Hodder Non-Fiction is making a series of changes to its editorial team: Anna Baty is joining from The Bodley Head as senior commissioning editor, while Zuleika founder Tom Perrin is taking on a consultant editor role and Huw Armstrong has been promoted.
Baty was formerly commissioning editor at The Bodley Head where she commissioned titles including Gina Rippon’s The Gendered Brain, Aoife Abbey’s Seven Signs of Life and Laurence Blair’s forthcoming Lost Countries of South America, which won the 2018 RSL Giles St Aubyn Award for Non-Fiction. She has also worked with authors such as Christopher de Bellaigue, Simon Schama, Shane O’Mara, Nicholas Shaxson and Siddhartha Mukherjee. She is currently editorial manager at the innovation foundation Nesta (formerly the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts) where she has been leading a new editorial strategy.
Reporting to publisher Kirty Topiwala, Baty will start at the end of March and, alongside Topiwala, she will be particularly focused on growing the serious non-fiction strand of the list.
Among Hodder Non-Fiction's bestsellers last year was Anne Glenconner’s Lady in Waiting, as well as Simon Reeve’s Step by Step and Michael Caine’s Blowing the Bloody Doors Off, Hannah Critchlow’s The Science of Fate and "The Irishman" tie-in – and the publisher says it has "ambitious plans to build on this success".
In addition to Baty’s appointment, Perrin, founder of Zuleika Press, has been retained as consultant editor. Working alongside Rowena Webb, he will develop a new strand of memoir and narrative non-fiction that "brings to light extraordinary stories from people and backgrounds not previously heard from or explored". Perrin and Webb have already collaborated on successes such as James Pope-Hennessy’s The Quest for Queen Mary, Hugo Vickers’ The Sphinx and Glenconner’s Lady in Waiting.
Meanwhile Armstrong has been promoted to senior commissioning editor and will be growing his list of tech, business, popular culture, true crime and other titles.
Briony Gowlett, Rupert Lancaster and Webb continue in their current roles, as does Topiwala who has led the team since October, when she joined from Wellcome Collection.
Baty said: "It’s been invaluable to experience life outside of publishing for the last year but this opportunity to work with Kirty on the Hodder list was one I couldn’t pass up. I can’t wait to join the team and work with Kirty to amplify the smart non-fiction strand of Hodder’s already outstanding publishing."
Topiwala said: "It’s an exciting moment for Hodder Non-Fiction, with brilliant bestsellers and a raft of great acquisitions being announced. I am delighted to be working with the team to build on this success and expand the range of our list even further. We were hugely impressed by Anna’s ideas, creativity and editorial acuity, and I think her experience in and outside of publishing will bring a fresh perspective and neatly complement the strong existing expertise in the team. I’m really looking forward to working with her to publish smart, surprising and successful books."
She added: "I’m also hugely admiring of what Tom Perrin has achieved with Zuleika and his talent for spotting a great story (and storyteller!). He and Rowena make a superb team and I’m excited about the brilliant books I know they will cook up together. And last but not least, it’s wonderful to announce Huw Armstrong’s promotion, in recognition of the brilliant publishing he has contributed to the list over the last two and a half years – from Brad Smith’s international hit Tools and Weapons to the forthcoming 99% Invisible book. He has a great eye, an open mind and a strategic approach, and is a key part of the Hodder team."