Welcome to the second annual whitefox Unsung Heroes of Publishing list, celebrating talented specialists working in-house or freelancing in and around our book publishing industry.
Firstly, a reminder of why we do this: whitefox was conceived back in 2012 as a service to provide access to the foot soldiers of publishing; the doers who were capable of making a tangible difference to content. The media loves a list. Maybe we all do. The richest, the most influential, the best loved.
At whitefox, we thought it was time to lift the veil and champion some of the individuals working tirelessly, and sometimes less glamorously, behind the scenes. If this were motor racing, we’d be unmasking the engineers and pit lane crews and forgetting, briefly, about the multi-millionaire owners and drivers.
And publishing is also a pretty generous business. Generally, CEOs and MDs or founders, as well as their writers, understand that they require a high level of diverse practical knowledge from their supporting teams in order not just to do their jobs, but to gain any kind of competitive advantage. How do you get the edge unless through collaboration with the best people at their craft?
Over the course of the last few months, we’ve received nominations from across the industry, giving anyone who wanted the chance to sing the praises of colleagues and partners, from experienced freelance stalwarts to energetic and enthusiastic newbies, an opportunity to do so. Now we’ve sifted through the candidates and have come up with this year’s winners.
As we said last year, no one is claiming we have created a template for perfection. You may already be aware of some of the professionals listed below. In fact, we sincerely hope you are. These things are always open to interpretation and there will always be degrees of ‘unsung’. All we hope is that by drawing attention to the people out there who we are sometimes in danger of taking for granted, we can continue to develop the conversation about what really matters in publishing.
We all know that digital has disrupted everything forever. Software will continue to develop and change the way we work. I’m sure robots will soon be reading all our audio books and doing a damn fine job of it.
But what digital has also done to change publishing is to open up access. And once you’ve opened the door to the talented editors, designers, marketers, translators and others, the emphasis then really is on good old-fashioned quality. I’ve yet to meet a publisher or writer, Nobel Laureate or first-time indie, who wants to work with only moderately good people.
So please join us in congratulating this year’s selection. No medals or garlands are awarded. Just a bit of credit where credit is due.