Iain Dale bites back with new publishing venture

<p>Former Politico&#39;s publisher Iain Dale is returning to the book trade with a new venture Biteback Publishing.</p><p>The new publisher is 85% owned by Biteback Media, which publishes monthly magazine Total Politics, and Dale said it would have a &quot;much broader&quot; remit than Politico&#39;s had under his leadership. &quot;There is a huge gap in the current affairs publishing market which needs filling,&quot; Dale said. &quot;At a time when interest in politics is growing, few publishers seem to be publishing political titles.&quot;</p><p>Biteback will publish 30-40 titles a year through three imprints - Total Politics, covering specialist political and reference titles, Dialogue, which will concentrate on contemporary history and current affairs, and Biteback, which will publish general current affairs titles including biography, humour and fiction. The September launch titles include<em> Trust: How We Lost It &amp; How to Get It Back</em> by Anthony Seldon, <em>The Yes Minister Miscellany</em> by Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, T<em>he Total Politics Guide to the Next Election</em> edited by Greg Callus and <em>Delane&#39;s War</em> by library campaigner Tim Coates. </p><p>The publisher has been co-founded with John Simmons. Dale and Simmons are joined at Biteback by John Schwartz, m.d. of political design agency Soapbox, and publisher and author Sean Magee, who both also formerly worked for Politico&#39;s. Magee will act as chief commissioning editor while Michael Smith, defence editor of the <em>Sunday Times,</em> will also join the group as a shareholder and commissioning editor. An advisory board for all three Biteback imprints will comprise Professors Peter Hennessy, Philip Cowley, Bruce Hoffman and John A Hall, as well as <em>Times </em>commentator Peter Riddell and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown of the <em>Independent</em>. The publisher will operate from Biteback Media&#39;s Kennington offices, with trade sales handled by Compass and distribution by Marston books.</p><p>A website and catalogue will be available from September. Dale said he planned to sell both through the trade and online, marketing with the support of Total Politics magazine, which has a 20,000 readership, and his own blog Iain Dale&#39;s Diary (at www.iaindale.com) which has a readership of 140,000.</p><p>Politico&#39;s was set up as a specialist political bookshop in Westminster in 1997. The physical bookshop closed in 2004, but an online bookshop was later sold to Harriman House. The publishing side of the business was established in 1998 and sold to Methuen in 2003.</p><p>Dale stood as a conservative candidate for North Norfolk in 2005, but failed to win a seat.</p>