The Eleven Commandments of Book Selection at And Other Stories
- We publish writing that is mind-blowing, often ‘challenging’ (Maureen Freely) and ‘shamelessly literary’ (Stuart Evers) – opening a space for exploration and discovery. It’s up for debate. Look at the authors we’ve read and published to get a feel for And Other Stories’ tastes.
- Our focus is on fiction for now, but we are open to non-fiction too, particularly narrative non-fiction. Our first work of literary non-fiction was Now and at the Hour of our Death by Susana Moreira Marques. A very funny and wonderful poem by Deborah Levy (An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell) has come out too.
- We publish mainly contemporary writing, which for us means written in the last 40 years or so. There are a lot of good writers to catch up with from other literatures. Books can have slow fuses.
- We focus on new publications, but don’t rule out great books published only in another English-language country.
- We publish world-class writing, not ‘world writing’. So far we have concentrated on translations because there are so many amazing writers currently not available to readers in English. We’re reading a lot of English-language fiction too, and publish what we love, such as Deborah Levy’s Man Booker-shortlisted novel Swimming Home and are happy to consider submissions from authors and agents. Hence . . .
- Suggestions and tips are encouraged – send your suggestions to Stefan Tobler via the Contact page. (For a submission, follow the guidelines on that page.)
- We will read as much as we can. But this is fitted in outside of (normal) working hours, so bear with us. Responses to submissions cannot always be quick.
- Reading groups keep our lifeblood pumping (ie books!) – if you would like to initiate one and choose its titles with the core team, get in touch (via the Contact page). They are open to everyone on the mailing list and allow readers to have a say in our editorial decisions.
- We spread the love. Names of authors or books generating excitement in reading groups (not necessarily unanimous) should be suggested to the core team for inclusion in their next acquisitions meeting.
- Final decisions are made by the core team – ultimate responsibility and blame rests with the publisher, Stefan Tobler. And Other Stories is a balancing act: a publishing house that must act as the core team deems best, and yet whose direction and choice of titles is guided by its active supporters’ intelligent, normally civilised, and always passionate debate.
- These aren’t commandments. Not rules but rules of thumb. Expect And Other Stories to publish a poet or a book of non-fiction or a book many readers dislike or books you wouldn’t think we would publish. There’s always an exception to the rule.