Macmillan celebrates 175 years of publishing

Macmillan celebrates 175 years of publishing

Macmillan is celebrating 175 years of publishing in 2018 with an initiative for independent booksellers, roundtable events and the reissue of "one of the most successful anthologies in literary history". 

The publisher is using the anniversary, marking the founding of the company by brothers Daniel and Alexander Macmillan in 1843, as an opportunity to celebrate "the distinct family feel and personality of the business", it said. Activities it has planned are intended to "remind everyone of the passion and commitment that has brought Pan Macmillan, Palgrave Macmillan, and Macmillan Education to where they are today, while showcasing a longstanding commitment to storytelling, entertaining, sharing ideas and engaging curious minds". 

Inspired by Alexander Macmillan's "Tobacco Parliaments (salons hosted for authors and thought-leaders at the London Macmillan office) Pan Macmillan is supporting a series of panel discussions on Monday (12th February) at the Knowledge Quarter Symposium, at the British Museum, under the headings "The Face of Knowledge" and "Publishing Knowledge: Have we had enough of experts". The events will feature authors from its own stables: Mariam Khan, David Olusoga, Lisa Feldman Barrett and Peter Kinderman. 

Pan Macmillan will continue the anniversary festivities with plans to reissue The Golden Treasury of the Best Songs & Lyrical Poems in the English Language, edited by Francis Turner Palgrave, as part of the Macmillan Collector's Library in October. Following on from the 1861-published original edition that sold close to 100,000 copies, according to Pan Macmillan, the new version will be bound in real cloth and feature a ribbon marker and gilt edges. It also will feature a foreword from UK poet and Picador author Carol Ann Duffy.

Also to mark Macmillan's 175 years in the publishing business, Duffy, along with a number of other hand-picked artists from Picador, will be hitting the road to perform their work across the UK in June during Independent Bookshop Week (IBW). 

Branded "Shore 2 Shore 2018", the new tour will feature poets Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker and Jackie Kay, as well as MC John Sampson, with a special guest spot assigned for a local poet at each event. It will run throughout IBW 2018, from 16th June to 23rd June, while also marking 175 years of Macmillan and 21 years of Picador Poetry.

The roadtrip follows the tour Picador successfully organised in 2016, in association with the Booksellers Association, in support of the 10th anniversary of IBW. Duffy and her fellow poets then travelled 1,500 miles to 15 events attended by over 3,000 people, selling nearly 2,000 books.

Duffy said she wanted to do the tour again to visit some of the bookshops the troupe missed last time. Indies the group will visit this year are: Griffin Books, Penarth (16th June); Topping & Co. Booksellers, Bath (17th June); Newham Books, London (18th June); The Aldeburgh Bookshop, Aldeburgh (19th June); The Bookshop, Kibworth (a lunchtime signing on 20th June); The Book Case, Lowdham  20th June); White Rose Books, Thirsk (21st June); Atkinson-Pryce Books, Biggar (22nd June); and Bookpoint, Dunoon (23rd June).

"After the inspiring success of Shore to Shore in 2016, Shore to Shore [2018] fulfils my promise to visit and celebrate some of the Independent Bookshops we missed last time," said Duffy. "With glad hearts, we are climbing back in the Tour Bus and journeying from Penarth to Dunoon to pay tribute to Bookshops, readers and poetry, picking up a different poet at each stop to perform on the pilgrimage."

New BA president Meryl Halls added: "What better partnership could there be than between iconic creative poets and the cultural and social hubs that are independent bookshops across our country? ... These are some of the most creative and welcoming bookshops, and I look forward to watching the tour unfold, and to dispatches from the tour bus."

In  celebration of Pan Macmillan's heritage, the publishing house's "Macmillan 175" campaign will have "a strong branded presence" at major book trade conferences and books fairs, too, including Bologna, Frankfurt and London. 

Anthony Forbes Watson, managing director at Pan Macmillan, paid tribute to the founders' belief in the transformational power of books that still fuelled its sense of purpose today. 

“Macmillan 175 invites us to celebrate the ambitious, enduring and self-effacing character of a global business founded by two Scottish crofter brothers with a burning belief in social progress through learning and reading, and the realisation of their vision through the process of publishing," said Forbes Watson. 

“Pan Macmillan is at the heart of the conversation around books and reading, and we are inspired by the founders' belief in the transformational effect that great books can have, from the life changing insight to the smallest thing: It is this purpose that drives our quest to be the best.”

Jeremy Dieguez, managing director, Macmillan Education, said: “At Macmillan Education we are very proud of our achievements over the years, our thousands of staff worldwide and our hundreds of thousands of loyal customers, but we are most proud of the values that we stand for: honesty, quality and innovation in all we do. The Macmillan brothers set the standard, generations of people at Macmillan have worked hard to build our reputation and it’s our turn now, 175 years later, to honour that history as we continue to write the Macmillan story."