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Comment from the book world in October 2018

October 2018

'All reading is good reading'

8 October 2018

‘I have always loved reading, but when I was at school, especially in primary school, I didn't realise that I did. The reason for this was that what seemed to count as ‘reading' was, in fact, something much more specific: reading meant fiction, and it meant chapter books. To read a book also meant to start at the beginning, and to finish at the end. When I was at school it was true that I didn't particularly enjoy reading fiction, and I found it hard to sit with a book for a long period of time, working my way through it in a linear fashion. But looking back, it is most definitely not true to say that I didn't like reading. I loved, and continue to love, factual books and anything to do with geography and history. I loved comics and newspapers. I loved dipping into a book with no pressure to read it from cover to cover. I was, and am, a reader, and when I visit schools I do my best to help pupils see that reading does not necessarily mean just one thing. All reading is good reading.' Joshua Seigal, author of I Don't Like Poetry and two other children's poetry collections. https://readfoundation.org.uk/blog/love-reading/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SocialMedia&utm_campaign=JoshuaSeigalBlog

'Editors are readers first and foremost'

1 October 2018

‘One of the great joys of being an editor is sharing your enthusiasm with colleagues and seeing others really get behind a project, so I suppose that's a strength - feeling that I'm able to gather a team around a book so that it might be published in the best possible way.

Editors are readers first and foremost, and when I love a book my first instinct is always to approach its acquisition and publication with that readerly passion. But of course that's not always enough. I've had to really reign that in sometimes and remind myself to always consider the market.

My favorite part of my job is editing - it always feels like the most extraordinary privilege, so I certainly hope I'll still be acquiring exciting new voices and working closely with authors to make sure their book is the best version of itself it can be.

The other thing that drives me is helping build writers' careers. In a few years' time, I hope I'll be able to look across my list and see some of the authors whose debuts I've acquired continuing to succeed on their second, third, fourth books.'

Sophie Jonathan, Pan MacmillanOne of largest fiction and non-fiction book publishers in UK; includes imprints of Pan, Picador and Macmillan Children’s Books/Picador senior commissioning editor, interviewed by Porter Anderson in Publishing Perspectives