Pomona Publishing House and Record Label  
Pomona Publishing House and Record Label
Mon May 25th 2020 

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Pomona: Books

Pomona Books
In The Ghetto

from a fearful, cautious profession (in crisis) these are the frequently asked questions (when a manuscript lands on an editor's desk):

1. Will the marketing department get it and feel able to sell it (“What's the angle?”)?
2. Does it fit into an identifiable genre?
3. Can it be adapted into a film or television drama?
4. Is the author young and good-looking? They must look cool and sexy in those colour supplements.
5. Is it written by a celebrity?
6. Does the author give ‘good’ interview? No retiring modesty. It's a gang-bang thing now, all in it together, this promotion game.
7. Is it similar to another book that has sold well? Better still, identical.
8. Is it, you know, a bit shocking and controversial?
9. Will it translate easily on to posters and adverts? A single clear image and idea.
10. Does the subject matter summon the zeitgeist of the times and set an agenda for the broadsheets? Consumer delirium, chicks looking for Mr. Right and vice versa, middle-class aspirational life in London, How I Became an Olive Tree in Andalucia and Found Myself etc. 

Note: None of 1-10 relates to quality or originality. 
Further Note: We don't care about 1-10.
(Imagine: all the stuff that slips through that you'll never see.) 

If I Can Dream

Pomona, it goes like this. Not 1-10, but that we are inspired, moved, provoked, irritated, made to laugh and cry and feel something: that we are wracked with jealously and joy when we discover someone better at writing and living and getting it all down in a way that gives a quantum nudge to reality, that readjusts our consciousness. Makes us see the world and ourselves differently. That’s what books are for.

Burning Love

Unlike other publishers, we don't offer advances. They hike up costs and turn a book into a white-knuckle marketing ride. Authors want to work with us because we only do projects we love. And we die for them, daily. Editing, cover art and photography, type design, author's photo, the press and promotion campaign, ads and posters—just the three of us do everything. It fills up and stretches our lives, keeps us awake at night. We work only with people we like and respect too. (Life is short.)

The deal is simple: once costs are covered (pre-arranged contractual costs), publisher and author share profits 50/50. Most publishing houses offer between seven and 12 per cent in royalties once the advance has been recouped. 

Stuck On You

Pomona's house style has been designed by Christian Brett. His brilliant concept will run to an extended family of fiction and non-fiction titles—some more radical or funny or bizarre than others but all from the same bloodline. We want you to recognise a Pomona book and learn to trust—there’s not enough of it about these days.

Anyplace Is Paradise

We'd like our potential authors to own a few of our books and instinctively feel a kinship. It would be pointless to list the essential requirements of books we wish to publish (passionate, life-affirming etc) because all authors believe this to be true of their work. 

Instead, we should say what we don't want: anything self-consciously trendy (see No.10 above); sicko blood-everywhere psycho stuff (you've plenty of other places to go with that); crime/thrillers; pseudy, wordy nonsense; books celebrating criminals or misanthropists; fantasy novels; comic novels; books about spies; self-help books; cosy life-in-a-village books about vets, doctors, district nurses et al. 

We could go on but hopefully you've got the point. Write your life, the detail, the quiet and loud bits, things that matter—from here to there and back again. Be strong. Work hard. 

Pomona's books are distributed by
Central Books
99 Wallis Road
E9 5LN

Step Off!
Lamentably, regrettably, much tears and everything...but until further notice we will not be able to look at any manuscripts sent in. Despite our honourable intentions and idealistic notions, we find ourselves unable to press on with all the wonderful books we wanted to publish, new writers we wanted to discover etc. In the meantime, we're slimming down a bit, pulling the front door to, and would ask that you bear with us until we're bigger, better, richer. This may take some time!

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