Saturday, February 27, 2010

Faber repackages James

26.02.10 | Catherine Neilan in The Bookseller

Faber is planning a major repackage of crime fiction author P D James, with 14 of her novels scheduled for release in April, June and August.

As part of the facelift, Faber is moving James into B format, applying “a gorgeous, sophisticated and intriguing photographic approach for the jackets”. She is published in paperback initially by Penguin, with the rights reverting to Faber after a number of years. This will be the first time James’ main paperback ­edition with Faber is in B format.

Eleanor Crow, the Faber designer who has overseen the whole project, said: “We commissioned Roy Mehta to photograph objects and locations from a very low angle, as if from a forensic perspective. We wanted­ the covers to look quietly chilling, setting the scene but taking care that none of the images would give the plot away. These are literary crime novels, with great emphasis on character and motive.”

In October, the publisher is also bringing out the paperback of Talking About Detective Fiction—a non-fiction work about the genre, published in hardback by the Bodleian Library last year—and repackaging The Maul and the Pear Tree—James’ only true crime book, about the Ratcliffe Highway Murders of 1811, in November.

Paperbacks editor Sarah Savitt said the aim was to bring James “to a new, broad audience both within and beyond crime shelves”. Savitt explained: “Crime across the market has been moving to B format and we wanted to keep James at the forefront of this market, as well as access­ible to the many literary readers who love her.

"We also wanted to update her jackets so it seemed a good time to address both. In addition, her last novel, The Private Patient, was a huge success so this was a great way to keep momentum going and celebrate her incredible backlist.”

The team is discussing promotions with retailers at the moment, but Savitt said there had been “lots of enthusiasm” so far. “We would hope and expect to secure trade promos but nothing is yet secured,” she said. These will run in August, once all repackages are out.

Other marketing will include a dedicated new website for James fans, featuring articles, photographs and “many other treasures”, with copies of classic James novels offered to literary and crime bloggers to raise the profile of her backlist online.

No comments: