Scott Pack has joined independent publisher Eye Books as editor-at-large, and will commission works for readers "hungry for more adventurous titles".
Pack was previously head of buying at Waterstones from 2000 to 2006 before moving into publishing where he worked as publisher of the Friday Project imprint at HarperCollins, and the Aardvark Bureau imprint at Gallic Books. In 2015 Pack became associate editor at Unbound, a role he will continue in conjunction with this new position at Eye Books.
In his new role, Pack will be commissioning across non-fiction and fiction.
Eye Books m.d. Dan Hiscocks said: "Scott and I share a similar view and vision that there are many books which whilst a risk, are still worth publishing. As a small independent we can publish them well. While larger companies are becoming increasingly risk-averse we believe there are readers who are hungry for more adventurous titles, and Scott’s experience and vision will enable us to present those readers with some terrific new books."
Pack said: "Dan and I go back more than fifteen years when he was trying to sell me books at Waterstones. Occasionally he was successful. I have always admired his passion for publishing and his desire to allow new and exciting voices to be heard, so I was flattered to be asked to help him with this next chapter in the Eye Books story."
Pack’s first acquisition for the publisher is The Antipodeans by Greg McGee. The Antipodeans begins with the return to Venice of an old and sick man determined to confront his past, and accompanied by his daughter who is escaping hers. The story spans three generations of a New Zealand family and their interaction with three families of Northern Italy from the Second World War to the present day.
Pack acquired UK and English Language Europe rights from Kevin Chapman at Upstart Press in New Zealand. The title will be published under the Lightning Books imprint in March 2018.
Pack said: "I have previously published some of New Zealand's finest writers and found a strong readership for them in the UK so am thrilled to add Greg to that list with a remarkable book that I know readers over here will love."
McGee added: "I’m particularly delighted to be published in the UK because London is where, many years ago, I first aspired to be a novelist. I went on to have drama shown on the BBC, a play performed in Derby and a biography published in the UK, but having my major work, The Antipodeans published by Lightning Books here in the UK represents something of a full circle for me."