So, this cutting from the Guardian has been sitting on my desk for over a month and I was worried it might become stale. And then it turns out it fits right in with what I’ve been saying this week.
I was so charmed by this small publisher – Oneworld – who apparently have managed to pick two recent Man Booker prize winners. (I know. I said ‘bad’ stuff about the Booker only yesterday…) I loved the way they were interviewed and how they work. In fact, they are the kind of publisher I would obviously be if I wasn’t a) so lazy, and b) not in the slightest talented that way.
They mainly seem to like the kind of books I don’t go for, but that’s all right. They do seem to know what makes a good book, though, and then they give that book all it deserves. None of this ‘he/she is a comedian so I can hear the tills rattling and I will be rich’ syndrome. (I obviously don’t know where they stand on trade unions, but I’m hopeful they do the decent thing for all 23 staff.)
Oneworld likes foreign books. This is far too unusual. And in general it would appear that they are talented at sourcing new books and authors that might not be the new Harry Potters or J K Rowlings, but that do really very well. Winning awards and that. I could be wrong, but I understand they do this simply by reading books, and buying them if they like them. Not this celebrity thing, or ‘will the buyer from Waterstones like it?’ that is far too common.
When the Resident IT Consultant and I bought our Amstrad 30 years ago, we didn’t do what Oneworld’s Juliet Mabey and Novin Doostdar did; starting a publishing firm. Maybe we should have.
And I like the way they have no wish to be bought or merged or anything.