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Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:40
Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?
Lefi Gruffudd: We publish a wide range of books from Welsh interest, joke books and books for Welsh learners, but we now mainly focus on popular biographies and fiction. Our new Alcemi imprint targets the literary market in Wales and beyond, and we’ve just published Death of Justice, the autobiography of Michael O’Brien, an innocent man imprisoned for 11 years in the infamous Cardiff Newsagent Three murder case.
BD: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?
LG: Developing Welsh-based authors is a challenge, especially with the London dominated media, but devolution and the recent funding expansion for Welsh publishing give some hope. Competing with mainstream publishers is always difficult...
BD: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?
LG: The promotion of Welsh culture, history, and language is the basis of the company’s existence and influences most decisions (and we only publish authors based in Wales). But the marketability of a book and its author are also a key factors.
BD: What books are you most proud of having published?
LG: This year we published the prize-winning biography of Gwynfor Evans, the first Plaid Cymru MP and its president for 40 years: Gwynfor Evans: Portrait of a Patriot. As well as winning the Welsh Book of the year award, it represents how far Wales has come in the past half a century, politically and culturally. We’re also proud of Solva Blues, the autobiography of the Welsh Bob Dylan – Meic Stevens.
BD: What books are you working on right now?
LG: We’re quite excited to be working on the autobiography of Roberto Martinez, the Catalan manager of Swansea City. As well as bringing Swansea city back into the limelight, isn’t he also one of the best managers in British football? Alcemi is also about to publish Twenty Thousand Saints, the first English novel by a fabulous young Welsh author Fflur Dafydd, on lesbian nuns, being marooned without any men on Bardsey Island, privacy and intrusion.
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