A complex thriller set in China, a detective drama set in Catalonia and new take on Sherlock Holmes are the first three titles to be released by new digital publisher Canelo.
The digital-only start-up, founded by former Profile digital publisher Michael Bhaskar and former Quercus employees Iain Miller and Nick Barreto has already signed 30 titles since its creation in January, with the first three titles to be released next week on 13th July.
The publisher has signed UK and Commonwealth rights to The Ghost Shift by Financial Times journalist John Gapper, through Gill Coleridge and Cara Jones of literary agents Rogers, Coleridge and White. The book is described as “an unputdownable novel” and an “edge-of-the-seat action, international thriller”, set amidst the turbulence of the new China.
World rights to “gripping and atmospheric crime novel” City of Good Death by debut author Chris Lloyd were signed through Ella Kahn at DKW Literary Agency. The book in the first in the Elisenda Domènech Investigations series, set in Catalonia and features great twists, an “unforgettable” new detective and “the darkest myths of this ancient region.”
Meanwhile world rights to Richard & Judy Book Club author Martin Davies were signed in Mrs Hudson & the Spirits – a new take on Sherlock Holmes which explores what if, in fact, Sherlock’s housekeeper, Mrs Hudson was the hidden power behind the Sage of Baker Street.
Michael Bhaskar, co-founder and publishing director of Canelo said: “We couldn’t be more proud of these books. The world isn’t short of novels so we only want to publish the very best. These books not only cross that threshold, they vault over it. They’re must-reads.”
He told The Bookseller: “All these books have mass-appeal. As a new publisher, we cannot afford to publish books that aren’t good. What links them all is they all have incredibly strong characters and they are all brilliant, page-turning stories, which is important when you are publish digitally. Other than that they are all quite different.”
The books will start at an r.r.p of £2.99. Notably, all the titles were signed on five-year licenses and authors given royalties starting at 50%.
Bhaskar said: “After five years authors can carry on with us, obviously we hope they think we are doing a good job and will want to do that, but we want authors to have the choice. The five year license has been well received by agents.” He added: “Our royalties will start at 50% and go as high as 60% but we are not paying advances, that is not our business model. We are putting real investment into every single book we do – paying a lot of money for the jacket design, and marketing and publishing process.”
Every e-book is produced in-house and will include search functions, social media support, author representation and proper pricing techniques. The company will also be producing websites for all its authors, guaranteeing internet advertising as well as going down traditional advertising routes.
Millar, co-founder and managing director of Canelo, said: “I’d like to personally thank the authors and agents, who not only have been a dream to work with, but also took a leap of faith in us as a new publisher. We’re determined to repay that trust, and to give these great writers the audience they deserve. Canelo has huge ambition as a company, but we’re keenly aware that it’s authors like these, of such high calibre, that will be crucial to our success. We couldn’t ask for a better start.”
Forthcoming books from the publisher include Grace Thompson’s classic saga series Holidays at Home, debut author Meg Carter’s psychological suspense novel The Lies We Tell, and "heart-stopping thrillers" from Will Jordan and C.M. Albright.