AUCPress, Hoopoe Fiction, and Learning to Change Directions ‘Under Duress’


It was a year ago that Arabic-publishing stalwart AUC Press launched their new imprint for “engaged, open-minded readers,” Hoopoe Fiction:

At this year’s inaugural Dubai International Publishing Conference, held on March 5 and 6, AUC Press Sales and Marketing Director Trevor Naylor spoke about how the press, based at the American University in Cairo, learned to change directions “under duress.”

Before the events of January 2011, the majority of AUC Press business was not in its extensive line of Arabic fiction translated into English. Instead, it was selling to the country’s tourists. Indeed, AUC Press’s local distribution was formidable, and books could be found at hotels and tourist destinations all across Egypt. However, after January 25, 2011, that market crashed.

“Eighty percent of AUC Press business was settled in one market and overnight we lost it,” Naylor said to the publishing-conference audience.

Up until that point, Naylor said, “We hadn’t really…

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