1 What's your company called?
2 What do you publish?
We publish an array of books, from biography and memoir to fantasy and horror novels to children’s books. We have a large selection of books that focus on the Arab World and Arab horses.
3 What's the story of the company?
It started back in 2009 with The Arab Horse, and there was only meant to be one book! But one thing led to another and we’ve expanded from a team of two to a team of nine with countless freelance partners. Our mission is to educate and entertain, to foster cultural understanding, particularly between the West and the Islamic world, and to encourage respect for our planet and all of its inhabitants.
4 How's business?
Business has been getting better and better. We recently published Prince Philip: A Lifetime of Wit and Wisdom by Phil Dampier and Ashley Walton, which has been a bestseller on Amazon in print and Kindle editions. Dampier’s other book, Princess Diana: I’m Going to be Me, also received rave reviews in the Mail, Mirror, Express and Majesty. Among our bestsellers are Jenny Balfour-Paul’s Deeper Than Indigo and The Last Great Event by Ray and Caroline Foulk, which was longlisted for the Penderyn Music Book Prize 2017. We’ve got some exciting books lined up for 2018 including a fantasy / horror The Writing in the Stone written by British Museum curator and YouTube star Irving Finkel. It’s already garnered a lot of attention and we’re anticipating good publicity.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
We can publish anything we want! We’re not bound by corporate politics and are willing to take a risk on non-genre specific titles like Deeper than Indigo. More often than not it pays off!
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
Diversity. Publishing, despite its endeavours to be more welcoming, is a very white and often middle-class occupation—whether that’s the people publishing the books or the writers themselves. As a publisher specialising in the Middle East we are all too aware of this, and are trying our best to change it by introducing a competition for debut Arab writers—the Medina Prize.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
Believe in your books. Publish books you love, because more often than not, others will believe how great they are if you do too.
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
Belonging to the IPG is like belonging to a big indie book family. We all have each other’s backs and can offer some great advice as we continue to publish some of the most exciting books around.