April 22, 2015
What’s happened at Hesperus Press?
by Zeljka Marosevic
In 2002, the indie publisher Hesperus Press published Jonas Jonasson’s The 100-Year-Old Man Who Jumped Out of the Window and Disappeared, which went on to be a massive hit and sell half a million copies. But in recent weeks a new story has emerged from Hesperus. It’s called The Four Members of Staff at Hesperus Who Resigned all at Once and Disappeared, and this time it’s true.
The Bookseller reported late on Monday that all four members of the independent publisher had handed in their notices and three had already left the company, with a fourth member set to leave this week. Although the publisher has not yet issued a public statement explaining the series of events, it’s safe to say that if four members of staff decide to quit a company at exactly the same time, then something has gone very, very wrong.
If this wasn’t spooky enough, the Bookseller notes that Hesperus did exhibit at last week’s London Book Fair, but none of the members of staff were present. Did staff walk out before LBF on purpose? Was anyone manning the stand? At present, we can only speculate about what went awry at Hesperus and what’s next for the company. According to the Bookseller:
Jordan-based chief financial officer Ayman Al Asmar said in an email to The Bookseller that a formal release about next steps and future plans would be issued “soon”, but would not give additional details.
Let’s hope there’s still a future for the indie publisher — we’ll be reporting on the developments.
Zeljka Marosevic is the former managing director of Melville House UK.