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Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:40
Book Depository: What/who do you see as your primary market?
Caroline Eden (Kuperard): Given the wide range of books we publish and distribute we appeal to a very diverse and large readership. From our travel series’ we pride ourselves on understanding our market, but we also know that there are plenty of anomalies! So, generally speaking, our Chic collection appeals to the up-market traveler who appreciates that our books cover both cities and countries. We consider our Chic collection to be the creme de la creme of luxury travel publishing and the books have quite a following.
Our Culture Smart! series appeals to anyone who cares about traveling responsibly. Traditionally this series has appealed to ex-pats, conscientious travellers and business people, but this is changing as we British accept that the UK is now a multicultural society and a pat on the back is more likely to offend than please. Our FHG series (Farm Holiday Guides) appeal to the growing number of us who like to holiday in the UK, either with our pets or family…or both.
Among the series’ we distribute for Random House USA, we have recently had great success with Modern Library and have had in-store promotions with Foyles. Modern Library appeal to those who enjoy reading classics and appreciate the quality of introductions that are often written by writers who are as famous as the authors of the texts themselves.
BD: What are the principal challenges/opportunities you see at the moment in the business of publishing books?
CD: The on-line book market presents both the biggest challenges and the biggest opportunities for most publishers.
BD: What brings you to the decision to publish a particular title/author?
CE: For our Culture Smart! series it is quite good fun choosing destinations as we now have 60 countries covered. Naturally we are now publishing on less traveled-to countries. For example, this year sees Iran and Saudi Arabia joining the list. With roughly 190 countries in the world we still have much more to offer. It seems that the books we publish to more unusual destinations attract the most attention.
As far as the Chic series is concerned obviously the countries and cities with a large proportion of luxurious properties feature, so that limits the scope slightly. The publishing schedule is also determined by which countries and cities are fashionable at the time, and therefore are seeing an upsurge in luxury properties driven by demand.
BD: What books are you most proud of having published?
CE: Our new Culture Smart! books to Libya and Iran stand out as we hope to offer some reassurance to potential travelers who may have concerns about safety in these countries. Additionally, the modern history and factual sections have not been altered to suit local politics in countries where such matters are controlled. The information within our books is truthful and has not been written to suit the authorities.
Some travel publishers, who shall remain nameless(!), do not include sensitive material so that they can sell their books locally. We pride ourselves on delivering an honest account of history and current political situations. As a result, this can have consequences on sales but we like to remain factual.
BD: What books are you working on right now?
CE: One of the books we are currently working on, and one that is causing much excitement, most is England Chic. We have Chic titles to a variety of cities and countries but not one to our own land, so this is exciting.
These are The Book Depository's 5 favourite Kuperard titles:
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