On Sunday night I am excited to go back to work on Monday morning - Living Adventurously 11

Jon Barton is the founder of Vertebrate Publishing. It sits at the very heart of British adventure writing and outdoor sports. Jon says that "we publish books to inspire adventure. It’s our rule that the only books we publish are those that we’d want to read or use ourselves. We endeavour to bring you beautiful books that stand the test of time and that you’ll be proud to have on your bookshelf for years to come." I asked Jon about the lessons he's learned from starting a company, the discrepancy between male and female authors in the outdoor world, and his scorn for self-titled 'Adventurers' (like me) who spend a lot of time talking about themselves on the internet...

Jon Barton is the founder of Vertebrate Publishing. It sits at the very heart of British adventure writing and outdoor sports. Jon says that "we publish books to inspire adventure. It’s our rule that the only books we publish are those that we’d want to read or use ourselves. We endeavour to bring you beautiful books that stand the test of time and that you’ll be proud to have on your bookshelf for years to come."
I asked Jon about the lessons he's learned from starting a company, the discrepancy between male and female authors in the outdoor world, and his scorn for self-titled 'Adventurers' (like me) who spend a lot of time talking about themselves on the internet...

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SHOW NOTES

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  • Vertebrate Books - website and Twitter
  • Vertebrate Books also have a podcast - Inspiring Adventure
  • "If a book is the sort of thing we'd use ourselves, we'd publish it."
  • Books we chat about:
  • Tilman books
  • Nan Shepherd
  • Gwen Moffat
  • Waymaking
  • Brown Hares in the Derbyshire Dales
  • Joe Brown
  • Don Whillans
  • Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage
  • We didn't know the first thing about publishing when we began.
  • I just employ people who are brighter than me and then stuff happens.
  • On Sunday night I am excited to go back to work on Monday morning, whereas my wife dreads it.
  • Just because you have done a good book in one niche doesn't mean you can leap into a different one.
  • Whenever we go out of our niche we haven't done very well.
  • The calm after the calm. (Phrase about book writing and launching)
  • When we are putting together we think, "is Hannah [regular customer] going to read this?"
  • Women and men, in general, write about their adventurous experiences in different ways
  • Waymaking: The book would have failed (regardless of sales) if it didn't change the participation of women in adventure.
  • We get 10x more submissions from men and women. Men are risk-takers - leads to epic stories and also they don't mind writing a book and getting a rejection.
  • An adventure is just having an experience and how you feel afterwards.
  • I got more from climbing with people who were better than me than trying to be the best myself
  • Done is better than perfect

TRANSCRIPT


Below is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:

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© 2019 Alastair Humphreys