I think that most readers would be forgiven for thinking that publishers are doomed and books will soon no longer be printed, or wanted, as we all turn to E-books for our reading materials. Now I have a Kindle and love it. The amount of interesting free books one can track down from various sources is amazing and the knowledge that if you really really really want to find out what happens in the next book in a series you are reading and you know you can do it in thirty seconds, is irresistible. However, I will never cease to love 'real' books, the smell and the feel of them and will always have a core library in my home, with other books coming in and out and visiting for a while.
It is therefore very heartening to hear of publishers starting new imprints. Most, if not all, leading publishing houses now produce all their books as an E-source as well as the hard/paperback for those who prefer their books in this way and this makes sense. But it does not seem to have stopped new initiatives and new launches along the way and two publishers have recently come up with exciting news. Today I was emailed by Headline about their new imprint, Tinder Press.
"Tinder Press is to be a distinct imprint publishing 10–12 titles a year, standing alongside Headline’s existing imprints. Tinder Press is created to build on recent Headline successes, for example Maggie O’Farrell’s Costa Novel Award winning THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, Sarah Winman’s Galaxy National Book Award winning WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT, and Andrea Levy’s Man Booker prize shortlisted THE LONG SONG. The imprint will be steered by Mary-Anne Harrington, Fiction Publisher, and Leah Woodburn, Associate Publisher, who have a remit to publish extraordinary stories from original voices: books that inspire a passionate response and will stand the test of time.
Mary-Anne Harrington said: ‘Tinder Press is conceived as first and foremost a fiction imprint, supported by a dedicated in-house team in sales, publicity and marketing: the same team that made WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT or Eowyn Ivey’s THE SNOW CHILD absolutely unmissable. The time seemed right to grow our literary fiction publishing, giving a small number of titles additional space and the special attention they require to enable them to flourish. We know how to create a real community around our books: it’s a wonderful marriage of new media and old-fashioned enthusiasm.’ We want Tinder Press books to be books to treasure – books you will want to keep – and our production values will reflect this. We will produce beautiful hardbacks and innovative e-books for first format, followed by paperbacks with strong mass-market appeal.’
The Tinder Press list will launch in spring 2013 and will include playwright Peggy Riley’s AMITY AND SORROW, an extraordinary debut about sisters in an end-of-the-world cult, run by their father; THE YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP FOR GIRLS by Anton DiSclafani, a lush first novel of Southern decorum, family secrets and girls’ school rituals; Michel Rostain’s THE SON, a bestseller in his native France, and winner of the Prix Goncourt Debut Novel award; SNAPPER, Brian Kimberling’s heartfelt and humorous first novel about love and birdwatching in rural Indiana, which was awarded the Janklow and Nesbit Bath Spa Prize; and Maggie O’Farrell’s sixth novel, the story of four eventful days in the life of an Irish family in the heatwave of 1976"
I have had many books sent to me by Headline and some of my favourite and most interesting reads over the last few years have come from them. Just recently I reviewed The Gods of Gotham here; one of the best debut crime novels I have ever read came from them, American Devil reviewed here, and I have a copy of the Snow Child on my shelves awaiting my attention. Every blogger I know has read this and raved about it and my apologies to Headline for being so slow in getting round to it.
I shall be keeping my eye out for the books mentioned above and wish them all the best for this new venture.
The other publisher I mentioned was Bloomsbury. They are a lovely bunch of people, so friendly and interesting and sooooo good to all us bloggers. Not only do they appreciate our thoughts and reviews they also give mighty good teas for us all and I look forward to the next one (hint, hint...). Their new imprint is Circus and here is what Alexandra Pringle, Editor in Chief, has to say about it all:
“Last year Bloomsbury celebrated its 25th birthday. From inception it was Bloomsbury’s aim to publish the finest of international fiction and these years on we have a list filled with distinguished writers from TC Boyle, Richard Ford, Donna Tartt, Edmund White and Tobias Wolff in the US, to Margaret Atwood and Anne Michaels in Canada, to William Boyd, Justin Cartwright, Esther Freud, Howard Jacobson and Barbara Trapido in the UK, as well as writers from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and many other countries. In order that Bloomsbury can continue to discover and grow exciting new voices, we have decided to launch a new imprint: Bloomsbury Circus.
The books in Bloomsbury Circus will be mostly fiction, unashamedly literary, always fresh and sometimes surprising. In its first year, we will publish nine titles and from there the list will grow to up to four each month.
In this digital age we are determined to make our books look more desirable and collectible than ever. Bloomsbury Circus books will be published as unusually-sized trade paperbacks with photographic covers, wide flaps and colour printing inside the cover. They will have all the beauty of a hardback with the ease-of-read – and price – of a trade paperback. And there is a lovely new logo – our goddess Diana dangling on a half-moon trapeze"
As well as introducing new books and new authors, these two imprints have something else in common: Tinder Press tell us "We will produce beautiful hardbacks and innovative e-books for first format, followed by paperbacks with strong mass-market appeal"
Bloomsbury says " In this digital age we are determined to make our books look more desirable and collectible than ever. They will have all the beauty of a hardback with the ease-of-read – and price – of a trade paperback"
The highlighting is mine and both Headline and Bloomsbury have realised that book lovers LOVE beautifully produced books which are a pleasure to hold and to handle and to keep. OUP and Yale UP are other publishers who have sent me books which have high production values, the smooth paper, the clear font, a stylish look about them which, whether it is trivial or not, all adds to the reading experience. This is where traditional publishing can score against the E-books and delighted that this has been realised. (I have noticed when visiting the US and checking out their book stores that their paperbacks are so much better produced than ours and make the owning of them more desirable. I have my thoughts on this and some comments and contrast to make, but that is a post for another day).
In the meantime I wish Headline and Bloomsbury all the luck in the world with their ventures.