New colours for Ladies’ Detective Agency

New colours for Ladies’ Detective Agency

Little, Brown is embarking on a new look for Alexander McCall Smith’s Ladies’ Detective Agency novels. A new title in the series, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, launches in the new design today (29th March) as a £16.99 hb, alongside the paperback issue of The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party (£7.99).

Following The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection—the 13th title in the Botswana-set series— and The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, the remaining 11 Ladies’ Detective Agency titles will be published in the colourful new look on 5th April, including The Double Comfort Safari Club and Tea Time for the Traditionally Built.  

Marketing manager Stephen Dumughn said that despite the current tough market for paperbacks, sales of McCall Smith’s titles have “held up well, compared to other big names”, and said: “We feel his message and types of books are amazingly feel-good; in tough times they are the perfect escapist read.”

He said the new look was intended to “make it clear we were reflecting the life and energy of the books—the writing is as strong as ever, and we wanted to make sure we were communicating that to the readers. At the same time, we were very conscious of not alienating the fans, and making it sympathetic to the existing look; but, as  with any long-running series, there was a slight risk of people beginning to overlook it.” Art director Duncan Heath said they also wanted to “be a bit louder” about McCall Smith’s name and the titles.

Dumughn added that there will be a nationwide poster campaign, including large-format advertising at “large-capacity railway stations”, print advertising in the Daily Telegraph, and a social media push, saying: “We wanted to create a real burst of activity. We are using every channel to reach new fans”.