Saturday, 30 June 2007

Why I Signed Up The Bromley Boys

I've been a commissioning editor for many years, first at Little, Brown and now starting up my own list, Portico. I've bought and edited many books, and read many, many, many more submissions. At a rough estimate, I've commissioned about 50, and rejected projects into the thousands.

The Bromley Boys came in unsolicited, which at many publishers means straight in the reject pile/ work experience person's laps. I do try to at least look at unsoliciteds, however, as here to me is what publishing is all about: the joy of discovering something new and different. The Bromley Boys had two things going for it before I started reading it -- firstly, it's not everyday you receive a submission with your name in the title; and secondly, my own football allegience. A lifelong sufferer, sorry, supporter of now non-league York City, I could relate very strongly to what Dave was writing about.

And as I read the material, I slowly fell in love with it. Firstly, it was clear Dave could write. And I mean really write. I was reading it on the train back home and was getting looks as I laughed my way through it. It was warm and smart and poignant and as I read on, I knew I just wanted to buy it and publish it. And I liked too the fact that the subject matter was almost perversely uncommercial -- a non-league football team? In 1969? And yet what Dave was writing about was so universal -- growing up, being a fan and so on -- that somehow it just worked.

The Bromley Boys is what publishing is all about: great writing that deserves to be published. I hope you'll join us on its journey.

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