1 What's your company called?
Ockham Publishing Group.
2 What do you publish?
With our Ockham imprint we publish pop-science and pop-philosophy. Our Vulpine Press imprint publishes fiction and personal stories.
3 What's the story of the company?
Ockham came first as we noted a lack of independent publishers who specialise in our areas. There are lots of academic publishers, and many imprints publish a wide range of pop-academic titles, but few really specialise in pop-academic stuff like this—especially on the rationalist side; we don’t touch philosophy of religion, theology or new age books.
A while after forming Ockham we realised we were receiving and hearing about a lot of brilliant books that didn’t fit our genres, and it was sad we couldn’t do anything for them. That’s when Vulpine Press came along, and we’re very proud to have taken on some fantastic original fiction, as well as some great titles that were previously self-published.
4 How's business?
Pretty good. We’re on an upward trajectory and have hugely expanded our sales team over the last month. Here’s hoping that trend continues!
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
For us it’s about flexibility. We don’t have to publish a set number of books, and we can spend a lot of time marketing and selling the books we do have. We can be really picky about what we take, so we only publish what we really love, and you don’t always get the feeling that the conglomerates do this. I feel we have much better relationships with authors and suppliers too, as we don’t force them into bureaucratic payment and royalty infrastructures.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
Amazon’s online dominance is one issue, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
Ensure that what you’re doing is unique enough. There are millions of books out there, so make sure what you’re publishing is different and innovative enough. There will be never be a time when publishing has covered everything worthwhile, so there will always be a space somewhere that a newcomer can come in and do well at.
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
The network of like-minded people. The ebulletins are great as there’s always something interesting to read; even the ads are useful because they connect independent publishers to well-fitting suppliers.