Category Archives: Brand Publishing

Q&A with Louise Moore, Managing Director and Publisher of Michael Joseph

By | Brand Publishing, Editing, Insight, Interview, Publisher, Publishing & Consultancy, Writing | No Comments

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Louise Moore is Managing Director and Publisher of Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin Random House UK, that publishes highly commercial fiction and non-fiction. In addition to working with Marian Keyes, she has published bestsellers from Jojo Moyes, Dawn French, Stephen Fry, Sue Townsend, Sue Perkins, Joanna Lumley, Ronnie Corbett, Barry Humphries and Richard Curtis.

 

You describe meeting Marian Keyes as a “career-changing moment”. Can you describe what it feels like when you find a new talent you have to publish?

For me, it has been an odd moment of certainty. And reading that ‘voice’ that is unique, and special. And then knowing that you HAVE to have it for your company, no matter what. I remember when someone senior where I worked as a junior editor bought Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs – we all read it, and everyone knew it was going to result in a new genre and generation of writers. It doesn’t happen very often in a career. Sometimes though, an editor can shepherd a career along and think that there is something there, and then an author writes their career-defining book, perhaps six or seven books in. That’s special too, in a different way.

How has your editorial relationship with Marian evolved after working with her since the mid-1990s?

Marian is a dream of an author to work with because despite her superstardom and bestsellerdom, she always wants feedback and critique. It is her novel, and her view that counts ultimately, but I do think that every author —however talented or experienced — can benefit from editorial support. Marian is generous, receptive and open and that hasn’t changed in over twenty years.

Marian’s books don’t shy away from the pain of mental illness. But in an age which calls more and more for trigger warnings, it can be challenging to portray such a sensitive subject in a safe but truthful manner; Netflix has recently come under fire for overly graphic portrayals of suicide and anorexia. As an editor, do you feel an added layer of responsibility in this respect?

We do feel an added layer of responsibility, for sure. But also, remember, it is comforting to read fictionalised accounts of something you are personally going through. It could make you feel less alone and that a particular authorial voice has the empathy to understand and translate what you are going through. I think books, actually, can be a lot cleverer and more subtle about tackling these subjects in a non-voyeuristic and non-simplistic way.

What’s Marian like as a creative partner during the editorial process?

I always remember, and make sure the team at MJ remember too, that we are there first and foremost to serve and protect our authors, the best we can. Of course, we make mistakes. But these should never be for lack of trying or consideration. I have always felt highly protective of Marian, along with the team. Sometimes, perhaps I have been overprotective. I trust her utterly and I hope she does me. We had a pretty straightforward relationship that way from the word go, so I’m not sure that’s changed. I feel she knows me very well after all these years, and we can both pick up a hesitancy in the other. I have learned to wait and listen sometimes, as she doesn’t like to criticise or demonstrate any worries, but sometimes you need to hear it as a Publisher. I never forget that I work on her behalf, and that there is the world of difference between that and just being a ‘friend’. I am her translator into the wider company and then hopefully into the world.

The Break deals with escape, abandonment and human changeability. What are your hopes for this novel?

I want it to be talked about and laughed and cried over; to be an escape and a friend to as many millions of people around the world as possible.

whitefox interview James Hoffmann, author of The Best of Jimseven 2004 – 2015, about turning his hit coffee blog into a book

By | Author, Brand Publishing, Business, Guest Post, Insight, Interview, Self publishing, Startup, Writing | No Comments

I’d started writing online as a way to share what I was learning in the industry, and when I hit 10 years I realised that I had created hundreds of posts, and within all of it there was probably a narrative and collection of the best that would be valuable if arranged and brought together in a book. I think people read books differently to how they read online, and people wouldn’t want to navigate through hundreds of webpages – but the experience of sitting and reading would be much more enjoyable. I love books, well-made books. and the idea of creating a very limited run to mark a milestone also appealed to me.

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Nominate: The Unsung Heroes of Publishing 2017

By | Agents, Author, Brand Publishing, Design, Digital, Editing, Events, Freelance, Ghostwriters, Grads, Network, Publishing & Consultancy, Self publishing, Startup, Students, Translation | No Comments

Unsung Heroes 2017

It’s that time of year again: time to spread goodwill and show some appreciation for your favourite colleagues, freelancers and employees. After last year’s inaugural vote, we are particularly looking forward to this year’s Unsung Heroes of Publishing campaign, where we hope to highlight a new group of exceptional publishing specialists.

This year, we’d once again like your help shining a light on publishing professionals who are particularly talented, enterprising and trusted in their respective roles, but who may not have received the broader recognition they deserve. Last year’s campaign confirmed what great stock authors put in their editors and designers. This year we want to celebrate some of publishing’s less visible – and less lionised – contributors, with a focus on the breadth of disciplines needed to make good books happen.

Whether you want to sing the praises of your production controller or recognise your recipe developer, we’re hoping for a range of submissions that reflects the diverse skillset each book represents. We’d particularly encourage you to nominate members of the freelance community, on whom so much of publishing depends but who, by the nature of what they do, often fly under the radar.

Whoever they are, if they deserve a pat on the back, send us an email below or to info@wearewhitefox.com with their name, job title, employer (if relevant) and a few sentences about what makes them praiseworthy. Let us know whether you’re happy for us to use your name and statement if your nominee gets selected, and that’s it!

The final selection will be influenced by recommendations, but also by the number of submissions received. So if you know that other people agree your nominee deserves extra recognition, ask them to submit their own recommendation, too.

 

Nominate a deserving colleague for #UH0P17!

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Books for Brands Vol. 4

By | Brand Publishing, Digital, Uncategorized | No Comments

Throughout this month, the whitefox Books for Brands series will highlight excellent manifestations of creative content marketing from around the world, revealing the power of editorial content, and books in particular, in elevating a brand’s visibility and credibility.

Kayla Itsines is a fitness entrepreneur who has built an international community of 5 million followers via Instagram. Itsines started on Instagram in 2014. When she reached 150 followers, she released an ebook that was a collection of workout routines, which she priced at £65.

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Content Marketing and Commercial Opportunity

By | Brand Publishing, Insight | No Comments

Content focused on healthy living and looking good was popular long before the advent of social media. The difference now is that platforms like Instagram and Youtube have made the visual manifestations of health and beauty so quantifiably accessible that, for many, gazing at an avocado has become both commercially relevant and a beautifully framed creative lifestyle choice.

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