September 22, 2016 15:00
After so many years publishing and editing other people’s books, Jeremy Robson, whose imprint The Robson Press has been part of Biteback Publishing since 2011, has decided to step back from his full-time role as publisher of the list to spend more time on his own writing. He leaves full-time employment at Biteback at the end of the month but will retain an interest in commissioning books for the company as a Consultant Editor.
Jeremy Robson said: “I felt this was the moment to take a break from the daily publishing routine. I have a new book of poems coming from Smokestack in April, which I will be promoting at various festivals. But I have also been encouraged to write an account of the changing publishing scene since I first cut my teeth as a young editor, and of the many colourful people I have worked with along the way – twinning this with memories of my other world, the exciting poetry reading scene of the 1960s, ‘70s and later, which I was very much a part of, a time when we filled the Festival Hall and gave hundreds of concerts around the country, often with jazz. So the cast will range widely. I can’t wait to get started, but also look forward to commencing my new arrangement with Biteback as Consultant Editor.”
Iain Dale, Biteback MD, commented: “Jeremy published my first book, back in 1998, and I have long enjoyed working with him, first as my publisher and then latterly as publisher of The Robson Press at Biteback. In his long and illustrious career, he must have published well over 2,000 books, many of which he has turned into bestsellers. I totally understand his desire to spend more time writing his award-winning poetry and I shall look forward to flicking through the index of his memoirs in the hope of a brief mention. Jeremy is an iconic figure in the publishing industry of the last half a century and many authors have reason to thank him. We will all miss him greatly on a day-to-day basis in the Biteback office, but we wish him all the best in his writing.”
Editor’s Note: The Robson Press list will now be incorporated into Biteback Publishing.
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September 07, 2016 12:00
Iain Dale, MD of Biteback Publishing, has acquired world rights to Hillsborough Untold by the former Chief Constable of both Merseyside and West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison.
On 15 April 1989, ninety-six spectators lost their lives at Sheffield’s Hillsborough stadium as they gathered for an FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The events that day sparked a controversy that continues to reverberate through British football and policing.
Norman Bettison was a Chief Inspector in the South Yorkshire Police at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, and witnessed the tragedy as a spectator at the match. Bettison has since found himself one of the focal points of outrage over the actions of the police. Not in respect of the day of the disaster but in its aftermath. Comments he made in the wake of the Hillsborough Independent Panel in 2012 stoked further criticism in the press and in Parliament, and in October 2012, he resigned from his job as Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police.
This personal account describes how the Hillsborough disaster unfolded; provides an insight into what was happening at South Yorkshire Police headquarters in the aftermath; and gives an objective and compassionate account of the bereaved families’ long struggle for justice. The author is clear that the Hillsborough families have deserved answers as to why and how the ninety-six died. This book seeks respectfully to explain, however, why he feels he has been unfairly scapegoated in Parliament and through print, broadcast and, significantly, social media, and why that may have distracted from the inquiry’s aims.
This book will add to the knowledge about Hillsborough, addressing current narratives about the disaster and its aftermath.
Norman Bettison said: ‘I wrote this account because I did not want my forty-year professional career to be defined by false accusations. The book should appeal to anyone with an open mind who remains curious about one of the UK’s most tragic, and controversial, peacetime disasters.’
Iain Dale said: ‘Hillsborough was one of the most devastating tragedies in recent British history, causing untold grief and anger to the families and friends of those who died, and spawning hundreds of individual stories. One of those stories belongs to Sir Norman Bettison, a former senior policeman who was there on the day as a football supporter, and later found himself caught up in accusations of a police conspiracy to push the blame for Hillsborough onto the fans. His is a story that has never been heard in its entirety. At Biteback, while we deeply respect the rawness of emotions surrounding Hillsborough, we hope Sir Norman’s voice can only add to the ongoing narrative and maybe shed some new light into what happened on the day and why the aftermath was handled so disastrously, and callously, by the police, politicians and football authorities.’
The author will be donating his proceeds from sales of the book to charity.
Hillsborough Untold will be published in November 2016.
August 09, 2016 12:00
It's competition time!
Sharpen your pencils and get ready to colour in the Iron Lady however you see fit with The Margaret Thatcher Colouring Book.
Sign up to our mailing list this week and you could be in with a chance of winning a free copy!
