What Editors Want
Discover what leading publishers look for in an author and book.
What Editors Want is a new podcast in which I interview a different editor each week from the world of publishing. It’s aimed at readers who want to hear the behind the scenes story of how their favourite books get made,
A Short Update...
Thank you to everyone who listened to Season 1, here's a short update on what's happened with the show.Apologies to anyone waiting for the episode featuring Jenny Lord. Jenny and I recorded a fantastic show in which we discussed authors including Deborah Orr. However following yesterday's sad news that Deborah has passed away, Jenny and I decided to postpone releasing the episode.
Fitzcarraldo Editions - Jacques Testard
Season 1, Ep. 14
Founded in only 2014, Fitzcarraldo Editions specialising in contemporary fiction and long-form essays. In only five years they have won the International Booker Prize for Olga Tokarczuk's Flights and two of their authors have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Svetlana Alexievich in 2015 and Olga Tokarczuk in 2018.Jacques Testard, their founder and publisher, joined me to discuss starting the press from scratch, taking inspiration from classic French publishers and his belief of publishing authors for their whole career rather than specific books.‘Fitzcarraldo Editions is probably the most exciting publishing house in the UK right now.’— Stuart Evers,New Statesman
Daunt Books - Željka Marošević
Season 1, Ep. 13
Daunt Books is London's famous chain of bookstores, and Željka Marošević is the Publisher at their imprint.We met to discuss the relationship between the bookstore and the publisher, and her feminist project of republishing unjustly out of print women. We spoke about bringing novels including Dorothy Baker's Cassandra at the Wedding back into print, and non-fiction by the likes of Natalia Ginzburg and MFK Fisher. Daunt also publish contemporary fiction including the Pulitzer Prize finalist, In the Distance by Hernan DiazŽeljka also tells us about her time at Melville House - and working on Maggie Nelson’s seminal The Argonauts - and as Co-Editor of The White Review, the amazing arts and literature magazine.
Piece of Paper Press - Tony White
Season 1, Ep. 12
This week's guest is Tony White, founder and publisher of Piece of Paper Press, a lo-tech, sustainable publisher of new writings and illustrative works. Each book is manufactured from a single A4 sheet that is printed on both sides, and then folded, stapled and trimmed by hand to create the book. Piece of Paper Press titles are always distributed free, either by post and/or at an event. Authors who have contributed include Joanna Walsh and Michael MoorcockTony is also the author of books includingFoxy-TandShackleton’s Man Goes South. His latest novelThe Fountain in the Forestis published by Faber and Faber, which the Guardian described as 'An avant-garde take on the pulp crime genre becomes a paean to liberty and a secret history of the 1980s'.
Serpent's Tail - Hannah Westland
Season 1, Ep. 11
Hannah Westland is the publisher at Serpent's Tail, the literary arm of Profile Books. Serpent's Tail launching the careers of writers such as David Peace, Michel Houellebecq and Colm Tóibín and made books such as Lionel Shriver’sWe Need To Talk About Kevinand Karen Jay Fowler's We Are Completely Beside Ourselves into bestsellers.Hannah joined me to talk about books like Alix Nathan's The Warlow Experiment and the literary phenomenon that is Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent. Hannah also tells us how representing Esi Edugyan, the author of the Booker shortlisted Washington Black, as an agent helped Hannah transition into publishing.
Atlantic Books - James Roxburgh
Season 1, Ep. 10
My guest this week is the Senior Editor at Atlantic Books, James Roxburgh. We're discussing book fairs, the different types of reading and the perceived death of literary fiction, as well as James' amazing list of literary fiction from around the globe including books like:When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy (shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize), House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (Winner of the Edward Stanford Prize for Fiction with a Sense of Place, Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Orwell Prize, and longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize), and My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Women's Prize for Fiction).
OneWorld - Alex Christofi
Season 1, Ep. 9
Alex Christofi is the first guest on the podcast who is both an editor and author. Alex has written two novels, Let Us Be True and Glass, which won the 2016 Betty Trask Prize and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. We met to discuss the relationship between writing and editing, whether all great authors are great self-editors, and Alex reveals the three questions all non-fiction authors should ask themselves before sending their book to a publisher.Alex is also a former agent and he told me about securing a massive US deal for his very first book to represent, The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell.But, as always, Alex is on the show primarily as an editor of non-fiction. Alex is a commissioning editor at OneWorld, the publisher who recently won back-to-back Booker Prizes. At OneWorld, Alex has published non-fiction including A Field Guide to the English Clergy by Fergus Butler-Gallie, a Book of the Year forThe Times,Mail on SundayandBBC History Magazine from a young vicar Alex discovered on Twitter, and what the TLS called 'the decade's most important book', The Panama Papers.