Pan Mac launches pocket-sized classics imprint

Pan Mac launches pocket-sized classics imprint

Pan Macmillan has launched a new hardback classics imprint: Macmillan Collector’s Library.

Pan Macmillan will launch Macmillan Collector’s Library with 26  titles in July, and will publish around 100 titles in the first six months after launch. 

The launch follows the company's acquisition in March last year of independent publisher The Collector’s Library, known for its high-quality pocket hardcover classics. The three founders of Collector’s Library - Marcus Clapham, Clive Reynard and Ken Webb - worked with Pan Macmillan to “support a smooth transition of the business to its new owners”, before retiring from the business.

The Collector’s Library has a "loyal" national and international consumer base for Macmillan's list to develop and it will initially draw on much of its portfolio. The new imprint will retain the pocket size hardback format and "high production values" of the original books, including gilt edges, top and tail bands, section sewn cloth binding and ribbon markers, and will be launched with a completely new case and dust jacket design. The average retail price will be a "giftable" £9.99. 

Curated by classics publisher Harriet Sanders, the new imprint will span fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, short stories and poetry. Sanders described that the list will comprise "a selection of the best stories brilliantly told, each of which have passed the test of time". 

Sixteen of the first one hundred titles are entirely new to the imprint. The first groups of new titles published on 14th July and 8th September will consist of modern classics, including: Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls, E M Delafield’s The Diary of a Provincial Lady and Joy Adamson’s Born Free. 

Titles from Macmillan’s backlist will include Colin Dexter’s The Way Through the Woods, Winston Graham’s Ross Poldark and Demelza, and Tim Mackintosh-Smith's edition of The Travels of Ibn Battutah.  

Early titles will also include Les Misérables and Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Thorne, soon to be televised with a script by Julian Fellowes. And books "to span the generations" will include Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Robert Westall’s prize-winning The Machine Gunners and one of Macmillan’s earliest titles from 1863, Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies, with illustrations by W Heath Robinson. 

Each title contains an introduction from a wide range of distinguished writers such as Paul Bailey, Val McDermid, Sara Paretsky. 

The imprint's presentation is said to draw on aspects of Macmillan's heritage, with a Cambridge blue case and jacket as a nod to the company's early Cambridge home in the 1840s, and the imprint's logo inspired by Macmillan logos from previous years. Cloth case and endpaper designs were commissioned from graphic artist Andrew Davidson.

Sanders, publisher of Macmillan Collector’s Library, said: "Classics by their nature are the books that have inspired generations of readers.  I relish the opportunity to develop a classics list that both by its design and its content will continue to give great pleasure and inspiration."

Anthony Forbes Watson, Pan Macmillan m.d. said: "As readers fall back into love with print, what could feel more right for the market than a beautiful, affordable, pocketable, probably indestructible and endlessly readable collection for anyone and everyone? We warmly thank Marcus Clapham and his partners at Collector’s Library for creating the foundation, on which we will build."