaphysical and tactile."

    This year is the 500th anniversary of the birth of Calvin, so we've got a fantastic and controversial book coming up from journalist and historian Harry Reid, Reformation: The Dangerous Birth of the Modern World. In a dramatic departure for us, we're also going to publish our first graphic novel: Marked is a violent, surreal and disturbing re-imaging of the Gospel of Mark.

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