My Job In 5: Ziggy Hanaor, Managing Director, Cicada Books

My Job In 5: Ziggy Hanaor, Managing Director, Cicada Books

Describe your role

My role officially is managing director, but as a one-woman show, in practice it covers everything from commissioning to editing, production, sales and marketing. And post. I spend a lot of time at the post office.

What do you like best about your role?

I love being the boss. It’s not that I don’t enjoy being part of a team, but I like being able to make spur of the moment decisions, and then carry those decisions through to production. I like being able to take risks on people and ideas.

Which new titles are you working on at the moment?

Next season I’m working with some awesome illustrators on kids’ books. Evolution is an interactive colouring book with flaps and die-cut elements by a Finnish illustrator called Annu Kilpelainen. I’m also working on a concertina book of architecture through the ages – from neolithic times until today, and an atlas of the human body that enables you to travel through the body’s organs.

What inspires the books you publish?

Anything can trigger a book idea. A news item, something on the internet, an exhibition. I spend a lot of time browsing bookshops and trawling eBay for interesting vintage books. I also find collaborations really inspirational. When I’m working with someone who really believes in the subject that they’re focusing on, it opens the way to a dynamic creative dialogue that can only lead to exciting results.

What advice would you give to someone looking to work in the industry?

I see myself as something of an outsider in the industry. I’ve only ever worked for small, independent publishers, and now I am one myself, so I’m afraid I don’t have much official industry advice to impart. Editorially, my advice is to seek out people who are doing interesting and beautiful things and find a way of working together on something that gets you both excited.