Quercus buys Arcadia Books as Bielenberg named publisher

Quercus buys Arcadia Books as Bielenberg named publisher

Quercus has acquired the independent publishing house Arcadia Books for an undisclosed sum, to be based within the MacLehose Press imprint. 

Arcadia was founded 25 years ago by Gary Pulsifer and, since his death in 2016, the list has been run by Piers Russell-Cobb at MediaFund. It will sit within the MacLehose Press imprint, with Katharina Bielenberg taking over Arcadia as its publisher. Quercus said there will be no redundancies as a result of the sale, Russell-Cobb was the only member of staff.

“Arcadia has since its inception been passionately committed to publishing a wide and diverse range of voices, with an especially strong list of international literature in translation,” Quercus said. The west London-based indie will be based at Hachette's Carmelite House.

Jon Butler, m.d. of Quercus, said: “Quercus’ acquisition of Arcadia further cements MacLehose Press as the UK’s leading publisher of literature in translation, under Katharina Bielenberg’s leadership. It’s been a delight working with Piers on this deal, mostly because we share his passion for the incredible list that he, Gary and others have built over the last 25 years. Quercus has always shared Arcadia’s strong internationalist streak, and I’m so pleased and proud that Piers has chosen us to continue to build on that legacy.” 

Russell-Cobb said: “Quercus can marshal resources, particularly in sales and distribution, which will introduce our authors to new customers and readers in markets in which we are not currently a force, for their important, wonderfully written, insightful stories. I am so pleased that Katharina Bielenberg will become their publisher and am grateful to all my colleagues, full and part-time, for their contribution to what only last week William Boyd described as ‘a great list’. In building the list we all acknowledge that it was only possible by the most supportive of our shareholders, notably Sir Alan Parker.” 

Bielenberg added: “Gary developed Arcadia’s wide-ranging and groundbreaking list over many years with tremendous vision and flair, with Piers involved for more than a decade as a vital strategic partner, and latterly as energetic publisher of the list. We’re very much looking forward to working with Arcadia’s authors both at home and internationally, and to revitalising its rich backlist in print and digital over the coming months.” 

Forthcoming publications for spring 2022 include the paperback of Marika Cobbold’s On Hampstead Heath, Michael Arditti’s The Young Pretender as well as paperbacks of Joe Thomas’ Brazilian Psycho, Edward Wilson’s Portrait of a Spy as a Young Man and Ed Gorman’s Death of a Translator