Independent press Jacaranda Books has partnered with Hachette UK to expand its sales and distribution across both its physical and digital list.
The partnership forms part of the indie's strategy to increase its reach across the UK and international markets and is set to continue over a number of years. Jacaranda titles will use Hachette’s sales teams and distribution centre to reach new audiences, while Quercus will also be selling foreign rights for the indie's lists.
Valerie Brandes, c.e.o. and founder of Jacaranda Books (pictured), said of the partnership: “We’re hugely excited to be embarking on this new chapter for Jacaranda Books. These are extraordinary times; there have been many challenges and there have also been stories of survival and resilience that have offered inspiration and hope. As we look forward to our society opening up again, we see relationships reuniting and some forging anew. It is with this spirit of collaboration and connection that we enter into this partnership with Hachette UK for a multi-year deal spanning sales and distribution.
“This partnership reflects our many shared values on the continuing importance of representation and inclusion in the publishing industry. At Jacaranda we have held this space for nearly a decade, seeking out new voices, partnering with publishers and booksellers at home and abroad, particularly in Africa and America, and with our award-winning #Twentyin2020 year of publishing spotlighting all the magic and brilliance of Black British writers.
“Hachette UK has been at the forefront of attacking the lack of diversity and inclusion in mainstream publishing as evidenced by its imprints, its initiatives and now with its approach to this partnership with Jacaranda. We look forward to working with Hachette UK to realise our global ambitions and together we will extend and support the global market for readers of books by diverse voices. We could not be more excited about the future.”
In addition to expanding its lists reach, the press recently launched its A Quick Ting On series created and curated by Bookseller Rising Star Magdalene Abraha, as part of its growing non-fiction list.
David Shelley, c.e.o. at Hachette UK, said: “At Hachette UK, our mission is to help make it easy for as many readers as possible unlock new worlds through books and we strive to amplify more diverse voices as part of our ‘Changing the Story’ programme. The Jacaranda list is one of the most exciting in the industry today and I hope that this partnership — through utilising our sales teams around the world and our state-of-the-art distribution centre — will help get their authors’ books to huge numbers of readers. It is brilliant to be able to partner with Jacaranda in this way and, I hope, a blueprint for more partnerships in future as, having worked for seven years at an indie before coming to Hachette UK, I believe there is so much that large and small publishers can learn from each other.”
The Jacaranda team will be working closely with Hachette UK’s Quercus division as part of the partnership. Jon Butler, m.d. of Quercus, said: “Having got to know Valerie and the amazing Jacaranda team over the past few months, I’m just delighted that we can finally announce this partnership. In a short time, Jacaranda and its authors have made an incredible impact on the British publishing scene, and rightly garnered a ton of accolades and prizes. I’m excited to see what value Quercus and Hachette UK’s impressive sales and distribution teams can add to Jacaranda’s success; but I’m also hoping that we can learn a lot from Valerie and her team in return, super-charging our own mission to become a more representative publisher.”
Over the past year, the company revamped its direct-to-consumer sales offering through its website and social media. It also worked with fellow independent publisher's sales team Inpress Books to reach more digital and physical retailers.
On Jacaranda’s move, Inpress c.e.o. Sophie O’Neil said: “Jacaranda has called Inpress home since 2017 and we have loved working with Valerie and the Jacaranda team over the past four years. We have been through some really difficult times together, but Val’s ambition for the list has never wavered. The last year has been a huge challenge for everyone personally and professionally, but Jacaranda’s dedication to supporting black writers, particularly the #Twentyin2020 programme, has paid off and they have seen their profile and sales soar. We wish them the best of luck on their new journey with Hachette UK, it’s a really exciting new venture and I can’t wait to see what comes from it!”
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