Pan Macmillan will launch a new hardback classics imprint Macmillan Collector’s Library, with twenty six titles in July and will publish around 100 titles in the first six months after launch. This launch follows the company’s acquisition last year of independent publisher The Collector’s Library from whose catalogue many of the initial list will be drawn.
The new imprint will retain the pocket size hardback format and high production values of the original books including gilt edges, top and tail bands, section sewn cloth binding and ribbon markers, and will be launched with a completely new case and dust jacket design. Curated by classics publisher Harriet Sanders, the new imprint will span fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, short stories and poetry, and the list will comprise in her words ‘a selection of the best stories brilliantly told, each of which have passed the test of time.’
Last year was the first year of growth in UK physical book sales since 2007 and Macmillan Collector’s Library responds to this rekindled interest in well-made physical books with a classic and contemporary presentation, at a giftable price. The only pocket-sized hardcover list on the market, Macmillan Collector’s Library will have an average retail price of £9.99.
The Collector’s Library already enjoys a loyal national and international consumer base and has built a robust platform from which to develop the Macmillan Collector’s Library list and deepen engagement with readers.
Sixteen of the first one hundred titles are entirely new to the imprint. The first groups of new titles published on 14 July and 8 September will consist of modern classics including Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls, E M Delafield’s The Diary of a Provincial Lady and Joy Adamson’s Born Free. Titles from Macmillan’s backlist will include Colin Dexter’s The Way Through the Woods, Winston Graham’s Ross Poldark and Demelza, and Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s edition of The Travels of Ibn Battutah. Early titles will also include Les Misérables and Anthony Trollope’s Dr Thorne, soon to be televised with a script by Julian Fellowes. Books to span the generations include Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Robert Westall’s prize-winning The Machine Gunners and one of Macmillan’s earliest titles from 1863, Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies, with illustrations by William Heath Robinson. Each title contains an introduction from a wide range of distinguished writers such as Paul Bailey, Val McDermid, Sara Paretsky.
The imprint’s presentation picks up aspects of Macmillan’s heritage, the Cambridge blue case and jacket look acknowledging the company’s early Cambridge home in the 1840s, and the imprint’s logo inspired by Macmillan logos from previous years. Cloth case and endpaper designs were commissioned from graphic artist Andrew Davidson.
Harriet Sanders, publisher of Macmillan Collector’s Library, said: ‘Classics by their nature are the books that have inspired generations of readers. I relish the opportunity to develop a classics list that both by its design and its content will continue to give great pleasure and inspiration.’
Anthony Forbes Watson, Pan Macmillan MD said: ‘As readers fall back into love with print, what could feel more right for the market than a beautiful, affordable, pocketable, probably indestructible and endlessly readable collection for anyone and everyone? We warmly thank Marcus Clapham and his partners at Collector’s Library for creating the foundation, on which we will build.’