Today’s one to watch is a new publisher hitting the crime and thriller scene. Fahrenheit Press will be publishing their first title, A Slow Death by James Craig, author of the Inspector Carlyle series, on 10 September 2015 and their Twitter feed @fahrenheitpress is a treat to follow.
I got in contact with Chris, the mastermind behind Fahrenheit Press to find out more.
1. Fahrenheit Press is a new crime fiction publisher. How did you come into being? What is the ethos behind Fahrenheit Press?
I’ve worked in publishing for the best part of 25 years (the last 10 as an independent consultant & analyst). Our clients are drawn from the biggest publishing and tech/media companies from around the world and although it’s been very satisfying being a part of their successes I’ve had an itch to get back into publishing properly again for a few years now.
Over the years I’ve developed a reputation as a fairly vocal critic – both in print and during appearances at publishing conferences around the world – of the deficiencies of traditional publishers when it comes to their marketing.
In recent months the number of voices from author friends asking the question “so what are you going to do about it?” has reached a critical mass and Fahrenheit Press is very much a case of me putting my money where my mouth is in response.
In short our ethos is; Publish less – Market more.
We’re only ever going to publish a limited number of titles, probably only 1 or 2 every month. Our focus is relentlessly and unapologetically commercial and our aim is to create a publishing ‘Hit Factory’ with a tightly curated list full of high performing titles.
2. Why the name Fahrenheit Press?
Because it’s gonna look REALLY COOL on a tote bag.
Apart from that it’s kind of an in-joke I guess. 10 years ago when I was setting up my consultancy company the digital revolution in publishing was just beginning.
We were pretty clear from the beginning that it was inevitable that advances in digital publishing would fundamentally change the traditional paper based industry forever – 451 degrees fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper combusts.
As anyone who knows me will testify I can’t resist a good metaphor so I named my new business FourFiftyOne.
Half a decade later when Twitter came along I took the name @4fifty1 and the rest is very sweary social media history.
When I decided to start a new publishing house I wanted it to link in with the brand and ethos of my existing companies so Fahrenheit Press was born – plus it’s too cool for skool aint it?
3. What’s with all the skulls?
I’m part punk, part peacock – I’m a show off by nature and I wear a LOT of skulls.
It’s fair to say I’ve never looked much like a traditional publisher.
I’m not suited, I’m not booted and the nearest I’ve come to tweed is the black Jean Paul Gaultier kilt I wore for a few years back in the nineties.
I wear the same outfit to meetings with publishing CEOs that I wear on my weekend visits to The Viper Room and it was important to me that Fahrenheit Press reflected the punk ethos I’ve carried with me through my whole publishing career.
4. Your first title is A Slow Death by James Craig, published on 10th Sept 2015. Why did you choose this as your first title?
First and foremost he’s a mate – we go back a long way – and I like working with mates.
I helped launch his very first novel London Calling and with some hard work and a sprinkling of witchcraft we managed to get it to No.1 on Amazon – which was pretty much unheard of back then for an unknown author with their first novel.
Over the years his Inspector Carlyle novels have been extraordinarily successful – first with Constable & Robinson and now latterly with Hachette – in fact the 9th book in the series has just been published.
The Inspector Carlyle series is well established and will continue but this new series is set in Berlin and features a very different main character – Kriminalinspektor Max Drescher.
While I’m a big fan of the Carlyle novels I think this new series is significantly edgier and it certainly deals with very different themes. I think he fancied taking a chance with a new approach and I’m really glad he chose us.
Over and above all that though when we worked together in the early days we had a lot of fun and I think we’re both looking forward to having a lot of fun again.
It’s fair to say that publishing has a habit of taking itself far too seriously – at Fahrenheit we believe that having fun and running a successful publishing house aren’t mutually exclusive and I think we’re all looking forward to proving that’s true.
I’m only interested in publishing authors who get me and get what we’re trying to achieve with The Fahrenheit Project.
To be frank, if it was left to me I wouldn’t even have a contract – much like the late Tony Wilson from Factory records I’d be happy to stand or fall on a handshake.
As it stands we’ve managed to get the contract down to one page which in effect says “We agree not to be assholes to each other and to share all the cash fairly”
Whatever else happens Fahrenheit Press is gonna be one hell of a ride.
5. What titles can we expect from you in the future?
Initially all our authors (bar one) are people who are already traditionally published and have become increasingly frustrated in recent years by the ‘blockbuster’ mentality of the largest publishing corporations.
We’ve started in crime because it’s a market that’s easily delineated and we can target our resources much more effectively but it’s perfectly possible that as we become more established we’ll branch out into other genres – already we’ve had a non-fiction submission which I’m aching to publish.
Right now we’re focusing all our attention on our launch title but once that’s out in the world and everything is and up and running we’ll be announcing the first raft of our publishing programme – probably at the Frankfurt Bookfair in October.
6. People may be curious to find out more about your submissions criteria. What would be the best way for someone to submit their manuscripts?
The website will be up soon and there will be submissions instructions up there but in the meantime people can just drop us a short line. firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll let you know what we’re after.
A few pointers;
* we’re a crime publisher at the moment – probably best if you only send us crime & thrillers
* we don’t care if the book has been published elsewhere as long as you can prove to us that you own the rights to publish it now.
* try and spell Fahrenheit correctly – we’re getting buried under submissions and it’s a really quick way to decide which ones to chuck straight in the bin.
Thanks for appearing on the blog and answering my questions.
About the book:
A Slow Death is available on pre-order from Amazon
““I just love the smell of tear gas in the evening…”
The Wall has fallen and Berlin is a magnet for criminals and protestors from all over Germany and the rest of Europe.
When a seemingly ordinary family are slaughtered in their home, Kriminalinspektor Max Drescher finds himself up against a ruthless Mafia clan trying to establish its operations in the newly reunited city.
Max has problems of his own but knowing this could be his last case, the veteran detective will stop at nothing to get a result. ” (Synopsis and image taken from Amazon)