The Robson Press opened its doors for business in April 2011 and we hit the ground running, launching our debut list in August: some eighteen titles, over a wide spectrum of subjects. These included biographies of Jane Fonda, Joseph Heller and Dennis Hopper; the memoirs of Dyan Cannon, wife of Cary Grant; and books by Michael Winner, Steven Berkoff and Esther Rantzen – Esther’s important book tying in with the 25th anniversary of ChildLine. We published two particularly successful titles in association with The Times – one by their political cartoonist, Peter Brookes, the other by their parliamentary sketch writer, Ann Treneman. Brian Hoey’s Not in Front of The Corgis also brought the Royal Family into the list!
As an imprint still in its infancy, we are particularly fortunate to have a stable of loyal authors, agents and US publishers, and have already created a strong record with regard to serialisation, publicity and reviews.
Our list mixes – as always – the popular with the literary and the culturally relevant. It includes several discoveries – from The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker to the memoir of Gerald Hughes, Ted and I. In addition, singer Elkie Brooks, violinist Viktoria Mullova, actor Ryan O’Neal and national treasures Barry Cryer and Sandi Toksvig are all names seen in print on our list in recent months … along with many others.
Humour, biography, sport, history, music of all kinds, history, self-help, natural history, books of Jewish interest – the Robson Press is home to any book with character and personality (though not necessarily by personalities), whatever its subject. And, like Biteback, we’re hoping to grow swiftly and strongly in the years to come … and to keep running.
Jeremy Robson Publisher
Jeremy is Publisher of The Robson Press. After a short spell in journalism, Jeremy cut his teeth as an editor with Aldus Books, working with such figures as David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, and Carl Jung. Then, after a spell with Vallentine, Mitchell and the Woburn press, where he published the Goons Show Scripts, a massive bestseller, he launched his own company, Robson Books, publishing a great variety of high-profile authors and personalities across a wide range of subjects – music, biography, sport, humour, politics, current affairs, self-help, travel, military, etc. He has a strong personal interest in poetry, and his latest collection of poetry, published by Smokestack Books, is entitled Blues in the Park. He set up The Robson Press, as an imprint of Biteback, in May 2011.
Iain Dale Managing Director
Iain Dale is one of Britain’s leading political commentators and bloggers and a presenter on LBC Radio. He is contributing editor for GQ Magazine, writes for the Daily Telegraph, Attitude and ConservativeHome. He is Managing Director of Biteback Publishing. Iain has written or edited more than twenty books including The Politicos Guide to the 2015 General Election, Memories of Margaret Thatcher, The Little Book of Boris, 500 of the Most Acerbic, Witty & Erudite Things Ever Said About Politics and Memories of the Falklands.
James Stephens Deputy Chief Executive
James is the Sales and Marketing Director and Deputy Chief Executive of Biteback Publishing and The Robson Press. He has been with Biteback Publishing since it began in July 2009, and has been extremely gratified to watch and participate in its growth, from humble beginnings, into the publishing behemoth it is today. He has worked in publishing for the last fourteen years, prior to which he spent far too long in higher education in England and Italy. He supports Arsenal Football Club and is often kept awake with nightmares about running into Michael Smith in a dark alley.
Michael Smith Editor-at-Large
Michael is Editor-at-Large and the editor of our Dialogue Espionage Classicsseries. Michael is a number-one-bestselling author in his own right and an award-winning journalist who has worked for the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times. He commissions books on a wide range of subjects but is most interested in history, crime, reportage and, of course, books on intelligence and spies. He is also one of the judges for the prestigious St Ermin’s Hotel Intelligence Book of the Year prize. Michael’s own books include The Secret Agent's Bedside Reader, Six: A History of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1939 and The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park Codebreakers Helped Win the War. Michael is also a successful screenwriter and an Arsenal supporter but we don’t hold that against him!
Olivia Beattie Managing Editor
Olivia is Managing Editor at Biteback Publishing and the Robson Press. Olivia grew up in Scotland and read English Literature at the University of Glasgow, where she specialised in the work of Joyce, Beckett and Pinter. She then ventured south for a Master’s at Balliol College, Oxford, where she specialised in shoehorning tenuously related topics into her thesis. Olivia joined the Biteback team in 2012. When she’s not managing editing she enjoys Johnny Cash dance-offs and HBO boxsets, and aspires to membership of the Sublime Society of Beefsteaks.
Phillip Beresford Art Director
Phil is the designer for Biteback Publishing and The Robson Press. He joined Biteback in July 2014 after serving an eight year sentence at Bloomsbury Publishing. He can't remember anything that happened before that, but records show he studied English at Edinburgh and Design & Illustration at Hertfordshire. He lives in Tottenham.
Ashley Biles Sales Manager
Ashley is the Sales Manager at Biteback Publishing and The Robson Press, having been the subject of a surprise transfer bid from James Stephens in the autumn of 2014. He previously held a similar post with Saqi and Telegram Books. His career in books also encompassed seven years as a sales rep with Signature Book Services and prior to that post many enjoyable years working as a buyer with the wholesaler Pipeline Books. He remains excited about working on the tenth floor of a building overlooking the Thames at Lambeth, despite a fear of heights, and, given to wild perambulations through London, finds the walk down river from Vauxhall each day to work a joy. He is devoted to the music of Robert Wyatt and Laura Nyro and is an avid collector of ‘stuff’. This ‘stuff’ includes an unfeasibly large number of books.
Sarah Thrift Marketing Executive
Sarah is Marketing Executive at Biteback Publishing and The Robson Press. Having abandoned the home comforts of Suffolk in 2009, she moved to London to study English Literature at UCL. Delving through Romantic women’s travel diaries, laughing at Alan Bennett, and watching Graham Greene films kept her occupied most of the time. She joined Biteback in 2012 and works on all things digital & marketing. Out-of-work activities include making pastry, theatre-going and trying to convert people to Sylvia Townsend Warner.
Victoria Godden Assistant Editor
Victoria is Assistant Editor at Biteback Publishing and The Robson Press. She read Theology at the University of St Andrews and soon after made the move to London and publishing – but not before taking an impromptu detour to China for six months before joining Biteback in 2014. In her spare time she can be found reading salacious literature, attempting to paint and eating roast dinners.
Melissa Bond Editorial Assistant
Melissa is Editorial Assistant at Biteback Publishing and The Robson Press. Since leaving Oxford University, she has interned with various publishing companies before joining the Biteback team in 2014. A born-and-bred north Londoner, she enjoys reading, running, and restaurants (though not necessarily at the same time) and can often be found at the theatre or baking cakes.
Sam Deacon Press & Events Officer
Leaving the provincial life of a Cornish country bumpkin – mid-2013 – he moved to London in search of the publishing dream. After a spree of internships he found himself floundering in corporate information security sales. Eventually he was taken into the loving arms of the Biteback Publishing family. He studied Literature & Politics at Swansea University after which he spent a year traveling around the world. He enjoys rugby, surfing and CrossFit and would one day like to own a dog.