Author and former publisher Nick Webb has died. He was in his early sixties.
Webb had a long career in publishing, including roles as managing director of Simon & Schuster between 1991 and 1999 and previously as m.d. of Arrow and of Sphere.
While at Pan in 1978 he commissioned Douglas Adams to write a novelisation of the first radio series of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", resulting in the bestselling book.
Following Adams' death in 2001, Webb wrote his biography, Wish You Were Here (2003). He was also the author of The Dictionary of Bullshit (2006) and The Dictionary of Political Bullshit (2010).
A full obituary will follow in The Bookseller.
John Broom, from Meridian Search & Selection writes:
Nick had a wonderful career in publishing, commencing at Penguin then moving on to Granada and then Hodder & Stoughton, then on to Sphere as MD when the company was acquired by Penguin. Sphere was then bought by Robert Maxwell where Nick continued for some time until he was head hunted to become MD of Simon & Schuster UK. He eventually left S&S and, after some time writing the biography of Douglas Adams, he had a brief spell at Editor-in-Chief at Duckworth.
Nick published hundreds and hundreds of books during his career across a whole range of subjects. He was a very talented and creative publisher, a wonderful raconteur, extremely entertaining and without doubt one of the nicest people you could meet in publishing.