Adrian Searle, co-founder and director of Scottish independent publisher Freight Books, has left the company following “irreconcilable differences over strategic direction”.
The Glasgow-based publisher was founded as an imprint of Freight Design in 2011 by Searle and his business partner Davinder Samrai. Robbie Guillory, the publisher’s former production editor, has stepped in to assist the publisher on an operational and strategic level following Searle’s departure. The Bookseller understands the publisher's only marketing employee was made redundant in December.
The company lists authors such as Irvine Welsh and Janice Galloway on its books, as well as others such as Dilys Rose, J David Simons, Philip Miller, Carl MacDougall, and Lara Williams, who was shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize this year for her novel Treats.
Co-founder Samrai said Freight Books intended to "honour any legal obligations to our authors".
"Given the unexpected events we hope we'll be given time to assess all publishing activities," he said. "...Aside from Adrian’s unfortunate and abrupt departure — Freight Books fully intends to meet its obligations. Robbie Guillory, who worked in tandem with Adrian, for several years, has returned to assist us on an operational and strategic level. Creative Scotland, Publishing Scotland and Booksource have also been incredibly supportive with both help and advice to plot a way forward. We would like to ask for patience at this time."
Searle said in a statement: “Following irreconcilable differences over strategic direction, and after six years as publisher at Freight Books, and eight years as a director of Freight Design, with much regret and a great deal of sadness, I have decided to leave the business I own jointly and resign as a company director to pursue other interests. I wish the team at Freight and Freight Books' talented authors the very best for the future."
The company has previously been supported with grants from Creative Scotland. A spokesperson for the arts funding body said: "We are aware of recent developments at Freight and will continue to discuss with them as appropriate.”