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Independent publishers versus big companies

8 May 2017

'I don't blame the authors. They've got to make a living and a bigger advance that I can't afford to match is obviously something they have to consider. They know that the door is open if they ever get stuck in that hellish midlist place. But I feel that so many of the big companies lack imagination. Instead of going out there and finding their own talent, they're cherry-picking the bestselling authors (because it's all about sales figures in the end) from the independents. I find that hugely frustrating.

A lot of the neat new stuff is coming from the independents, probably because they're willing to take the risk. You know, 200 people's jobs are at stake in a bigger company, so there's a lot more involved and there's a lot more at risk. Still, not enough people are giving new authors a chance. If they did it would make the industry so much more exciting and give it more variety. You only have to click on the Amazon charts day after day to see the same thing. Maybe in a year's time there'll be a new much of a muchness but it's not hugely imaginative and it's not exciting, when there are so many truly exciting books out there!'

Karen Sullivan, Orenda Books, interviewed by Jasmin Kirkbride in Bookbrunch