Catnip brings back out-of-print titles

Catnip brings back out-of-print titles

Independent children's publisher Catnip is using Twitter and bloggers to source original and out-of-print titles for its list. It will publish Katherine Roberts' out-of-print fantasy Song Quest in February 2012.

Commissioning editor Leonie Pratt said: "I heard via Twitter that there was a campaign by a book blogger, Becky Scott at The Bookette, to have Song Quest republished. I was looking for a strong fantasy title so I spoke to Becky about why she liked it. I also found it had won the Branford Boase Award in 2000.

"At a time when the bigger houses are culling their lists, there are opportunities to find big books' that are no longer available. The children's market is constantly renewing so there are real opportunities in the trade for books that have already been tested among readers."

Followers of The Bookette will be invited to vote on their favourite of two covers for the new edition of Song Quest.

Catnip has also acquired a former Guardian award-winner, The Vandal, by Ann Schlee. It will be published in 2012 as the company expands its list into titles for teenage readers. Pratt said: "Books like this—about a boy reacting against a very controlled dystopian society—still have relevance to today's readers." Catnip will also publish Unison 3.0, a cyberpunk novel by US author Andy Marino, aimed at the teen audience.

Pratt said: "I am looking for strong, original fiction as well as out-of-print titles. Publishing houses are culling their backlists but they are also more cautious about acquiring, which means there are more opportunities for smaller publishers like ourselves." Catnip publishes around 22 titles a year and expects to maintain this output.