Preface founder Trevor Dolby to retire

Preface founder Trevor Dolby to retire

Trevor Dolby, founder and publisher for Cornerstone imprint Preface, is to retire in the autumn. 

Dolby, who turns 60 in April, is the publisher behind successes such as Monuments Men, Hawksmoor at Home, and Phil Collins' autobiography, and has been in the business of publishing for 35 years. He will be going part time from the end of April until the autumn when he will fully retire, although sometimes working in a freelance capacity for PRH UK.

There are "no planned changes at the moment" to Preface in consequence, a Cornerstone spokesperson said.

Dolby started his career at a small book packagers in Camden Town, New Leaf Books, in the late 1970s, before moving on in 1982 to John Murray at 50 Albemarle Street, when, adds Dolby, it was "still in its heyday", remembering Patrick Leigh Fermor "popping in for tea" and Freya Stark - after whom Dolby's daughter is named - and Sir John Betjeman treading the halls. He worked at Paul Hamlyn from 1984-92 and for Tim Rice and Michael Parkinson’s Pavilion in 1992 - 96, before working at Orion as publishing director for non-fiction and audio during the late 90s, from 1996-2003, when his publications included Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It, which helped spark the so-called "misery memoir" genre. Of his time at Orion, Dolby said it was "an extraordinary privilege in a life of privileges", and, in 2003, he won the Editor and Imprint of the year at the 2003 British Book Awards. 

Dolby set up Preface with Rosie de Courcy as an imprint of Random House under Gail Rebuck and Richard Cable in 2007, following what Dolby termed "a debacle at HarperCollins", where he ran a division as m.d. and publisher of HarperEntertainment from 2003 to 2006. He said of his time at Preface it was "as exciting a time as I have ever had in publishing", adding: "I have much to thank Susan Sandon (my last corporate boss!) for, not least, allowing this old lag to keep plugging away over the last few years as young talented things raced past me into the future. Then there’s the publishers’ pantomime! My dears, what stories I have to tell and what fun I have had."

Cornerstone m.d. Susan Sandon said: "Trevor will be much missed here at Cornerstone where he has published a range of fabulous books including Hawksmoor at Home, J Sheekey Fish, The Chiltern Firehouse cookbook, Hugh Thomson’s Wainwright winner The Green Road into the Trees, Monuments Men, which became the George Clooney film, and most recently Phil Collins’ bestselling autobiography Not Dead Yet. I wish Trevor the very best in his retirement and I very much hope that we will continue to work closely with him in a freelance capacity for many years to come."