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09.03.10 | Catherine Neilan
Mark Booth is to resurrect the name of Coronet with his launch list at Hodder & Stoughton set to debut in September. Booth, who left Century last year to set up the imprint, said he was "glad to revive the old imprint name", which takes its name from the former publisher of authors such as PG Wodehouse, Ian Fleming and Fay Weldon. The imprint was closed by Hodder in 2004.
The new logo has been taken from an engraving of a coronet from Booth's personal collection of antiquarian books.
The launch list, which kicks off in September, will include hardback offerings such as The Kill Zone by Chris Ryan - "an international thriller of epic scope, based on secret campaigns being waged right now in Afghanistan and on the streets of London" - and Stairways to Heaven by Lorna Byrne - "which contains astonishing revelations of the way that angels are working in the world now" (£18.99 and £14.99 respectively). This will be followed in October Kiss Me, Chudleigh: The Wit and Wisdom of Auberon Waugh by William Cook, which will also be published in hardback (£19.99).
Booth said: "My aim here is to try to prove that Auberon Waugh was the Jonathan Swift of our age, because he still has the power to outrage. I still look at stuff he wrote twenty years ago, mop my brow and wonder 'Can we really get away with publishing this?'"
Other titles scheduled for publication this year include The Lost Key by Robert Lomas - "sometimes said to be the model for Dan Brown's Robert Langdon", Fam by Chyna - about a young girl in a London gang, Bricks by Leon Jenner and Rogue Male: Death and Seduction Behind Enemy Lines With Mr Major Geoff by the pseudonymous former soldier Anthony Knox.
Booth has been acquiring titles since he arrived last September, along with Charlotte Haycock, who joined him from Century shortly afterwards. Booth described Haycock as "a rising star of publishing", adding: "Charlotte and I want the books we publish to contain new ideas and quickening use of language you can’t find anywhere else. As other media compete more and more for the time we used to give to reading, this becomes more important."
The Bookseller has previously reported the acquisitions of La Bella Principessa by Martin Kemp and the late Boyzone singer Stephen Gately's unfinished novel The Tree of Seasons.
"For me the recent discussions about whether or not celebrity publishing is dead are irrelevant," Booth said. "The lesson of the recent slump in celebrity publishing is that content free publishing is dead; in my view some of the celebrities I have worked with – Frank Skinner, Peter Kay on his first book and, yes, even Katie Price - can be as inventive and creative in their use of language as, say, Martin Amis."
He added: "We are looking for strong personal stories, whether or not that person is a celebrity. If you can find a crisp concept, a narrative that grips and won’t let go and combine it with inventive language, the rest is cornflakes."
Jamie Hodder Williams, chief executive of Hodder and Headline, said: "Mark is a real force – creative, inventive and innovative with regard to both content and form. He has been hunting out new talent for over twenty years now, and that is an ability that is becoming ever more valuable in the new publishing landscape."