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"Why publishing?"

by Iain McLaughlin, Editor in Chief

July 12, 2015


That is a question I have been asked a lot by people since I decided to launch Thebes Publishing. "Why publishing? Isn't it dying?" Well, there are no doubts that publishing is facing a tough time. If it wasn't I wouldn't have found myself out of work in March 2014 - I had worked for a publisher in Dundee for almost 29 years non-stop since leaving school but like a lot of now former colleagues found myself out in one of their regular cost-cutting staff culls. 


It's an interesting experience to find yourself out of work for the first time in your life. There's a sense of unreality. That's can't have happened, can it? Only two years earlier I was editing the Beano and being told how important I was to the future of the company... 


So, what was I going to do? I did some freelancing and that was enjoyable, but I needed something to do every day. I wanted to work with creative people. For a year before my day job disappeared I had been planning to launch a small publishing company to produce novels about Erimem, the Fifth Doctor's former companion. I started wondering about that... could I publish books? Could I make it work as a business? Erimem novels wouldn't be enough to financially support both me and a business... but I had always planned to publish horror as well... and I'd been writing crime fiction...


A business plan was what was needed. So I spent the best part of a month working on a business plan, on financial planning and cash flow projections, having meetings with Business Gateway and Cultural Emterprise... at the end of it these was a seven year plan drawn up with the first three years outlined in detail. At the heart of that plan were a couple of really important ideas. One - try to make everything Thebes Publishing does of the highest quality possible and two - make part of the company's remit finding and developing new writing and design talent. I distinctly remember the feeling when my first Doctor Who script was commissioned for Big Finish's licenced audio series. I've written a lot of audios, radio, novels and some TV since then - all of it because Gary Russell decided to take a chance on my script for Doctor Who. I want Thebes Publishing to give that same experience to other young writers and artists. So... why publishing? Because I love books and I love working with talented, creative people and I want to bring their work to an audience who can love it too.


What do we have planned? The Erimem series has been a good start for us. Reaction and sales have been positive for the first book, The Last Pharaoh. We hope that will continue. Some Doctor Who non-fiction will follow - that is a line we want to pursue and grow. Horror, non Doctor Who-universe Science Fiction and Crime will all develop over the next 12-18 months and we will also be producing ranges of classic literature and classic film screenplays. We have a lot of plans beyond that but I'll save those for another day.


So, now we've been officially up and running for a few months and the books are getting out there. It's exciting, it's an adventure, it's a step into the unknown... come with us on the adventure and let's see where Thebes Publishing can go.


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