I'm Helena Cobban, the founder of Just World Books.
I established Just World Books in the spring of 2010 with the aim of expanding the range of discourse on the most important international issues of our day and offering a platform for some of the most overlooked (but smartest) authors writing on these matters.
Inspired by my own Quaker values--a deep belief in the inherent equality of all the world’s people and the need to 'speak truth to power’--Just World Books brings these eloquent voices to print so that audiences in the U.S. and elsewhere who understand the gravity of these issues, yet feel under-informed about the true nature and roots of these crises, can have easier access to the wisdom, views, and insights of people with direct experience working on (and often in) these areas.
A long-time journalist, I retain a newshound’s addiction to speedy turnaround, so Just World Books uses recent breakthroughs in printing technology to bring our authors’ manuscripts to press in a matter of months, not years! In addition to the advantages this offers our authors, it allows us to print timely works that address issues of immediate concern to the international community and to do so faster than most traditional publishing houses.
Of course, we remain deeply committed to ensuring that our titles are of the highest editorial and production standards. Both the content and the form of our books will, I hope, well stand the test of time.
As a longtime blogger, having published my own blog for nearly eight years and followed many others, I came to realize that some of the best thinking and writing on the important issues of our day is often hidden deep in other people's blog archives, and thus not easily located by any but the most devoted readers. Many of Just World Books's titles will be author-curated compilations in which smart bloggers capture the best of their own blogged oeuvre, organize it into chapters, and present it the broader reading public in a more accessible and lightly guided form.
In selecting our authors, I place a strong emphasis on lived experience--a commitment that is congruous with my own 'realistic' view of world affairs--as well as a commitment to reducing violence in the world. Just World Book authors embody my own commitment to human equality, and a desire to continue searching for negotiated solutions for conflicts- even if they are not all as convinced as Quakers are that such solutions are always there to be found.
Unique among our competition, Just World Books brings its titles out in paperback first, offering an affordable way to get more books into readers' hands in a timely way. We will then offer hardcover and iPad-optimized e-versions of our works; and we plan to offer non-English language versions in the future in order to make our audience truly global.
Our website will help readers stay informed about the latest developments for Just World Books, including recent and upcoming publications, new editions and news about our authors. It also offers podcasts and some examples of--or links to--other written work by our authors, many of whom host their own exceptional web-platforms where they regularly share their ideas and insights with the public.
We encourage you stay tuned to our website as we turn out our first titles this fall. You can stay in touch and help us spread the word about our discourse-stretching books by signing up for our newsletter, becoming a fan of JWB on Facebook, following us on Twitter and telling your friends and family about our important work... We encourage you to contact us if you are interested in writing reviews of our books on your blog, in your local paper, on Amazon, or elsewhere.
It will be good to have you along with us on the journey ahead!
Helena Cobban, September 2010