1 What's your company called?
Aeon Books. We also have an imprint called Sphinx.
2 What do you publish?
Aeon is broadly mind-body-spirit—which at the moment mostly includes books about herbal and complementary medicine, although we also publish books on slightly more diverse subjects such as Buddhism and the Occult. Sphinx is our more trade-focused imprint, which includes fiction, memoir and some popular psychology.
3 What's the story of the company?
Aeon has been around for more than a decade. For many years it was operated as an imprint of Karnac Books, a psychology publisher, but this year we have gone fully independent and are now making our own way in the world!
4 How's business?
Business is good! Our bestseller this year is The Tai Chi Space, and we are getting some excellent publicity for forthcoming titles including Into the Woods and Out Again, a memoir by Dina Glouberman that is coming out from Sphinx in June. We’re working with The Book Publicist PR agency and learning a lot.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
We have the flexibility to choose what we want to publish without having to justify it to an accounts department! We are also able to get books out quickly if desired, so we can react swiftly to trends and events. There are two of us full-time, which means we do a little of everything, and we get to work with an excellent network of freelance editors, typesetters and designers.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
The range of diverse voices is an obvious one. Publishing has really started to embrace a lot of different perspectives and backgrounds, although there is clearly a long way to go. For Aeon specifically we’re grappling with the challenge of getting our books into bookshops without vast resources behind us.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
Be innovative! Decide what you are about and go for it. A lot of our books appear very niche but there is always a market—you just have to find it.
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
The Skills Hub
has been really helpful so far, and we are hoping to come to our first IPG Conference in the autumn. We are looking forward to meeting other small publishers and hearing their stories; we have been observing the progress of other small presses and it’s really impressive.