Headline poaches Clarke to head new imprint

Headline poaches Clarke to head new imprint

Headline is launching a new commercial imprint and has poached Michael Joseph's publishing director Alex Clarke to lead it.

Clarke, who has worked for Penguin Random House for 15 years, will move into the role of publishing director for the as-yet-unnamed new Headline imprint - part of the Hachette group.

He will report to his former Michael Joseph colleague Mari Evans, deputy m.d. for Headline, and will be hiring an editor to work alongside him.

The imprint's "purpose" is "the pursuit of bestsellers by publishing a discerning collection of high quality commercial projects across both fiction and non-fiction categories," according to the publisher. 

The new imprint's name will be revealed in April, prior to the London Book Fair.

Clarke published Sebastian Faulks’ Devil May Care, which was Penguin’s fastest-selling adult hardback novel, in 2009. He also published Conn Iggulden’s Wars of the Roses series, Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series and James Oswald’s Inspector Mclean series, alongside Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise. Meanwhile in non-fiction recent offerings include biographies from comedians Michael McIntyre, Lee Evans and Kevin Bridges along with YouTuber Pewdiepie’s This Book Loves You and Martin Vargic’s Miscellany of Curious Maps.

Clarke said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at Headline. It's an incredibly exciting prospect to be setting up a new imprint within such a great commercial publishing house. I'm very much looking forward to working with Mari again; she's a brilliant publisher and a true inspiration. It has been a wonderful 15 years at Penguin, working with fantastic authors and with the support of so many amazing colleagues, and I'm hugely grateful for all the opportunities I've had along the way."

Evans said: "2016 is Headline’s 30th birthday year and I’m thrilled it’s launching with such an exciting new appointment. I worked alongside Alex for 10 years at Michael Joseph and at first hand watched him innovate with his publishing time and time again. I’m delighted we’ll be renewing our working relationship. The creation of this imprint heralds a new phase of growth for Headline and should usher in a bold and ambitious new strand to our already impeccable commercial publishing."

Jane Morpeth, managing director of Headline, added: "Alex will bring a great new dynamic to our team and a lively twist to our publishing. I’ve long been an admirer of his ability to spot trends and capitalise on them so effectively. We hope his imprint will be a trailblazer."