15.10.09 Katie Allen in The Bookseller
HarperCollins imprint Fourth Estate is to rejacket seven titles from Hilary Mantel's backlist in time for spring 2010, with special editions of her Man Booker-winner, Wolf Hall, lined up.
Mantel's novels—The Giant, O'Brian; Beyond Black; A Change of Climate; An Experiment in Love; Fludd; A Place of Greater Safety; and memoir Giving Up the Ghost—will all be reissued as Fourth Estate paperbacks under their current prices (£7.99–£9.99) with an official publication date of March 2010. A Place of Greater Safety will also be part of Waterstone's three-for-two Christmas promotion.
Editorial director Essie Cousins said that "we were going to do it anyway so [the prize] was a wonderful excuse." She added that the new jackets were not yet finalised but "Wolf Hall's cover had great appeal so the new look will reflect that design". She also confirmed that all of Mantel's backlist titles have been reprinted in their current jackets.
Two special editions of the novel are also lined up, with 100 leatherbound signed and dated editions priced at £150 out on 12th November, plus 2,000 cloth-bound signed copies priced £30 each out on 26th November.
In the past week Wolf Hall has sold 17,703 copies—double the sales of 2008 winner Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger (Atlantic) in the equivalent week last year. However, the uplift is less significant: a boost from 3,146 for Wolf Hall, compared to a lift from 459 to 8,024 for White Tiger last year. Wolf Hall's sales also dwarf any other Man Booker-winner in its winning week since Nielsen records began, including the 8,627 sold by Vernon God Little (Faber).
Wolf Hall's overall sales now total 53,603, although it has not topped the hardback fiction charts this week, slipping in behind The Lost Symbol (Bantam) and Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals (Doubleday). However, it did top the independent retailers' chart.
All six of the Man Booker-shortlisted titles received a sales boost, including a fillip for Adam Foulds' The Quickening Maze (Jonathan Cape), from 649 to 837 copies sold.