Former UK music journalist, literary agent, and latterly publishing director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson Neil Taylor has just launched his own new digital imprint, Ink Monkey, hailing 2013 as “The Year of the Monkey.”
From the company’s launch release come this:
“A former Cabinet minister, a PhD from the creative writing programme at Newcastle University, a cultural historian and Demos associate and a founding father of the 1960s underground movement are amongst those authors whose work is published under the digital imprint Ink Monkey.”
Ink Monkey titles are available direct from the company’s website, and through the major UK digital channels—”Apple, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Sony, etc.”—and further afield through third-party Irish e-book distribution platform ePubDirect.
For anyone wishing to sample its wares, “‘Monkey Tales: An Ink Monkey Sampler’ will be issued at the end of June, free to anyone who subscribes to the Ink Monkey site via the Ink Monkey Newsletter or follows ink Monkey on Facebook.”
According to Taylor’s Wikipedia biography, he worked with Britain’s New Musical Express, covering mostly indie rock of the 1980s, and even had a hand in creating some compilation albums of the period. As agent and publishing executive, he has worked with writers such as Peter Ackroyd, Jake Arnott, and leading experimentalist Toby Litt.
“Publishing is still going through the technological flux that it is only now just starting to understand,” Taylor says. “Times are more interesting than they have been in decades. Although the business still feels like a business more comfortable in plus-fours, it has become more diverse and more open to new ideas, and there is more opportunity for fresh writing than at any time previously, albeit on a different business model from the traditional one.”
The new list does kick off with “a vague 60s feel,” Taylor concedes, with reprints of Nigel Fountain’s “Underground: the London Alternative Press 1966-74” and Mick Farren’s post-apocalyptic fantasy “The Texts of Festival,” but other first-time titles likely to catch attention include Maurice Sucking’s “Life With A Porn Queen” and “Mickey the Mimic” by Kirk Lane.
Longer term, Taylor is looking to move Ink Monkey to “a mixed business model, part conventional retail and part subscription,” and he promises further releases during the summer.