Tariq Goddard studied philosophy at King’s College London, as well as Continental Philosophy at the University of Warwick and the University of Surrey, and is now an award winning writer. Since 2008, he and his wife run Zero books, as well as an organic herb farm. Zero Books have published over one hundred titles in areas ranging from philosophy and politics to poetry and fiction. They currently have over forty titles in production.

Hybrid Publishing Lab: When starting with Zero books in 2008 you decided to jettison an office and work online with an electronic database. What was the reason for this decision and how does this affect your work as a publisher?

Tariq Goddard: I did not have the money for an office, the people who I wanted to work with were scattered round the country and I hate commuting , as I think it’s an unacknowledged cause of premature ageing. Working from home from the electronic database gave me the veneer of a professional publisher, before I could afford any of the external trappings, and allowed me to punch way above my actual weight.

HPL: What role do books play in the time of information overload, and how can a publishing house position itself in response to that?

Goddard: A combined approach; on the one hand publish timeless classics that owe nothing to changing information, and on the other, have a very fast publishing turnaround time to keep up – ours is three months from the time the manuscript is handed in to its release date.

HPL: You are also a writer. Has technology changed the work of authors while writing?

Goddard: Yes, it has made me much more tolerant of making mistakes, as they can so quickly be corrected, so I suppose it has encouraged a willingness to experiment, taking away that feeling of finality I had with pencil and paper.

HPL: Which book will you always have as an analogue copy in your bookshelf?

Goddard: I’m a dealer that doesn’t consume his own product; all of my books are analogue and I have never purchased a digital one (though sold quite a few).

Our upcoming Conference on Publishing between Open Access, Piracy and Public Spheres is up for registration now. You can read all Interviews here.

Julia Rehfeldt


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