It is a far cry from the spartan poetry of TS Eliot but booming sales of Tom Bower’s juicy biography of X Factor impresario Simon Cowell have helped push Faber & Faber’s profits up fourfold.
The book publisher, which dates back to 1929, hailed a “record result” with a pre-tax profit of £2.1 million on sales of £20 million in the year to March.
Other hits included Michael Frayn’s novel Skios, PD James’s thriller Death Comes to Pemberley and 1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks Off, a spin-off of the highbrow TV quiz show starring Alan Davies and Stephen Fry.
Chief executive Stephen Page said he was building “a 21st century incarnation” of Faber as it diversifies with a creative writing school, a business that sells books on behalf of other publishers, and Drama Online. The families of TS Eliot and Faber founder Geoffrey Faber still own the firm.