Bonnier Books UK is launching a new ‘mission-oriented’ start-up publisher, Footnote Press, in a pioneering partnership with founders Vidisha Biswas and Sujoy Roy.
As part of its long-term strategy for growth and commitment to inclusion and representation, the company will launch Footnote Press, an independently run, disruptive publisher of literary fiction and narrative non-fiction, focusing on migration, identity and marginalised knowledge and experience.
Biswas – who will lead Footnote Press as managing director – was most recently co-owner and business development director at the radical publishing collective Zed Books, where she spearheaded the company’s digital transformation strategy, delivering record sales growth before it was acquired by Bloomsbury in 2020. Her career history of socially progressive publishing has spanned organisations including the Morning Star, New Statesman, Verso Books and Zed.
Roy, a video games and esports industry veteran and innovator with extensive start-up experience, including as founder of HMV Gamerbase, will be using his digital skills to drive customer conversion and retention, and exploring new ways of aiding discoverability through gamification.
Footnote Press will launch in early 2022 with its first books publishing in the Spring. The press will begin by publishing 10-15 books a year, of stimulating and politically-engaged fiction and non-fiction, including history, current affairs, philosophy, memoir, situational reportage, environment, and more. The press is also committed to spotlighting other, previously excluded ways of thinking, being and organising through its ambitious publishing programme.
Perminder Mann, CEO, Bonnier Books UK said: “I was blown away by Vidisha and Sujoy’s vision for Footnote Press, their dynamic approach and deep expertise. Footnote aligns perfectly with our long-term strategy for growth and will help us to further broaden and diversify our publishing portfolio.”
Vidisha Biswas, Managing Director, Footnote Press said: “Footnote Press will combine the best of both worlds – the agility and focus of a smaller independent, with the expertise and reach of an established, world-leading publisher. This pioneering partnership gives Footnote the strongest possible launch pad, which means we can carry forward our mission to disrupt multiple status quos and drive narrative change ever more effectively.”
Biswas will report directly into Mann and recruitment for an editorial director will commence immediately.