Barefoot strengthens position in UK market with Abrams sales deal

Barefoot strengthens position in UK market with Abrams sales deal

US-based independent publisher Barefoot Books is hoping to expand its position in the UK market through a new sales partnership with Abrams & Chronicle Books (A&CB).

The company, which makes books for children aged 0-12, cut its operations in the UK in 2015 due to rent pressures but is now looking to make a bigger mark in this country, co-founder and c.e.o. Nancy Traversy told The Bookseller.

“Over the past few years we have been handling sales internally but we wanted to come back in the UK in a much bigger way, and we have long admired the Chronicle list,” she said. “We thought there was a fit aesthetically but also in terms of the quality of the publishing. We’re very excited.”

From next month A&CB will sell Barefoot titles in the UK and selected European and international markets.

Brenda Marsh, m.d. of A&CB, said: “We are so pleased to welcome Barefoot Books to our client family and to extend our outstanding children’s offering. Barefoot’s books and gifts promote critical thinking, mindfulness and social emotional learning, encouraging awareness of the world, and sparking creativity and imagination. We are looking forward to introducing our customers to their delightful new titles, as well as their award-winning backlist.”

Traversy added: “The books we publish are what people are looking now – titles about diversity,nurturing empathy and compassion. We have been doing that forever. Our goal is to get as many books out there as possible."

She wants to get more visibility for Barefoot books in Waterstones, as well as build relationships with independent bookshops.

In 2015 Barefoot reduced its number of UK titles, closed its Oxford bookshop and putting a stop to its ambassador programme (freelance booksellers, working for themselves and selling to the public), to focus on its core business. The company is now based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and employs around 20 members of full-time staff. Sales grew 50% in 2018 and one of last year’s bestsellers, Mindful Kids by Whitney Stewart and Mina Braun, sold 250,000 copies in Europe, said Traversy.