Stephen Esson

Group Publishing Operations Director

My father once said, ”if you can wake up every morning and look forward to going to work, then you are very lucky’’. I’ve been very lucky all of my working life once I moved into Production. I made the move after a very brief and unsuccessful career as a publisher’s Sales Rep – the advice was to “forget selling, try buying”. I am passionate about the books we produce and the way that we produce them. I am fascinated by the manufacturing process and never happier than when visiting our committed and loyal suppliers, with the smell of ink or wood fibre in the air, to see their latest investment or for the dance of contract negotiations.

As Group Publishing Operations Director I oversee a department of wonderfully dedicated and talented divisionally focused teams across inventory management, sustainability, and print, eBook and marketing production. 

A book that's left a deep impression on me: Saturday Night Sunday Morning. It captivated me and for a short time I immersed myself in 60s New Wave/social realism novels (as well as the fabulous film versions) - Room at the Top, The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner, A Kind of Loving and This Sporting Life

My literary hero: James Lee Burke. I adore his books, especially those with the flawed and complex detective Dave Robicheaux, battling serial killers, corrupt politicians as well as his own demons. But whoever the hero, he writes rich, complex and gritty tales of crime and suspense, at times otherworldly, but with an extraordinary lyricism

A book I'd recommend to everyone: Goodness knows. Hmmm. Tinker Tailor Solder Spy

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