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.
We spoke to Kay Hutchison, founder of Belle Media, a London-based independent publisher and production company, which she runs with fellow Director Richard Dikstra. Kay has a talent for developing large-scale, cross-sector partnerships, bringing teams together to deliver results and has held a variety of senior roles in TV – BBC, Channel 5, Channel 4 and Disney. Kay is also a leading figure within Tech London Advocates. She was born and brought up in Scotland and is currently writing her first book, My Life in Thirty Therapies.
We spoke to Ali Albazaz, CEO and founder of Inkitt, a data-driven publisher that uses an artificially intelligent algorithm to analyse online users’ reading patterns. With a background in computer science, Ali believes predictive analysis has the potential to make the publishing industry more fair and objective. We asked him about how he came to form his company with designer Linda Gavin, the value of data in book agenting and how they built up the site’s core audience and readership.
We asked Georgia Odd, Editorial and Marketing Assistant at Unbound, to provide us with some tips regarding crowdfunding for a book’s publication. Georgia studied Ancient History at Warwick University and has an MA in Publishing from UCL. She’s been working at Unbound for the past two and a half years, where she helps build crowdfunding campaigns. She’s a fan of a bad pun.
We spoke to Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers, authors of the upcoming The Bestseller Code (out 20th September). Jodie bought and edited books for Penguin UK before decamping for the doctoral program in English at Stanford University. After her PhD, she worked at Apple as their research lead on literature. Matthew is Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he teaches and directs the Nebraska Literary Lab. His text mining research has been profiled in The New York Times, The LA Review of Books, The Sunday Times, and more. We talked to them about how they became research partners, their research process and their favourite books.
We interviewed Ruth Tauber of Moniack Mhor, a picturesque creative writing centre based in the Scottish Highlands. Ruth, a writer and communications co-ordinator at Moniack Mhor, told us about the centre’s history, available support for writers and her three favourite books of all time.