Bookouture has revealed it is building a third editorial team, with a particular focus on the US market, as part of fresh plans to expand in 2019.
The push follows a record-breaking year of sales for Bookouture in 2018 of 8.5 million copies. This includes paperback sales in partnership with Little, Brown Book Group’s Sphere imprint in the UK and Grand Central Publishing in the US, and marks a sixth consecutive year of growth for the digital first imprint with total sales at over 23 million.
The new publishing team will publish commercial fiction, though will be tasked with "diversifying the list" with "a particular focus on the US market", said Bookouture.
Revenue from the US already constitutes more than 50% of Bookouture's total and, in a bid to grow its author-base and fuel further growth, initially it will be seeking to take on five new staff with the potential for more staff to follow in 2020. Recruitment will begin with the hiring of a publishing director to lead the new team.
Since being acquired by Hachette in March 2017, Bookouture has increased its total number of staff from 16 to 25. Most of Bookouture's staff are based at its head office in London’s Kings Cross, though a number work from home as part of the company's flexible working culture; this set-up will be the same for the new team coming in.
Oliver Rhodes, chief executive of Bookouture, commented: "We’re very excited to be building on the success of last year and adding to what is already an exceptional team containing some of the most progressive-thinking publishing talent in the industry.
"Growing a third team will allow us to take on more authors and to diversify our publishing – forming the foundations for further growth over the next couple of years. We’re very much looking forward to getting started."
In view of Bookouture's "rapid development", 10 promotions were announced in July, including that of Jenny Geras - who started the division's second publishing team two years ago - from publishing director to publisher.