Interview: Stanhope Books Publisher
Bachman: Being a publisher is a very important part of the industry, whether traditional or independent, when did you know that this was what you wanted to do?
Bonson: A tough question to start with – I hope these get easier! It’s a long story – but I looked in the past at a music publishing business and record company, etc. So there had always been a side to me that was interested in promoting unknown works.
It wasn’t until I tried to get my first book, ‘One Hit Wonders,’ published that I realised how difficult the process can be. I then looked at it with my engineering/continuous improvement background and thought that there must be a better way forward. I don’t want to give away too many of our secrets, but we operate a nice middle ground between self-publishing and a full publisher – yet utilise a lot of forward thing printing and publishing technologies.
Bachman: What has been your most favoured moment as being a publisher?
Bonson: Reading reviews from people with no connection to the company or the authors – and seeing how they enjoy our work.
Bachman: What have been some lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Bonson: Large chain bookshops aren’t interested in small, independent publishers or unknown authors – so it’s always about trying to do something innovative to draw the readers in, and there are some plans we have for the 12 months that will be quite different to what is out there currently.
Bachman: Is there anything that you’d do different if you were given the chance?
Set aside some additional funds for advertising. It’s one area I really underestimated, but so far we’re doing very well on social media and word of mouth – but it’s a part of the business I know we could do better.
Bachman: As a publisher, it must be difficult to juggle things, how do you keep so motivated and organized?
Bonson: It’s very difficult, especially as I still roles within the motor industry to juggle around and family, hobbies, etc. The motivation is seeing the look on an new authors face when they see their book in print for the first time – it’s a fantastic sight and an amazing feeling to know that you’ve been part of that moment.
Bachman: I read your biography on www.stanhopebooks.com; your publishing company’s website that you’re a fan of not only the arts but cars as well is there a specific type of car that’s your favourite more than any other?
Bonson: Too many nice cars that’s the issue. From a racing car perspective, I’d have to say the 1967 Lotus-Ford 49 Formula One car. Elegant design, amazing engineering and with an evocative green and yellow colour scheme.
Bonson: Road cars – too many to list, but let’s include the DeLorean DMC-12, Ford Mustang BOSS, any Jaguar
Bachman: I also discovered you’re not only a publisher, but also a writer, is there any works of yours you’d like to tell us about as a writer?
Bonson: My writing so far has been non-fictional – focused on my love of motor racing history and pulling together facts, figures, stories that weren’t available in one source anywhere else.
I’ve written plays in the past and am now working on a short story, to be included in a book we’re publishing later this year for a charity, so it will be interesting to see what people think of my fiction work. There are other fictional books I have planned, but there’s a lot of work that needs to go into them from a research perspective first.
Bachman: Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Bonson: For the short story coming up, the inspiration was very simple, as I put myself into the role of the main character (I used to be an actor, before becoming involved in engineering). For the other stories I’m working on, it’s difficult to give the inspiration as it would say too much about what they are, but when they come out it will self-explanatory where the inspiration has come from.
Bachman: Is there anything you’d like readers to know about you and your company?
Bonson: We are very small, very independent and always looking to find new outlets, new readers and new authors. We cover hardback, paperback, e-book and audio book formats, alongside a diverse range of subjects.
Bachman: Finally, is there anything you’d like to take the time to promote?
Bonson: Everything that we are about! Most importantly our website – www.stanhopebooks.com and our Facebook page – facebook.com/stanhopebooks. Can I also thank you for the opportunity to publicise our company and out authors.
Bachman: You’re more than welcome! Thank you for allowing me some of your time.