“Southerners don’t even know where the North is..”

WEEK TWO: INDEPENDENT FICTION 

According to Kevin Duffy, the Big Six don’t always publish what they want to publish, they publish what they have to publish. It was inspiring to hear Kevin speak so passionately about his company and the authors that he connects with and it was here when I understood the real difference, Independent Publishers can take risks. Risks that would not be considered in the larger publishing houses because they are outside the box and perhaps might be a flop – but in reality, have been awarded with great literary prizes.

We spoke briefly about the growing number of independent publishers that have moved away from the hub of central London and questioned why more companies are not taking the same approach. Why is London still classed as the place for Publishers to be when a lot is now done via email and telephone?

Kevin touched upon the obvious drive to publish BAME authors recently as diversity in the industry is rather poor. I found it extremely interesting in my research to find that Penguin Random House have recently set up a WriteNow project to find unpublished writers that are under-represented in books and publishing. Tom Weldon, the CEO of Penguin Random House UK stated “Books and publishing simply do not reflect the society we live in. Not only is that bad for the future of books, reading and culture, but it’s also a commercial imperative for us to change”.

Personally, I think there is a definite market for BAME authors and without the change I can see that publishers will become increasingly irrelevant in a society that is constantly changing.

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