HarperCollins imprint The Friday Project has acquired more than 50 titles by prolific author, and former Bookseller columnist, Brian Aldiss.
Publisher Scott Pack bought UK and Commonwealth rights in the titles—comprising literary fiction, sci-fi and non-fiction works—as well as Aldiss—entire short-story archive from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown. The acquisition also includes six new titles, which The Friday Project plans to publish in e-book and print editions over the next four years.
via Friday Project buys Aldiss backlist | The Bookseller.
Both Clare and Scott update with what little they can share.
The Telegraph has the full story and so too does The Bookseller:
HarperCollins, the book publishing giant owned by News Corporation, is poised to buy out of administration a small publishing house co-run by Scott Pack, the controversial former head buyer at Waterstone’s.
I hope the deal goes through, and that the people involved come out happy!
Yup this The Friday Project
If this is true I will not be enormously surprised though a little part of me will certainly feel dissappointed that a really exciting and fresh independent has joined the ranks of so many that slipped in to the thick ranks of imprints within the majors.
That said, Pan Mac have been innovating a far bit themselves recently so the fit between the two would on a surface level with no deep knowledge seem pretty good.
I was amazed by the title counts in the article:
The feisty indie published 44 titles in 2007. Bestsellers include Blood, Sweat and Tea, a diary of a London ambulance driver, and the Popjustice series of mini-biographies. It had a gross turnover of £2.2m last year and hopes to hit £3.5m in 2008 with 60 new titles.
It never seemed that many! That’s probably a good thing.
Just reading a rather nice review of 2007 from the lovely people at Fidra Books who I have been admiring from afar for some time (Blog is here and main publishing page here):
At no point did I say that I wanted us to buy a shop and open a bookshop or start developing a trade list but those are by far the biggest developments in our business.
Excellent progress I thought as I read and got excited about how well they would do with their list when it cam out packaged the right way. And then I read this:
The other thing that had a huge effect on Fidra was an email from Scott Pack asking why our books weren’t in more bookshops and Susan Hill pointing out that we should be pursuing a wider range of readers than the collectors who made up the main body of our customers.
Thanks to their well timed prodding our books are now available via Gardners to any bookshop that has an account and we’ve seen sales rise through outlets who wouldn’t have otherwise stocked our titles. Scott agreed with me that the ‘retro’ look of our books wouldn’t endear them to mainstream booksellers and we hatched a plan which will come to fruition later this year to repackage some of our bestselling titles in a contemporary format and launch them as a trade list to be sold into more bookshops. It’s all very exciting and when I saw the drafts for the cover designs that the lovely people at Snowbooks are creating for us I was really excited – I’m looking forward to being able to unveil them here soon.
I am delighted to see this kind of encouragement and engagement between independents. It just makes sense, long may it last. Scott seems very eager to share his expertise and that is very refreshing and exciting, especially when he has his own company to think about. Not to mention his busy blog.
Enjoying the season,
*Contested only by the lovely people at Snowbooks of course
Tintin, rascist! Well I never.
Here oh and Here
Well what do you know, a free book in three helps sales?
Scott Pack interview
This post is called The Economics of Book publishing and is a good read (though it has much more to do with economics than books)