Bookouture makes two hires as sales reach 4.2m in 2016

Bookouture makes two hires as sales reach 4.2m in 2016

Bookouture has made two major hires as the three-year-old company hits unit sales of 4.2m in 2016 year to date.

Lauren Finger, managing editor at Atlantic Books, is soon taking up the role of managing editor at the digital publisher.

Meanwhile Abigail Fenton, a Bookseller Rising Star of 2015, is also set to join the company on 10th October as commissioning editor from her current role as senior editor and producer in the audio team at HarperCollins.

Bookouture was founded three years ago with a team of three, which has now grown to 12.

The company has just moved to a new office in the Stanley Building in London’s Kings Cross. It has a capacity of 20 people and Oliver Rhodes, managing director and publisher at Bookouture, said he intends to expand to that number “within the next 12 months”.

“Our success so far has really been down to sales performance,” he told The Bookseller. “We have always been self-funded and we would like to continue that.

“In my experience in traditional publishing, there is a reluctance from sales teams about just adding titles in order to increase revenue, but in digital publishing that goes away. We can increase sales by increasing titles.”

He added: “Part of what has made us successful is attention to detail that we give each book. Perhaps a traditional publisher might pay that level of attention to the top 5-10% of their titles, but we will give it to each one and by the end of this year we will have published 72 titles in 2016.”

So far the publisher has sold 4.2m units in 2016, with an average selling price of around £1.99, with promotional titles offered at 99p.

Its biggest-selling title this year is serial killer thriller The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza, which has sold over 1m copies. The Sisters by Louise Jenson has also performed well for the company, which pays authors 45% royalty commission for books sold.

The US became the publisher’s biggest market this year, just slightly inching ahead of the UK.

Of her decision to join Bookouture, Fenton said: “I’ve had five wonderful years at HarperCollins, working with fantastic colleagues and authors from across the spectrum of Harper’s publishing. But having admired Bookouture’s dynamism and ambition from afar for some time, I am hugely excited to join its team. Its reputation for launching chart-storming debuts is envied across the trade, and I can’t wait to get started and find some exciting new talent to bring to their list.”

Finger added: "I'm incredibly excited to be joining Bookouture and I'm looking forward to working with such a fantastic and dynamic team to continue the company's success. I can't wait to start."

Claire Bord, publishing director at Bookouture, said both Fenton and Finger were “talented individuals who will bring great energy and a dynamic approach to each of their roles”.