Here's a self explanatory press release we're sending out today. We think it will fill a big gap that has been left in the world of political publishing. So few people are publishing political books nowadays. Big publishers will only publish a book if they think it will sell at least 10,000 copies, while smaller and medium sized publishers have been gobbled up by bigger ones. So as a consequence, the kind of books I used to publish at Politico's are not being published any longer.
So if you think you have a book in you, you know who to pitch it to! We're going to be strictly non partisan in our approach, as you will see by the list of books we have already signed up.
BITEBACK LAUNCHES NEW BOOK PUBLISHING VENTURE
A major new political & current affairs publisher was formed this week, when Biteback Publishing launched itself into the book publishing market with three new imprints - Total Politics, Dialogue and Biteback. Biteback Publishing is 85% owned by Biteback Media, the publisher of the monthly glossy political magazine, Total Politics.
Biteback founders Iain Dale and John Simmons have been joined by John Schwartz, MD of leading political design agency SoapBox and Sean Magee - described by the Guardian as ‘a London publishing institution’ - as minority shareholders. Both worked with Dale & Simmons at Politico's Publishing, which they sold to Methuen in 2003. Schwartz has worked for the left leaning IPPR and is a former editor of Labour History magazine. Magee has had a distinguished career in current affairs publishing and has published best selling books by Michael Foot, Peter Riddell, Peter Hennessy, Brian Brivati, Geoffrey Goodman, Nicholas Jones and many others.
Also joining them as a shareholder and commissioning editor will be Michael Smith, author of several bestselling books (Foley, The Spying Game etc) on the intelligence services and award winning defence editor of the Sunday Times.
Sean Magee will act as chief commissioning editor and is joined on the staff by former Politico's editor Jonathan Wadman and former Methuen Sales & Marketing Manager James Stephens. The company will operate from Biteback Media's new Kennington offices.
An advisory board has been established to monitor the work of and advise all three Biteback imprints.
• Professor Peter Hennessy (Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London), Britain’s most prominent contemporary historian
• Peter Riddell, nfluential political commentator for The Times
• Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, controversial columnist for The Independent
• Professor Philip Cowley (University of Nottingham), leading political analyst
• Professor Bruce Hoffman (Georgetown University, Washington DC), international terrorism expert
• Professor John A. Hall (McGill University, Montreal), eminent professor of comparative history
Biteback Publishing intends to publish between 30 and 40 books annually throughout the three imprints. Biteback will publish general current affairs titles, including biography, humour and political fiction. Dialogue will concentrate on contemporary history and current affairs with a strong international flavour, while the Total Politics imprint will be concerned with specialist political and reference titles.