1 What's your company called?
John Beaufoy Publishing.
2 What do you publish?
We specialise in two inter-linked non-fiction categories: natural history and travel. I say inter-linked because nature enthusiasts are often keen and adventurous travellers, and we publish bird watching and wildlife guides for many exotic parts of the world, particularly south and south east Asia.
3 What's the story of the company?
I founded the company in January 2008 after working for 20 years as managing director of New Holland Publishers. I’d had the idea for a while of starting an imprint to specialise in travel and natural history and exploit the crossover between the two, and the timing was propitious.
4 How's business?
It’s pretty good, considering all the changes the industry has had to take on board in recent years.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
I like being involved in every aspect of the publishing process, from commissioning to sales to publicity. Being independent makes it essential to do that.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
For a non-fiction publisher like us, the survival and prosperity of bricks and mortar bookshops around the world is probably the biggest single issue. Our books sell best in an environment where they can be seen and handled, and that means we need our retail customers, both home and export, to thrive. In recent years this has become a challenge in parts of Asia, as rents for prime mall locations have climbed ever upwards and books struggle to compete with branded handbags! In a city like Hong Kong, for example, some of the key book retailers have fallen by the wayside in consequence, and we miss them.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
Be patient. It takes time and perseverance to establish a new imprint!
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
I attended my first Autumn Conference in September and found it to be a very stimulating and thought-provoking day that gave me a lot of ideas.