Gowlett leaves Hodder to launch new Octopus imprint

Gowlett leaves Hodder to launch new Octopus imprint

Briony Gowlett is leaving Hodder & Stoughton after eight years to head a new imprint at Octopus. 

Reporting to group publishing director Denise Bates, Gowlett will be moving into a newly created publisher role to launch a list specialising in mass-market non-fiction. Currently publisher at Hodder & Stoughton, she will join Octopus in late August to be the sole publisher at the imprint, the name of which will be unveiled in the autumn. 

Octopus said it will be targeted at “defined communities of potential readers whether it’s a trusted household name with a core community of fans, a cult voice or online platform star with an intimate knowledge of their audience, or a book that taps into a conversation shared among a like-minded group of people”. 

The publisher added: “The cross-genre list will be informed by real world outlooks and not publishing habit, and the imprint will serve those expectant audiences with books that meet their needs in creative and credible ways.”

It is now one of 15 imprints at Octopus in total, excluding Summersdale and Short Books which it acquired in recent years. Octopus is run by m.d. 

Gowlett started her publishing career in 2006, joining Penguin as a contracts secretary, before moving to Random House to work for then Cornerstone m.d. Susan Sandon. She moved into editorial at Century, joining Hodder & Stoughton in 2013 via Simon & Schuster.  

Currently publisher for Hodder & Stoughton non-fiction, Gowlett has published books including a graphic novel series by YouTuber Joe Sugg, The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon, Clanlands by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish as well as memoirs by Joey Essex, Tori Amos, Denise Welch and Dolly Parton and titles such as This is Grime and a 12-book astrology series which became one of Anthropologie’s bestselling gift book lines.  

She said: “It’s a publisher’s dream to be asked to curate a list of books that they believe add value and enjoyment to readers' lives, and in Anna, Denise and the Octopus team I have found the perfect home from which to do just that. It is a privilege to be joining Octopus at this time of infectious energy and much-deserved confidence and recognition.” 

Gowlett added: “I am so proud of everything I’ve achieved up to this point and owe a huge thank you to the authors who have trusted my vision for them and the publishing teams who have supported me in delivering it. I hope to channel my deep love and knowledge of accessible, quality non-fiction into books that make a mark." 

Bond commented: “I am delighted that Briony will be joining Denise’s newly restructured senior publishing team to launch her own imprint and be a part of the growth story that Octopus has embarked on."