It used to be so simple. Months before publication, in retail chain head offices up and down the land, publishers and booksellers between them would decide on the range of books that constituted the Christmas bestsellers. Some negotiating, horse trading and promotional spend later, from early October through to 24th December, the books you would see front of store tended to be a permanent fixture. Whether they were selling particularly well or not.
Tobias Harwood is the author of Great Traits and the founder of GreatTraitsProject.com. Since shattering his pelvis and fracturing his back aged seventeen he has been fascinated by the interaction between mindset and accomplishments. Tobias was inspired to write Great Traits after his close friend, a wounded soldier, became the first ever amputee to walk to the North Pole. All the author’s proceeds from Great Traits are donated to the charity Walking With The Wounded. Aside from running the Great Traits Project, Tobias is an investor and researcher for a Wall Street financial firm. He has a degree from the University of Bath. Great Traits is his first book.
Tom Mangold started his reporting life on the East Molesey and Ditton Gazette for 80p a week. After working as a war correspondent and investigative reporter for BBC TV news, he joined BBC TV’s Panorama where he stayed for some 28 years, making over 120 editions. He is the author of four previous books, two of which became international bestsellers. One of his books on the Vietnam War has been purchased by Hollywood and will be filmed next year. A story he wrote for The Times about a murder he and housewife Susan Galbreath investigated in Kentucky will also be filmed next year for BBC Films. His memoir Splashed! A Life From Print to Panorama was published November 8th.
We spoke to the founder and editor of Bookomi, Richard Kilgarriff. Bookomi is a monthly poll of books worth talking about, ranked by business leaders from a range of industries and professions. Based on the results of this predictive poll, Richard advises corporate clients on their choice of topics and speakers for internal and external events. Named as a Rising Star by The Bookseller magazine in 2012, he is the producer and presenter of Books for Breakfast at Soho House and Bookomi Presents at Second Home, playing host to published scientists, economists, artists, founders, technologists, management theorists and cultural influencers. The Bookomi podcast launches on Curio.io in December 2016 and Richard is currently gathering material for a book project entitled Superknowledge – 100 Leaders Who Are Readers, scheduled for release in 2018. Before launching Bookomi, Richard was a broadcast media executive at Turner Broadcasting, Rapture TV and Sony Gold’s award-winning Virgin Radio Breakfast show.
We spoke to Charles Thiede, co-founder of Zapnito, a platform where individuals can leverage a comprehensive network of experts and influencers. We spoke to Charles about setting up the company, working with publishers and the upside to rejection.
We interviewed literary agent Eugenie Furniss, who worked for WME for 15 years before setting up Furniss Lawton for the James Grant Group in 2012. She told us about her favourite aspects of Frankfurt Book Fair, self-publishing and what’s on her reading list. She has been shortlisted twice The Bookseller’s Literary Agent of the Year Award.
We spoke to Ed Faulkner, Deputy Publisher at the Ebury Publishing Division at Penguin Random House UK. Ed is responsible for overseeing the Vermilion, Virgin and WH Allen imprints. His authors include Sir Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg, Al Gore, Arianna Huffington, Steve Hilton, Ray Davies and Peter Thiel. He has published a wide range of bestselling books in categories including business, technology, current affairs, history and music.
We spoke to Jemima Hunt, an editor & literary agent at The Writers’ Practice. She represents authors of fiction and non-fiction, including two Sunday Times bestsellers, and has three books in development for film and television. She is a visiting tutor in creative writing at Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford. Spring 2017 sees the launch of a new six-week novel writing course at Oxford’s Story Museum, which she has co-founded with writer & broadcaster, Charlie Lee-Potter. More details available here http://oxfordwritingtable.com
David Shelley joined Little, Brown as Editorial Director in 2005, after five years running the publishing at independent publisher Allison & Busby. Initially commissioning mainly crime and thriller novels and overseeing the audio and ebook lists, he became Sphere Publisher in 2007, then Little, Brown Deputy Publisher in 2009, and Publisher in 2011. Authors he has worked with include Mitch Albom, Mark Billingham, Dennis Lehane, Val McDermid and J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith. He was appointed CEO of Little, Brown and Orion in July 2015.