Jake Lingwood to join Octopus

News - Publishing Tuesday, 08 January 2019

Former Ebury publisher to launch new imprint, with first-person stories at its heart

Jake Lingwood, former publisher and deputy md at Ebury, is to join Octopus (Hachette) on 4 February with a brief to launch a new narrative non-fiction imprint.

During a career of 21 years at Ebury, Lingwood commissioned and published bestsellers from authors including Caitlin Moran, Terry Pratchett, Simon Garfield, Dave Gorman, George Best, Steve Peters, Marie Kondo, Robbie Williams and Yotam Ottolenghi. He left the company last October, saying that he wanted to focus again on commissioning. Joel Rickett is now Ebury md.

Lingwood's as-yet-unnamed imprint will cover "everything from spiritual memoir to business; from socially conscious polemic to history; from personal stories and the arts, to politics and sport". The aim is that at the heart of each title will be a first-person experience.

Lingwood said: "When I was introduced to the idea of working with the fantastic team at Octopus I immediately saw the huge opportunity of being able to set up a completely new, broad list that reflects where general non-fiction is today. Terms like 'literary' and 'commercial' feel inadequate now. Instead we want to read well-written books that are authentic, honest, informative and entertaining. Look at Adam Kay's This Is Going to Hurt - a perfect book in that respect. To agents and authors, my message to you is, 'Whatever the genre, if it's in the first person, I would really LOVE to see it.' In the meantime, I promise to come up with a decent imprint name before 4 February."

Denise Bates, Octopus Group publishing director, said: "This is a very exciting time for Octopus as we grow and extend our narrative non-fiction publishing and we are delighted that Jake, with his superb track record of identifying and publishing bestsellers, will be joining us to accelerate that growth significantly."

Alison Goff, Octopus chief executive, said: "Jake's arrival will add even more strength to our acquisition team and an innovative new dimension to our publishing."

Hachette ceo David Shelley said: "I have long admired what Jake achieved at Ebury - he is one of the most creative non-fiction publishers in the business with an exceptional track record behind him. I am really pleased that he will be setting up his imprint within Octopus at this exciting time in its development. Long one of the UK's leading illustrated publishers, the Octopus team have also recently delivered some significant narrative non-fiction bestsellers with the launch of Aster. Jake's imprint will add another string to Octopus's bow and will help it to continue to grow and to deliver excellent results for its authors."

Lingwood can be contacted at jakeslingwood@gmail.com, and from 4 February at jake.lingwood@octopusbooks.co.uk.

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