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Lisa Campbell, Joshua Farrington and Felicity Wood

A surge of e-book sales over the past 12 months and publishers’ greater awareness

in exploiting digital

properties are driving an increase in confi dence at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Publishers and agents have reported a sharp spike in activity before FBF, with more submissions being made and more deals done than “in the past fi ve years”. Insiders have speculated that

confi dence is running high at FBF due to the success of digital books and, to a lesser extent, hardback titles over the last year. Curtis Brown deputy c.e.o. and books m.d. Jonny Geller said: “T ere have been more books off ered this year than anything in the past fi ve years. It might be that publishers are now opening their doors again. It feels like with sales of e-books and hardbacks working, it is having an effect in


HarperCollins UK is launching a new fi ction imprint called T e Borough Press, marking the publisher’s summer 2014 relocation to the “Baby Shard”, the Renzo Piano- designed sister site to the recently opened Shard, Europe’s tallest building. Led by HC publishing director

Katie Espiner, the imprint’s authors will include Lionel Shriver and Tracy Chevalier, with its fi rst release, Judith Allnatt’s novel T e Moon

Field, published in

January 2014. T e imprint will be the

new home of T e Austen Project, which sees six contemporary authors reimagine Jane Austen’s classics, with Joanna Trollope, Val McDermid,

Curtis Sittenfeld and Alexander McCall Smith already announced. Espiner said: “Our aim at T e

Borough Press is to bring the best writing to the widest possible

publishers’ forward planning.” Russ Grandinetti, vice-president for

Kindle Content at Amazon, told delegates at Publishers Launch, held on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair, that digital adoption was improving publishers’ profi tability, highlighting the published results of quoted publishers such as Simon & Schuster. “T ey may not like to say it, but what we are seeing for publishers is a much more profi table environment because of digital.” Brian Murray, chief executive of

HarperCollins Worldwide, said because of the shift to digital the company’s working capital commitments had been reduced. “T e money is no longer going into inventory; it is going into author advances and marketing.” Canongate publisher and m.d. Jamie

Byng agreed a boom in digital sales over the past year had sparked a trade-wide pre-fair fi llip. He said: “We have to continue to be cautious about the market

and the diffi culties that are out there, but there’s a feeling of optimism that is being shared around the industry. Some of it is down to the e-book market, and there is a better understanding of it [from publishers] now.” Kate Elton, publisher at

HarperFiction, said she couldn’t remember a September so busy with submissions. “T ere are books from across the spectrum as well—whereas the London Book Fair felt quite literary. We’re seeing lots of crime, thrillers and women’s fi ction. T ere is defi nitely money around.” PFD c.e.o. Caroline Michel suggested

a better understanding of how to grow a title across multiple platforms was helping to fuel optimism. She said: “We have some great books and there is much more confi dence about how to build them because there are many new avenues. We have had nearly £1m worth of deals done before the fair; it’s incredibly bullish out there.”

audience, and in doing so create an identity around our authors which will come to represent a hallmark of quality for readers.” The imprint will be part of

HarperFiction, which also takes in Blue Door and Harper Voyager. T e fi rst acquisition for the press is Louisa Young’s T e Heroes’ Welcome, a sequel to 2011’s My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You. Shriver said she was “delighted to

be on board” and added: “A class imprint, with a class editor at the top—a woman who’s smart, savvy, with good taste and the kind of dry, evil sense of humour that should be a requirement in publishing today. How could an author ask for more?”

Dear Markus . . . Book trade insiders give the Penguin

Random House boss advice on taking the trade behemoth forward Pages 16-17

Aye, Claudius RosettaBooks acquires Robert Graves

digital backlist Page 4

Day’s dream Erotica star Sylvia Day triumphs in The

Bookseller’s fi rst FBF e-books chart Page 9



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