Bookouture and Dahlia Books partner for exclusive call out

Bookouture and Dahlia Books join forces on an exclusive call-out for writers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds

Bookouture, in association with The Asian Writer and Dahlia Books, are putting out an exclusive call-out for commercial fiction submissions from unagented and unpublished writers from BAME backgrounds and will be offering professional editorial feedback on the synopsis and first three chapters for the month of August.

Lucy Dauman, Associate Publisher at Bookouture, said: ‘We are committed to diversifying our list and ensuring that voices from all backgrounds are heard. It’s more apparent than ever that writers from BAME backgrounds are under-represented in publishing and we hope that, by helping to shape the pitch and those all-important first chapters, we can add real value to a writer’s publication journey and discover some exciting new voices in commercial fiction.’

Farhana Shaikh, Founder of Dahlia Books and The Asian Writer, said: ‘We’re seeing lots of publishers rushing to diversify their lists which is right and long overdue. I’m thrilled to see that Bookouture are going one step further. Working with Lucy at Bookouture to bring this opportunity to writers from diverse backgrounds has been incredibly heartwarming. It’s a fantastic opportunity for BAME writers to receive editorial feedback, which I’m certain will help them to develop their writing talent and support their journey to publication.’


Writers should submit a short bio, a synopsis (of up to 1,000 words) and the first three chapters/50 pages (up to a total of 10,000 words) here.

The inbox will open at 12.00am on Saturday 1 August 2020 and the deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Monday 31 August 2020*.  

Each submission will be read by a member of the Bookouture editorial team, who will provide editorial feedback within six weeks from the date of submission. The feedback will cover the hook and the pitch, as well as the writing style and impact of the opening chapters. We will also advise on genre and where the author thinks this sits in the market.

For more information on what Bookouture are looking for, click here

*If you are not able to submit to us in August, we would still love to read your submission via the usual submissions platform on our website. However, while we respond to all submissions and give feedback where we can, beyond the month of August, we will not be able to give the same detailed editorial feedback.


As part of Hachette, Bookouture has always supported initiatives to improve representation in publishing. But we acknowledge that Bookouture and the publishing industry have a significant issue in the representation of those from minority backgrounds, and that Bookouture has previously not done enough to identify and rectify its position regarding these issues. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement and Pride Month, we commit to making a long-term difference with a renewed sense of urgency. Some of our initial plans are outlined below:
  • Bookouture aims to reach a staff BAME representation target of 15% by 2021 and 20% by 2023, with a particular emphasis placed on representation in senior roles.
  • We are ramping up our outreach efforts to authors from diverse backgrounds.
  • We will volunteer with organisations that further the cause of diversity in publishing.
  • We are launching a company book club to better educate ourselves on structural racism.
  • We have created an internal Diversity & Inclusion team to drive these initiatives, hold individuals to account, and ensure that every action is converted into long-term and sustainable change.

We wanted to formalise our long-term strategy before commenting on recent events: we’d like to apologise to those we have let down by not speaking out sooner. We understand if our silence has left any of you feeling unsupported and questioning Bookouture’s position.
But let it be said: we believe Black lives matter. We stand with and celebrate our LGBTQ+ authors and colleagues this Pride Month and beyond. We will do better to address structural racism and systemic discrimination of all kinds in a meaningful and sustained way. And we look forward to playing our part in making our industry a more diverse, inclusive, and better one.

Bookouture acquired by Hachette UK

We are very excited today to share the news that Bookouture has been acquired by Hachette UK – the second largest publisher in the UK. Hachette is home to publishing divisions like Orion, Little, Brown and Headline and many massive bestselling authors – from JK Rowling, to Ian Rankin, to Carole Matthews.

We’ve known the Hachette team for some time and as well as being some of the best people in the business, they very much share our vision for developing and growing Bookouture.

Oliver Rhodes, our CEO comments

‘Seeing Bookouture flourish in the past four years has been an incredible and rare privilege – we have an extremely talented and dedicated team and a fantastic group of authors who we are very proud of. What is so exciting about taking this next step and becoming part of Hachette UK is that it will help us to build on the significant momentum we already have and achieve even greater things for our authors.’

With the move to Hachette, our goals are still the same – to keep improving our publishing model and the value that we add to our authors. We now have even greater resources to do that.

We know the coming years will be a very exciting time for us and look forward to sharing that with you.

Read the full press release below


Hachette Acquires Bookouture Press Release by bookouture on Scribd

Bookouture builds new commercial fiction team

We’re delighted to announce that we are expanding our commercial fiction publishing team and, as a key component of this, Jenny Geras will be joining Bookouture from Cornerstone!

Jenny, currently Publishing Director at Arrow, will join Bookouture as Publishing Director and brings with her a wealth of commercial expertise. Her role will be to build a new publishing team within Bookouture, which will signal the start of an exciting 12 months for us.

We are also over the moon to announce that Claire Bord has been promoted to Publisher and will oversee all publishing activity. Claire said of Jenny’s appointment:

We are delighted to have someone of her calibre to establish and lead a new team. We’re very excited to see what we can achieve together and expect a very busy and successful 2017.

Jenny will start at Bookouture in the new year and commented:

I’ve been hugely impressed with what Bookouture have achieved over the last few years, and the opportunity to join them and build a new team at this point was too exciting to resist.

And, as if this weren’t enough, we are also welcoming the very talented Jessie Botterill to Bookouture as Commissioning Editor, starting in November. Jessie is currently working as a literary agent at Janklow and Nesbitt and, in her new role, will be acquiring commercial fiction. Claire Bord said of Jessie:

We were very impressed by Jessie’s commercial instincts and know that she will make an excellent Commissioning Editor. We’re always looking for high potential candidates who we think can become the leading lights in the industry and Jessie definitely belongs in that category.

We are delighted to welcome Jenny and Jessie to Bookouture and are hugely excited to see what 2017 brings! Please do join in with the congratulations over on Facebook and Twitter.