Vertebrate Publishing’s new climb: Bringing adventuring women into the picture
(From Publishing Perspectives. Link to the complete post given below)
The UK’s Vertebrate Publishing is an independent house that focuses on mountain biking and climbing—sports found near its base in Sheffield. And its managing director, Jon Barton, can describe Vertebrate in a way that few publishers today might be able to match: the house has a strong, stable consumer base of male readers.
But given current events, Barton is heading down a new path in his trail-fans’ title list.
Waymaking, an anthology about women’s outdoor adventuring, is a new release set for October 4.
The book is edited by Claire Carter, Helen Mort, Heather Dawe, and Camilla Barnard, and it’s about “redressing the balance of gender in outdoor adventure literature” according to the company’s promotional material.
With writings from Katie Ives, Bernadette McDonald, Sarah Outen, Anna McNuff, filmmaker Jen Randall, and other accomplished women adventurers, the book is meant to jibe with “an era when wilderness conservation and gender equality are at the fore.”
In Publishing Perspectives’ exchange with Barton, our first question was whether the anthology, rather than being a one-time token event, marks a new direction he intends to pursue.
“A very big yes,” he says. “Mountaineering literature specifically, and adventure lit in general, is horribly underrepresented by women.”
“Some of this has to do with strong female role models arriving late in the day,” Barton says, “so their story—and stories they’re inspiring—are still evolving.
“And a lot of it has to do with publishing and market habits. Waymaking is a stepping stone along the way for us.”