In what has to have been some kind of weird telepahtic meme I was reading an article from an early edition of the Logos Journal (well worth getting a subscription) by Frances Pinter yesterday. I was intrigued so I spent a little time browsing her website. Then today, I read the following in my Publishers Lunch E-mail:
In the UK, Bloomsbury has hired Frances Pinter as publisher for a new Bloomsbury Academic line. They books will all be manufactured in short runs and via print-on-demand, while they have pledged to make the whole line available online for free under a non-commercial use Creative Commons license. Pinter tells the Bookseller, “We think it will work for certain kinds of books: it will promote our titles, which will be known because the students will have easy access to them in a digital form, and we will be relying on the institutional market and library sales.” Focusing on scholarly monographs and beginning with the humanities and social sciences, the line should launch in summer 2009 and they expect to issue 50 titles before the end of the year. She founded Pinter Publishers, focused on social sciences, and most recently was publishing director for the Soros Foundation.
Bloomsbury have been making progress and acquisitions in academic markets for a little while now. I’m sure it helps that Richard Charkin has a background in those markets.
Although not directly under the aegis of Richard Charkin, the new imprint bears many of the maverick hallmarks of the web-friendly former Macmillan boss.
Indeed, his arrival at Bloomsbury less than a year ago may well prove to be a significant milestone in the com-pany’s development. Since its establishment in 1986, when he took the post of chairman and chief executive, Nigel Newton has been an exceptionally hands-on boss—but one man can only do so much. Charkin’s arrival brings in another heavyweight at the top of the business and has allowed Newton to look at new areas.
I think there is much to admire in this move and I suspect we will see more like it!