At the heart of the process of choosing who to publish is, obviously, editorial taste, but it’s difficult to pin down exactly how we choose. It’s a hard thing to make scientific because so much of it is based on intuition, gut feeling and passion. The editor has to really want the writer and the book for something to come out of it ... In a literary business like ours, you find that success comes at strange moments for strange reasons. If you land a book at the wrong moment and the audience doesn’t turn up when you expect them to, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be a success in the end. You never take on a book without believing that you can create success. When you invest heavily in editorial taste, like we do, you just have to believe in your taste and keep going.Stephen Page CEO of publishers Faber & Faber is interviewed by Rouwen Lim in Starmag about how the company's amazing track record (which six Booker Prize winners and 11 Nobel Laureatesso consistently over the decades).
(But is Faber trading on past glories? That's an interesting question Sam Jordison asked on The Guardian blog back in May.)
F&F have just celebrated their 80th anniversary and are republishing 10 novels by some of their finest writers as part of the Faber Firsts series. The cover designers share the stories behind their iconic images. These are truly beautiful retro-looking editions and I want them so much!