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  • Frances Lincoln

    Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:40

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

    Gail Lynch: Our list is so diverse, we have many different markets -- we publish travel guides, photographic books, gardening books, books on design, interiors, stationery, children's books. I would say anyone with an interest in the great outdoors, especially the British great outdoors, should look to us for inspiration. But we have plenty for indoor types, too!

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

    GL: Again, the diversity of our publishing is very important. We don't have all our eggs in one basket. We're not usually competing head-to-head with the big publishers. Our children's books, for instance, sell to schools and libraries as well as through bookshops, website and special interest groups. Our adult list includes some quite specialist titles, but never so specialist that they don't also attract some inquisitive general readers. The challenges are the same as they always have been -- creating well-produced books and getting them out into the world, whilst hanging onto some margin!

    BD: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?

    GL: Books come to us from many different sources -- if a book is properly written and well-designed, and we think people will be interested enough in it to buy it, and will feel rewarded for buying it, then we'll publish it. But there has to be a magic ingredient. If I told you what that is, I’d have to kill you.

    BD: What books are you most proud of having publishing?

    GL: I haven't been with the company very long, but there's no escaping the fact that we're all very proud to be the publishers of Wainwright's walking guides to the Lake District. Since the BBC has been showing documentaries about Wainwright's walks, the sales have been fantastic. But our MD bought the rights before the television interest, because he believed in them. Wainwright has become a phenomenon now -- there is Wainwright Ale, a Wainwright rose, a Wainwright bus, a Wainwright bridge -- and we're delighted to be involved.

    This month, we're publishing We Are All Born Free, with Amnesty International. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, children's artists each illustrated one of the articles of the Declaration and the results are published in a stunning children's picture book, that manages to be moving and educational as well as highly entertaining. We're extremely proud to be publishing that, and to have sold co-editions in 28 countries and 30 languages.

    BD: What books are you working on right now?

    GL: In the sales department, we're getting ready to start selling our spring list to our trade customers. I don't know that I should be singling out favourites, but we have a couple of books designed to get familes outdoors, which we're very excited about: The Family Kitchen Garden and Go Wild!

    My own personal favourites on the children's list are What Mr Darwin Saw, by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom, and Crocodiles are the Best Animals of All by Sean Taylor, with illustrations by Hannah Shaw. You'll have to wait until Spring 2009 to see them. Watch this space!

    *****

    These are The Book Depository's 5 favourite Frances Lincoln titles:


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