Ex-Gollancz 'legend' Edwards joins Welbeck's André Deutsch

Ex-Gollancz 'legend' Edwards joins Welbeck's André Deutsch

Former Gollancz and Orion veteran Malcolm Edwards has been announced as the new publisher for André Deutsch.

Deutsch was taken over by Marcus Leaver and Mark Smith’s Welbeck Publishing Group, as part of its acquisition of Carlton in April. Joining in September, Edwards will be tasked with “resurrecting and reviving” its fiction backlist, the firm said, alongside developing a new front list strategy publishing titles in the crime, thriller, sci fi, fantasy and horror genres.

Edwards, described by Hachette c.e.o. David Shelley as a “true publishing legend”, stood down as Orion consultant publisher and Gollancz chair in May after more than four decades with the company. He has worked with a host of bestselling authors, including Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Coben, Anthony Horowitz, Ursula Le Guin, George R.R. Martin, Kate Mosse, Terry Pratchett and Ian Rankin.

At Deutsch he joins a company with an illustrious history of its own. Started in 1952 by its eponymous founder and counting editor Diana Athill among its staff, the press published books by authors including Jack Kerouac, Philip Roth, John Updike and Margaret Atwood.

A "delighted" Edwards told The Bookseller: “The appeal was that it’s a prestigious imprint that’s been allowed to decay. It’s a chance to revive it with both its backlist and adding books to its front list.

“I’m looking forward to delving through the records to see what rights are still held by André Deutsch. I know they have some, but not all, of the well known books but we need to spend time going through boxes of contracts and see what’s still there."

He said: “I have spent much of the last three years delving into the backlists of Gollancz and Weidenfeld & Nicolson, and I can already see that Deutsch offers comparable opportunities.Deutsch and W&N in particular are in many respects similar businesses, and though I never met André Deutsch, George Weidenfeld always spoke warmly of his fellow emigré. I also greatly look forward to building a list of high-quality new titles for the imprint, and to working alongside Mark Smith, Marcus Leaver and the rest of the impressive team they are assembling.”

The news of Edwards’ arrival follows a string of other high-profile appointments since Welbeck was launched in April, including the recent announcement Alexandra Allan and Quarto’s Laura Knowles will lead its children’s books arm.

Smith, executive director, said: “Malcolm’s appointment allows us to begin to reinvent, republish and resurrect titles from high-quality authors that André Deutsch and Diana Athill assembled over the course of the company’s history. Alongside this backlist refresh, Malcolm will establish a new front list identity for the imprint, concentrating on the areas in which he has been so successful over his career. We are thrilled that Malcolm will be joining the Welbeck team as we strive towards our goal of being the UK’s leading independent publisher.”

Edwards can be contacted at malcolm.edwards@welbeckpublishing.com