McQuaid leaves PRH for indie Rough Trade Books

McQuaid leaves PRH for indie Rough Trade Books

Kate McQuaid, currently publicity director at William Heinemann, Windmill, and #Merky Books (Penguin Random House UK), is joining independent Rough Trade Books as its first publicist.

McQuaid will take up her part-time role on 1st January 2021, reporting to Rough Trade Books’ founder and co-director Nina Hervé, two days a week.

McQuaid, who joined Penguin Random House UK in 2016, started her publishing career as an editorial assistant at Polity Press before moving to Toronto to work her way up to senior publicist at House of Anansi Press, returning to the UK to work as publicity manager at Faber.

At Penguin Random House she has worked with authors including Nicola Barker, James Ellroy, Tom Hanks, Donna Leon, Derek Owusu, Richard Powers, Stormzy and Eley Williams. In July 2018, McQuaid was part of the small team that launched #Merky Books and she has since overseen publicity for the imprint.

Rough Trade Books was co-founded two years ago by Nina Hervé and Craig Oldham as a publishing venture in the mould of the independent record label of the same name. Its goal is to bring the same "original spirit and radical direction", as the original record label, to the world of book publishing. Its programme includes books and pamphlets by authors and poets such as Salena Godden, Jarvis Cocker, Wendy Erskine and Will Burns. They have collaborated on pamphlet series with the Museum of Witchcraft & Magic and the William Morris Gallery, with the Garden Museum upcoming in 2021.

Hervé said: "We’re delighted to have Kate coming on board at Rough Trade Books. Hiring a publicist is testament to how we’ve come along the past couple of years, and to the ongoing commitment we have to our list and authors, and hopefully speaks to the hugely exciting things we have got on the horizon for the next couple of years. We know that Kate’s experience, expertise and enthusiasm will help us continue to expand and to achieve success, whatever that looks like, for all our books."

McQuaid said: "I am overjoyed to be returning to my independent publishing roots with this dream opportunity to join Nina and the team part-time at Rough Trade Books. They are doing some of the most authentic, intelligent, entertaining, and beautifully-produced publishing in the world and I am honoured to be trusted with expanding their community of readers including, of course, booksellers. I have learned so much during my time at PRH and am grateful for its investment in my development. It is very hard to leave my exceptional colleagues, especially as Lemara Lindsay-Prince’s publishing takes flight with #Merky Books."

Rough Trade Books will celebrate its third anniversary in July 2021. It will launch the year with In The End, It Was All About Love by Musa Okwonga and The Shining: A Visual and Cultural Haunting by Craig Oldham (the next in the Epiphany Editions series) in January. Rough Trade Books is distributed by Art Data in the UK and Idea Books internationally.

McQuaid's last day at PRH is on 6th November, after which she will be contactable from 7th November on kate@roughtradebooks.com. Her successor at Penguin Random House will be announced in the coming weeks.