:: Buzzwords

Why we Quit: Tariq Goddard on Leaving Zero Books

“Zero books was one of the happiest surprises of my life. It was begun as a gesture with no hope of success, and would have been nothing without the support of John Hunt and a core of singularly talented writers that mainstream publishing had contrived to ignore. The qualified influence Zero has had on cultural life, and the way it has shown that titles that might have been dismissed as crazy can in fact sell in decent quantities, is something I will always regard as an achievement. To walk away from that, even though I spent six of the seven years of its existence rehearsing that scenario daily, has been unpleasant, and I am sorry if I and the gifted team I have been fortunate enough to work with, have let anyone down.

From the start our affiliation with John Hunt Publishing created procedural problems that quickly became personal, John Hunt’s preference for electronic systems that bypassed personal correspondence, authors contributing to their own production costs, and the numerical quantity of releases being prized as an end in itself, were not shared, and became an excuse for a deeper antagonism that grew out of our achieving modest success despite these methods. The discrepancy between our actual impact in the world, modest but marked, and the perception within JHP that we are drain and encumbrance, meant that we were subject to internal attacks that got in the way of our being able to properly fulfil the aims of our project. As attempts to buy Zero out and move elsewhere failed, departure became our only option, however much I tried to resist this obvious conclusion.

REPEATER, the new publishing project that I have begun with the Zero team, will take Zero’s operating principle, to make marginal and excluded points of view mainstream and necessary, to a public we are already fortunate enough to identify with and reach, further. Zero still has dozens of amazing titles we commissioned due for release, and will do so for a while yet, which the team at Repeater will do whatever it can to promote and publicise, but what comes after that will be nothing to do with us. Forgive the indulgent and precious tone of this missive; we all strive to leave our own worlds and reach people, and with Zero our hope was that we were able to do that. Our love and gratitude to the authors, readership, and employees at John Hunt Publishing, that made this all possible.”

– Tariq Goddard, publisher of REPEATER.

First posted: Friday, December 5th, 2014.

There are currently 2 comments on this post. You can follow all the comments on this post through this RSS feed.

  1. […] a nice statement HERE, which I either just saw now or saw before and forgot about […]

  2. […] are people who discovered, during our years working together on our previous project, Zero Books, that in general it is easier to assume that the public is stupid than it is to find a truly stupid […]