Geordie Williamson will be the new Picador publisher, taking over from Alex Craig who resigned last month. This means, of course, that The Australian newspaper will have to find a new chief literary critic. Williamson will start at the publisher next month and perhaps it's not surprising that someone who has been a bookseller, author and critic should say he has been circling publishing for ages in his "para-literary career". Once he had accepted the Picador gig he realised he had been undergoing a long preparation for the move.
While he was aware of the decline in importance of paperback rights since the '70s and '80s – remember when Picador had all the big names in paperback? – he said he was surprised at the strength of the imprint. "Alex Craig has done a great job; there's a stable of really good stuff." He is particularly interested in nature writing as it has emerged over the past 15 years – "not in the sense of Cold Comfort Farm, which put people off nature writing for 50 years" – but because it was the most urgent and fascinating field of non-fiction writing. He also wants to find more younger Australian voices and some strong indigenous writing, "which is where questions of storytelling and place intersect".
As to the future of publishing in Australia, he said he had more faith in it than the publishing of newspapers: "We face the challenges of parallel importation again and Amazon as a bricks and mortar force. The question is can we create a sturdy enough ecosystem to sustain it?"
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/bookmarks-news-and-views-from-the-book-world-20160405-gnymui.html#ixzz45XrNUiZT