Profile is set to launch a new imprint, Profile Pursuit, which will publish “high quality and original” cycling books.
James Spackman, formerly m.d of Watkins Media, will join Profile Books as publisher of Profile Pursuit. In addition to commissioning books, he will be involved in sales, marketing and publicity for the cycling books.
According to Profile, cycling has been estimated to contribute over £3bn per year to the UK economy and "continues to grow strongly as a sport and transport option". The publisher said the sale of cycling titles between 2012-15 have totalled £11.3m in revenue through Nielsen Bookscan, although The Bookseller has not been able to verify this.
The list will publish approximately four new books a year, including biographies, travel, stories from inside the pro peloton, and cycling classics.
Andrew Franklin, managing director of Profile Books, added: “Bugger sliced bread, the bicycle is the greatest human invention ever. We are thrilled to have a list that will publish the most interesting books on the subject. And James Spackman, who thinks nothing of cycling 240km around Wales in a day, is the ideal publisher for the list.”
Spackman said: “Being tragically obsessed with cycling and cycling literature, I'm incredibly excited to be launching Pursuit with the brilliant team at Profile. I've been a fan of theirs for years; all the more so since I discovered they were mostly lovely cyclists. And their record publishing intelligent books to a wide market speaks for itself. I have great confidence in the health of the cycling books market here and abroad, as the recent explosion of interest and participation continues.”
Pursuit’s first acquisition is The Hardmen by Frank Strack, founder of cycling website velominati.com. The book will "tell the stories and illuminate the myths of not just the greatest cyclists ever, but the toughest” and “lay bare the secrets of their extraordinary and inspirational endurance in the face of pain, danger and disaster.”
Strack said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Profile for our follow-up to The Rules: The Hardmen. Profile clearly understand and share in the spirit and passion behind Velominati and we are excited to work with them on this project. Also, we are thrilled that our long-time friend and collaborator, James Spackman, will be our editor for this particular work, as he lives and breathes the same brand of (ir)reverence we do. We are thrilled with this team and are ready to make the best book on cycling in the world.”
Profile Books is a member of cyclescheme and the publisher said over half of its employees, including the Franklin, use a bike as their main form of transport to work.