Canongate is to launch a campaign in praise of letter writing, after signing two new books devoted to the topic.
Simon Garfield's To the Letter: A Journey Through a Vanishing World will be released by the independent publisher on 24th October 2013. The book is described as a "celebration of letters in every form", tracking the history of the letter from Roman wood chips to modern email, breaking off to investigate dead letter offices, invisible ink and the letters of famous figures.
Garfield has previously written non-fiction bestsellers Just My Type: A Book About Fonts (Profile) and On The Map: Why the World Looks the Way it Does (Profile). Canongate has acquired world rights in To the Letter, and has licensed North American to Gotham, Italian rights to Ponte alle Grazie, and Dutch rights to Podium.
Canongate has also announced a joint venture with funding platform and publisher Unbound. They will work together to publish Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience, compiled by Shaun Usher.
Based on Usher's website of the same name, the book is Unbound's most successful project, having met 244% of its crowd-funded target. The website, founded in 2009, attracts more than 1.5m hits a week, and compiles letters and notes from celebrities, political figures, and moments of historical importance.
It will be published on 24th October, and promoted on a nationwide tour of events alongside Garfield's book. Unbound will handle all orders taken through its site, while Canongate handles trade sales, marketing and publicity. Canongate is handling world English rights in Letters of Note, and has licensed US rights to Chronicle Books.
Canongate publisher and m.d. Jamie Byng said: “It is a real privilege to be collaborating with one of the most innovative new publishing ventures to have launched in Britain in recent years and all the more so as Letters of Note is the book that has brought us together."
John Mitchinson, co-founder of Unbound, said: "The joint publication of the amazing Letters of Note with Canongate, really feels like a coming of age for Unbound and maybe even a turning point for the industry."