Welcome to the whitefox blog, featuring musings on the future of publishing and interviews with authors, publishers, agents, designers and more.

An Interview with Andrea Atzori

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Andrea Atzori has worked as an editorial assistant and consultant editor for a number of publishers, has a Masters degree in Publishing, and is the author of a successful fantasy fiction series, Iskìda of the Land of Nurak, published in Italy. For his latest project he has overseen the translation and release of the first instalment of that series into the English-language market. We spoke to him about that process and how it differed from his experiences with traditional publishers.

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An Interview with Tom Vaughan

By | Author, Self publishing | No Comments
Tom Vaughan has been the owner of a successful nightclub business, about which he wrote his first book No Ordinary Experience: The Juliana’s Story, back in 1986. More recently he has turned his hand to writing fiction and his début novel, The Other Side of Loss, was released earlier this year.


The Other Side of Loss isn’t your first book; No Ordinary Experience, an autobiography about your nightclub business was traditionally published. Why did you opt for the independent route this time around?

As a 66 year-old debut novelist I was finding it very difficult to be taken seriously by either literary agents or traditional publishers. I also discovered that one reason for this was that traditional publishers have become much more risk averse, and therefore rather unadventurous and predictably conventional. I had sufficient belief in my first novel and was lucky enough to be introduced to the future of books – independent publishing – by a literary agent who liked the premise of my book but could see that it might have trouble attracting the attention of a traditional publishing house. I was able to self-publish to a very high standard and I feel that most readers would not be able to discern my book from one produced by a major publishing house.


How different is the process of writing a novel as opposed to a biography? Did you find one easier than the other?

I found writing a novel much harder than my first non-fiction book, which was a ‘warts and all’ corporate biography about the early years of my international nightclub business. It was actually fun writing that book as it was a riotous story!  Writing fiction takes a great deal of effort and isn’t at all easy. It is also riskier; you have to be prepared to invest in, and show, a lot more emotion.


What have been the biggest advantages of publishing independently? And what difficulties have you come across?

For someone who doesn’t know a huge amount about the publishing process, using a publishing services company who can help guide you through it all is a great way to go. Having had everything explained, I was led through the whole confusing publishing process by professionals who knew what they were doing and who knew the publishing business from top to bottom. This additional help gave me the confidence to see the project through, which I might not have been able to do if I was entirely alone; one thing I learned was that ‘independent publishing’ doesn’t have to mean doing it all by yourself.

While the process ran surprisingly smoothly, there were a number of challenges surrounding the technical aspects of book publishing, which I may not have been able to overcome without the help of the rest of the team working on the book. At one stage my eagle-eyed copyeditor spotted an issue with the ISBNs which could have been disastrous, and which would have gone entirely over my head if someone hadn’t pointed it out to me!


How important is collaboration with the likes of editors and cover designers for independent publishers? If you had to, do you think you could have done everything by yourself?

I think close collaboration between all parties – editor, copyeditor, publisher, cover designer, publicist, digital marketer – is vital for the coordinated success of any independently published book.

I’m hugely indebted to the designer for the really beautiful cover she created for The Other Side of Loss and I couldn’t have done any of the other things needed to produce a book of such high quality, nor generated its early success in book sales, without the help of other professionals.


Are you working on any more writing projects at the moment?

Yes, based on the early success of The Other Side of Loss I’ve started work on a sequel with the aim of having it finished by the end of 2015. I’m also looking at updating and republishing my first book No Ordinary Experience: The Juliana’s Story during the course of next year. The subject matter has become timely again on a wave of nostalgia for the great Rock ‘n’ Roll period of the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s.


If you were to release another book in the future, would you go straight for the self-publishing route or would you prefer to work with a traditional publisher?

I’d almost certainly work with exactly the same team with whom I worked on this book. They are all talented people of integrity and I’ve grown to like them. In business we have choices and the older I get the more I want to work with people I like!

An Interview with Dan Gennoe

By | Author, Ghostwriters, Self publishing | No Comments

Dan Gennoe is a London based writer and novelist. A former music journalist, he’s written cover features, interviews and reviews for Esquire, GQ, Arena, FHM, Q, Mojo, Red, Time Out, The Independent and The Mail On Sunday. He’s mixed with rappers and rockstars, ghosted the memoirs of a celebrity chef and lent his musical expertise to Amazon, Yahoo and Google. He now writes stories about lost souls and their need to be found; his début novel, All Neon Like Love, is out in early Spring next year.

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More freelancers, fewer office parties

By | Events, Freelance, Network | No Comments

An astonishing statistic this week: nearly one fifth of Londoners are registered as self-employed. Actually, looking at the publishing industry landscape, it’s not all that surprising. As businesses across a range of industries look to cut overheads, reducing the number of in-house staff and relying on outsourcing jobs to freelancers is an increasingly popular option.

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Cultural Bibliodiversity

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Susan Hawthorne, director of an independent Australian book publisher, wrote an interesting article for Publishing Perspectives this week. TLDR: mega publishers are too driven by a desire for commercial success, resulting in a homogenisation of their output; independent publishers, on the other hand – more interested in artistic merit than the potential for commercial success – are likely to put out more original material. The result of such quality-driven publishing decisions is the cause of what Hawthorne wonderfully calls ‘cultural bibliodiversity’ within the book market.

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Ghosts in the Machine: Ghostwriters in Publishing

By | Editing, Freelance, Publishing & Consultancy | No Comments

We get pretty snippy about ghostwriters in publishing. They are thanked profusely in the front of celebrity memoirs, but there is still a cachet in those non-fiction chart-clogging autobiographies being actually written by the subject themselves. It is authentic. It is the real deal. When I am handing over my money and selecting my gift, those books somehow have a greater perceived value.

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