UK only. Closes Sunday 14th August 2016. Winner will be chosen at random and informed by email. Good luck!
August 03, 2016 14:00
Manxiety: The Difficulties of Being Male (Provocations)
By Dylan Jones
Masculinity, it appears, is in crisis. Diminished by feminists, mocked by their peers and ridiculed by the media, it seems not a week goes by when men are not being accused of being too violent, too stupid or too sexual. Is it time for a men’s movement, or do men just need to get a grip and ‘man up’? Who better to answer these questions than GQ editor Dylan Jones.
The Margaret Thatcher Colouring Book
by Nathan Brenville
At long last, colouring books come of age with a tribute to the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Featuring cameos from luminaries such as Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Jeremy Corbyn, The Margaret Thatcher Colouring Book gives friends and foes alike the chance to sharpen their pencils and colour in the Iron Lady however they deem appropriate…
In Trump We Trust: How He Outsmarted the Politicians, the Elites and the Media
by Ann Coulter
The Trump phenomenon has unarguably been the biggest story of the US presidential race so far. Just how did he manage to win over the support of millions of Republicans? Does he have a chance of winning in November? What would he be like as president?
The Alternative: Towards a New Progressive Politics
by Lisa Nandy MP, Caroline Lucas MP and Chris Bowers
In the wake of the 2015 general election result and the 2016 EU referendum outcome, there is a growing recognition that cross-party cooperation among the progressives is needed to reinvigorate politics and inspire a credible alternative to the Conservative government.
With contributions from a broad range of left and centre-left voices – including Siân Berry, Mhairi Black, Frances O'Grady, Tim Farron, Carys Afoko and Neal Lawson – The Alternative sets out a base of core values around which progressives can unite.
Trillion Dollar Baby: How Norway Beat the Oil Giants and Won a Lasting Fortune
by Paul Cleary
For most of its history, the remote and near-Arctic nation of Norway has eked out a marginal existence from fishing, forestry and shipping. That is, until Christmas Eve 1969, when oil was discovered off its southern coast. Now, less than fifty years later, Norway has the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, with assets of US$870 billion. What’s more, the fund is on track to hit the US$1 trillion mark by 2020. Trillion Dollar Baby is the incredible story of how it was achieved.
July 20, 2016 20:00
James Stephens of Biteback Publishing has acquired World English rights to We Are Arrested by award-winning journalist Can Dündar. Rights were acquired from Nermin Mollaoglu at Kalem Agency in Istanbul.
Following this month’s attempted coup, the international spotlight has fallen on Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Already known for his attacks on press freedom, international observers fear the attempted coup has given Erdogan an excuse to further supress all opposition.
In November 2015 Can Dündar, editor-in-chief of the national Cumhuriyet newspaper, was arrested on charges of espionage, helping a terrorist organisation, trying to topple the government and revealing state secrets. Arraigned by the President himself, who called for Can to receive two life sentences, he was imprisoned in solitary confinement in Turkey’s Silivri prison for three months whilst awaiting trial. Dündar’s so-called crime was informing the public of the discovery of a highly illegal covert arms shipment by the Turkish secret service to radical Islamist organisations fighting government forces in Syria. This was a crime that was in the government’s interest to conceal, and a journalist’s duty to expose.
We Are Arrested is Dündar’s account of the discovery, the weighing up of the pros and cons of publishing, and the events that unfolded after the decision. Dündar and his colleagues faced police barricades, would-be suicide bombers and assassination attempts, as well as fierce attacks from pro-government media.
Incarcerated in Silivri, Can Dündar decided to write down his experiences. Here, in isolation, he learned to appreciate the small things in life. Most importantly, he realised that courage in an age of fear is essential if the public’s right to know is to be defended.
We Are Arrested will be published in September and supported by a major press campaign.
James Stephens said: ‘Under Erdogan the Turkish press has experienced a systematic crackdown. Censorship is rife and journalists are regularly arrested and imprisoned on charges of terrorism or espionage, simply for doing their job. In the wake of July’s attempted coup, it seems likely the situation will only worsen. That’s why it is more important than ever that brave voices like Can Dündar’s are heard.’
Can Dündar is Editor-in-Chief of the venerable daily newspaper Cumhuriyet. In May this year he was sentenced to imprisonment for five years and ten months for ‘leaking secret information of the state’. He has appealed to Turkey’s higher court.
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