Pan Macmillan is marking three decades of publishing Ken Follett and his series The Pillars of the Earth by releasing new editions of 17 backlist titles and previously unseen archive material.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Follett’s global bestseller The Pillars of the Earth, and Pan Macmillan will be reissuing paperback, e-book and audiobook editions of the author's key backlist titles with new covers, and is planning digital, social media and audio promotions throughout 2019. The publisher will also work with retailers on promotions.
Previously unseen archive material will be shared including insight from the author into his books, "behind the scenes" materials from his files, old articles about the books as they come out and photos of Follett as he’s researching.
The 17 relaunched backlist titles reflect the breadth of his writing, a Pan Macmillan spokesperson said, and will feature new covers including World War thrillers such as Hornet Flight, conspiracy thrillers like The Hammer of Eden, and 20th century espionage, including Lie Down with Lions. The first three titles to be promoted will be Jackdaws, The Key to Rebecca and Night Over Water.
Follett, who was awarded a CBE last year, said: “Thirty years ago Pan Macmillan became my British publisher with The Pillars of the Earth. Authors change publishers if they’re dissatisfied: when we find a good one we stay.
“I’ve learned to love publishers who are fizzing with ideas for innovative ways to pique the interest of book lovers. Creating an air of eager anticipation for a new book is really important. The excitement starts in the office and spreads quickly to booksellers, the media, and readers. Good publishers know how to do this, and the best do it time and time again.”
Pan Macmillan's publisher Jeremy Trevathan said: "We are incredibly proud to have been working with Ken for 30 years, and to mark our long and fruitful relationship together in this seminal year as we celebrate 30 years of publishing. Ken is an outstanding writer, with an ability to create mesmerizing stories that enchant readers throughout the world.
"A superlative storyteller, he excels with every novel, and to have this opportunity to celebrate both his career, and the publication of what is undoubtedly his most beloved novel, The Pillars of the Earth, is wonderful. We look forward to continuing our successful and treasured relationship with Ken, Barbara and his team for many years to come."
Follett has sold 2.92 million books for £21.13m via Nielsen BookScan's TCM, with his biggest seller The Pillars of the Earth, at 318,214 copies sold. His most recent title, A Column of Fire , sold 96,410 in paperback and nearly the same in hardback through the TCM.
Last summer Pan Macmillan revealed the launch of 12 new audio editions of Follett's thrillers, read by well-known actors including Richard Armitage and Emilia Fox. In September 2017 he collected a Golden Pan from the publisher, recognising sales in excess of one million copies over a book's lifetime.