Former HarperCollins Australia c.e.o. James Kellow and Hardie Grant chief executive Sandy Grant have launched Sydney-based Ultimo Press, described as "an independent press backed by Hardie Grant" press.
Ultimo will publish a variety of fiction and non-fiction, with a focus on championing Australian authors. It aims to publish 60 titles a year, releasing its first books in 2021.
Kellow (pictured) has 30 years publishing experience in Australia and the UK. Starting out at Reed International in the early 1990s before becoming marketing director at Fourth Estate in London, he went on to work at HarperCollins. "Ultimo Press wants to publish stories that inspire, compelling new voices and original perspectives that reflect the full spectrum of Australian life," he said. "Our ambition is serious; we want to become home to Australia’s most original and creative storytellers, but we also want to be distinctive, a little bit different, to disrupt and to have fun.
"We want to provide local, Australian authors with an energetic, passionate Australian-owned home and plan to help more voices find an opportunity to reach readers."
Named after the Sydney suburb that houses Hardie Grant’s Sydney office, Ultimo references the company’s base in the city. The Italian translates roughly to "the latest", described as "the mission of Ultimo Press—to provide a platform for the latest trends and newest voices".
Commenting on the new press, Grant said: "James’ aim is to create a modern, exciting, and global trade publishing list. We see Ultimo Press as distinct, independent and free to pursue its ambitions backed by our broader business. We believe in books—in print, digital and audio—and we see an opportunity to provide a contemporary, vibrant home for Australian authors here and in global markets."