1 What’s your company called?
2 What do you publish?
Non-fiction books about plants, gardening and the natural world, written by experts and designed to inspire, excite and inform keen gardeners and others who like spending time outdoors. Many are highly practical and explain how to do something—like plant a wildflower meadow, use a scythe, build a natural swimming pool or plant a dry garden—while others inspire new gardening projects. Others still are huge, detailed plant references. Some are all three!
3 What’s the story of the company?
I [Anna Mumford] have spent my career commissioning illustrated non-fiction for a variety of companies, and began specializing in books about plants and gardening quite early on. There are a lot of highly skilful, well-informed gardeners out there who are looking for new plants and ideas, and a lot of potential authors who have become experts in a particular field eager to share their ideas. I’ve always found it exciting to put those two groups in touch with each other in the form of beautiful, long-lasting illustrated books. When Timber Press closed its London office I seized the opportunity to continue doing that by starting Filbert Press in 2015.
4 How’s business?
Good! People of all ages seem to be excited about plants—perhaps because we understand more about how important plant biodiversity is for the health of our planet and the valuable contribution gardening can make to our own health and wellbeing. I’m very lucky to have exceptionally talented authors who work hard for their books, and fortunate to find enthusiastic coedition partners in Europe and North America who are on our wavelength.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
Being driven by the goals and values that I believe to be important.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
Finding a way to reach the right audience and stand out from the crowd in a marketplace where competition comes not just from similar books but from all manner of products that we can buy at the click of a button to satisfy our hunger for inspiration, new projects and happiness.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
Don’t lose sight of the energy and excitement you had when you first had the idea of setting up on your own. Keep focused, listen to others and believe in yourself.
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
It helps me connect with the wider publishing world, and it’s the first place I turn to for advice on matters I’ve not encountered before. I’m a relatively new member but it looks like a supportive community and I’m looking forward to getting more involved.