An Interview with Bill Kennedy, our rep in the Gulf countries, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Libya

Boydell is proud to have our list handled by teams of expert representatives around the world. They know exactly where to show our new publications and we know they do our books and our authors a great service. Let’s learn a little more about them and their work…

Introducing:  Bill Kennedy (Avicenna Partnership Ltd.)

Where are you based and which territories do you cover?
The Middle East & North Africa countries are covered by our company and I cover all Gulf countries, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Libya.

How did you get into repping?
After working in bookselling for a couple of years following University, I became a Northern UK rep for an academic publisher and have been repping ever since then, mostly in the territories my company now works in.

And how long have you been looking after the Boydell list?
We were appointed by Boydell & Brewer late 2017.

Who are your main clients?
Al Ahram (Cairo), Ciel (Beirut & Dubai), Vijeh Nashr (Tehran), Kinokuniya (Abu Dhabi & Dubai), Jarir (Riyadh).

Before the Coronavirus, how often and how widely did you travel? Is there such a thing as an average day for you? Seldom was there a year when I spent less than 100 days in my part of the Middle East & North Africa. Handling the MENA region seldom presents and ‘average’ day.

Do you have a favourite city to work in?
Beirut, closely followed by Cairo and when it was safe to travel there, Damascus.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve encountered in your work?
Walking between appointments in Cairo along the river Nile, being chased by an amorous camel which had escaped.

Boydell volumes aside, which is your favourite book or author?
Arabs; a 3,000 year History’ by Tim Macintosh-Smith (Yale University Press, 2019)

Print or ebook?
Print … in keeping with most dinosaurs J

Favourite historical figure?
Ibn Sina (980 – 1037), after whom I named my company

Who would play you in the film of your life?
If George Clooney wasn’t tempted, maybe best to keep it in the family, my youngest brother Gordon (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0448053/)

What’s top of your 2021 to-do list?
Return to as close to normality as possible.

Thank you for taking part!


‘Our friends in Beirut’: While you are here we’d like to share the details of a fund that Bill started for his many friends, colleagues and contacts that were affected by the awful explosion of 4 August that killed so many and which devastated so many lives, homes and businesses in Beirut. His remarkable efforts have already raised over £7,000. Read more about it and Bill’s aims, and maybe contribute too, at https://uk.gofundme.com/f/our-friends-in-beirut