Patrick Janson-Smith has been appointed editor-at-large of London-based digital publisher Apostrophe Books.
Former Transworld publisher Janson-Smith, who will retire this year as publisher of HarperCollins’ imprint Blue Door, said smaller outfits would be the ones “able to react most swiftly and imaginatively” to new challenges in a changing publishing landscape.
Apostrophe, which also publishes some titles in physical, has a list which includes Chris Robbins, Cyra McFadden, Melissa Peltier, Michael Nicholson, Michael Whitehall and Sue Margolis, and it recently began publishing Andy McNab’s works in the US, and Robert Lacey worldwide.
Janson-Smith, who also recently became non-executive chairman of new literary and marketing agency Kingsford Campbell, said: “I am delighted to be attaching myself to a grammatical necessity and am excited by the possibilities it presents.
“In an ever-changing publishing landscape, it will be the smaller outfits who are able to react most swiftly and imaginatively to the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.
“I am firmly of the belief that there will always be a market hungry for books in whatever form they may take. Those who talk repeatedly of the decline of reading serve only as grave diggers.
“As an eternal optimist, I hope to be able to help Apostrophe Books accentuate the positive in every way I can.”
Apostrophe’s m.d. Martyn Forrester, describe Janson-Smith as a friend of 30 years, and as a “guru”.
“No one knows as much about publishing as Patrick does or loves it more - and although he declares himself a dyed-in-the-wool printed word man, he also ‘gets’ digital,” said Forrester. “The very first Kindle I ever saw was in his hands. Patrick is the ideal person to take Apostrophe on to the next stage in our journey, publishing not only in digital format but also into print.”
Apostrophe Books launched in 2011, and publishes new and classic titles. It has published digital editions of books including 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, and this week will release digital and paperback editions of Grace, Robert Lacey’s biography of Grace Kelly. The digital edition of Grace will include an embedded video, a link to a collection of more than 100 photos on Apostrophe’s website, links to the trailers of all 12 of Grace Kelly’s movies and links to nearly an hour of British Pathé newsreel footage.