History, biography, politics, current affairs, psychology, science, nature, books about the sea and poetry. I publish in all these areas but, like all true magpies, anything bright, shiny, quirky, unexpected is likely to attract my eye. During many years at William Collins I have published great books by many writers including (but not limited to): Christina Lamb, Adam Nicolson, Paula Byrne, Maya Jasanoff, Kathryn Mannix, Philippa Gregory, Max Hastings, Tom Burgis, Catherine Belton, Samantha Power, Sally Bayley, Patrick Radden Keefe, Andrew Roberts, David Petraeus, Marina Warner, Saul David, Richard Holmes, Sue Stuart-Smith, Daniel Gilbert, Cathy Newman and Jonathan Bate. I’m working on a podcast series with Philippa Gregory to tie into her landmark history Normal Women and will publish Boris Johnson’s memoirs at some point in the future.
I am really interested in informed,insightful and intriguing books on pretty much any area of non-fiction. In the past 10 years this has resulted in my developing for William Collins an eclectic mix of books on nature, science, history, racism and ecology by authors such as David Attenborough, Brian Cox, Ben Fogle, Bernard Cornwell, Peter Wohlleben and Peter Godfrey-Smith, plus the world renowned Collins New Naturalist series and the associated field guides. We also started our association with the TLS in 2019, TLS Books, publishingbooks such as Lee Child’s brilliant The Hero and David Baddiel’s bestsellers Jews Don’t Countand the follow-up The God Desire. We recently published the Sunday Times bestseller Wild Isles by Alastair Fothergill and Patrick Barkham.
Bengono Bessala is a non-fiction commissioning editor within William Collins at HarperCollins Publishers UK. Her publishing list seeks to reflect engaging and interesting commercial non-fiction. Having also worked within publicity and marketing during her time in publishing, she is committed to showcasing new talent and underrepresented voices, as well as established names and ideas. She has published We Were Dreamers by actor and Hollywood A-Lister Simu Liu alongside successful social media entrepreneurs We Are Feel Good Club and she is looking to publish in the following areas; Entertainment (comedy, tv, radio etc…), celebrity, Mind, Body and Spirit, health and fitness, lifestyle, relationships (friendship, marriage, divorce etc…) and music.
Bengono also holds a Masters degree in Music Business Management, having organised and hosted live music nights across London and collaborated with a variety of independent music promoters. Her first passions are books and music.
I am excited to work with authors who are exploring the world around them, whether that be through gripping investigative writing, expert knowledge of specialist subjects or a fresh take on elements of nature, culture or history. I love narrative writing that reads like the best fiction and I’m always delighted to read books that challenge the status quo, break new ground or offer non-traditional perspectives. At the moment, I’m particularly looking for true crime/mystery, untold histories and inspirational smart thinking/self-improvement, along the lines of 4,000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman.