Former publisher at Aurum Press, Graham Coster has set up a new boutique imprint called Safe Haven Books.
Safe Haven, launched in March earlier this year, will publish “idiosyncratic” non-fiction in the fields it “feels at home in” – from cricket to architecture, natural history to beer. According to the company, the emphasis will be on “smaller books, with an impulse-buy price, handsomely designed and produced to be ideal as gifts.”
At Aurum Press, Coster had a reputation for a “raft of commercial successes” with “quirky” commissions including Banksy: The Man Behind the Wall and The Secret Life of Bletchley Park.
He said: “When I was publisher at Aurum I commissioned the lion's share of my titles from my own original ideas - which seems to be quite rare in trade publishing - and that's what I'm planning to do with this imprint.”
Coster told The Bookseller that he does not have a fixed target number of titles to release each year, instead “one of the principles behind the list is precisely to avoid that, and only do the books I really want to and really feel have a market, rather than end up publishing something just to make up the numbers. I have four books scheduled so far for the next year or so; if I can come up with something else I want to do - I will.”
Joining him on the Safe Haven team will be Caroline Buckland, former head of publishing at Telegraph Books who will be working on marketing and publicity, and Graham Eames, former sales director at Aurum, who will be dealing with sales.
Safe Haven’s launch title in November will be Snow Stopped Play: The Mysterious World of the Cricket Ground in Winter, described as a “charming Cloudspotter’s Guide to the Summer Game’s interaction with snow, with beautiful colour photography throughout". Safe Haven said it will be an "essential" Christmas title and a "potential" cult classic.
Snow Stopped Play will be published on 28th November priced at £14.99.
The publisher's second title, Beer: The Best Writing on the Greatest Drink edited by Evan Rail, will be released in spring 2016.
Safe Haven plans to release e-book editions of text-only titles but have no plans to do so for integrated illustrated titles. Their books are represented to the trade by Eames Publishing Services and distributed by Orca Books Services and will be sold through the traditional sales channels.