Macmillan Bello Brings Backlist Books Back To Life

Releasing out-of-print titles as e-books can bring them new life, attention and readers. In its new imprint, Macmillan Bello, UK publisher Pan Macmillan is teaming up with literary agency Curtis Brown UK to release hundreds of the agency’s authors’ older titles as e-books for the first time.

Macmillan will release 120 titles in November, and 400 more in 2012–all by Curtis Brown authors. The books will be available in digital and print-on-demand formats. Some of the authors whose books are being re-released: Gerald Durrell, a zookeeper and conservationist; playwright and crime novelist Francis Durbridge; Vita Sackville-West, who wrote novels and biographies; and Gillian Tindall.

Durrell, Sackville-West, and Durbridge are all dead and their works are not read very much these days; through the new e-books, many people will be able to read their books for the first time. “It’s a personal pleasure to be able to bring back into print some great writers of earlier generations including some of the great names of crime and thriller writing,” Pan Macmillan fiction publisher Jeremy Trevathan said.

While Curtis Brown UK is teaming up with a publisher to release its backlist titles as e-books, other literary agencies are undertaking the publishing process themselves. UK agency Ed Victor Ltd. recently launched its own e-publishing arm, Bedford Square Books, to bring back agency clients’ backlist titles in digital format. The first six titles were released last month, and are being published in the United States by Open Road Integrated Media.