A new poetry press aiming to focus on the consumer relationship has been launched by Emma Wright, who previously worked at Orion. Its first book will be released at the end of the month.
Wright left her job as e-book production controller at Orion last summer, and has since set up The Emma Press, with the support of the Prince's Trust. The company will publish poetry in print and digital formats.
The first title is The Flower and the Plough, a collection of love poems by Rachel Piercey, illustrated by Wright, due out on 31st January (£4.99 in print and £3.50 in e-book, or £6.50 for both as a bundle). Wright said: "I wanted to experiment with bundling because I'm more or less a digital native so I have this sense that I should be able to own the book across all platforms."
Wright also creates accessories and gifts to accompany the books, such as postcards with the poems and illustrations on them, or a material bookcase.
The second title will be an anthology of erotic poems, to be published in the autumn. As well as selling the titles through her website, Wright said she is looking to place them in shops relevant to the text, so is currently approaching florists to stock The Flower and the Plough.
Wright said she wanted to experiment in order to connect with consumers: "I do feel that there is a move towards more personalised businesses, the feeling that there are people behind it." She added: "Apart from Penguin, the average person hasn't heard of any of the big publishers, and even if they do know a few names they won't have any strong feelings about them. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as authors can perform the role of the sympathetic middle-man, but I do think there's room for a more personal approach."