Friday, 9 July 2010


The Philosophy and Vision of a Writer and Publisher


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Alessandro Gallenzi is MD at independent publishers Alma and Oneworld Classics and The Bookseller this morning ran a piece on the London-based literary press securing a global sales and distribution deal with Bloomsbury. I am delighted for Alma and Oneworld Classics. My bookshelves are filled with titles from the old John Calder catalogue, and the imprint was acquired by Oneworld Classics in 2007.

Gallenzi is one of the real driving forces behind Alma and Oneworld Classics and what makes them an adventurous and truly independent publisher with a dedicated focus on quality and literary excellence while still remaining a commercially successful and respected publisher.

Gallenzi writes an occasional blog posting at Bloggerel and a couple of days ago he posted this quite magnificent piece on his own philosophy on being both writer and publisher.

It should be nailed to the boardroom walls of every publishing house.

"Personally, I have a fatalistic vision of publishing: I believe that a bestseller is the right book published at the right time by the right people."

"As a small literary independent publisher, my belief and secret motivation is that books can be quietly successful in mysterious and often unforeseen ways: a single copy of one title can transform the life of its reader and even – forgive me the hyperbole – change the course of human history."

"I have written and published, under my own imprint Alma Books, a novel about the folly, the excesses and the sheer desperation I have witnessed in my career as a bookseller, translator, writer, editor and publisher."

"I know quite a few publishers and editors, both in this country and abroad, who have written works of fiction and non-fiction, and that – whatever my talent – I am only the latest in a long tradition of authors turned publishers and publishers turned authors."
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