There is a saying, usually attributed to some ancient Chinese sage: ‘Pity the man who lives in interesting times.’ Well, given the ascendancy of President Trump, Britain’s historic referendum vote to leave the European Union and, of course, Leicester City’s triumph in the Premier League, it is difficult to imagine times getting any more interesting.
Many, particularly within the publishing industry, seem to think of both Brexit and Trump as a threat rather than an opportunity. At Biteback, we think both developments present tremendous opportunities to publish a huge range of new books, and to do so for years to come. More than ever we need books to help us make sense of what is happening in the world. Publishers need to get real and stop pretending to be Violet Elizabeth Bott! Otherwise, frankly, they are letting their readers down.
Trump in particular is a gift to non-fiction publishers. Controversy is always good for publishing, and you don’t get much more controversial than Trump. Brexit, whichever way you voted, presents similar possibilities. For the first time in decades we have a nation engaged with a single issue but not sure what will emerge from it. It’s the biggest political event of my lifetime and there’s a real thirst for knowledge about what might happen and how it will change our country.
At Biteback, our readers know we are committed to publishing a broad range of books from across the political spectrum. From the first biography of Theresa May, to the latest instalment of Alastair Campbell’s diaries, via Camila Batmanghelidjh’s personal account of what really happened at the controversial charity Kids Company; from a truly surprising new portrait of Jane Austen, to the memoirs of the first openly transgender officer in the British Armed Forces, via Guy Standing’s exposé of the lie at the heart of global capitalism and James Wharton’s trawl through London’s underground gay nightlife; from David Laws’s coalition diaries to Alan Friedman’s powerful examination of the rise of Trump and the death of the American Dream, this catalogue represents an eclectic and compelling mix to help us decipher the present and imagine what the future may bring.
Managing Director, Biteback Publishing
You can view our Spring/Summer 2017 catalogue online here.