Saraband and Hodder have acquired two debut titles from authors originally published by troubled Scottish press Freight Books.
Founded as an imprint of Freight Design in 2011 by Davinder Samrai and Adrian Searle, operations at publisher Freight Books were thrown into disarray with the abrupt departure of Searle in April due to “irreconcilable differences over strategic direction”. A provisional liquidator has now been appointed to the company.
Literary agent Jenny Brown had reverted rights on grounds of breach of contract in August.
Saraband is to publish the “captivating” Goblin by debut novelist Ever Dundas on 6th December 2017. It was originally published by Freight Books in May 2017.
Goblin, set during the Blitz and the London riots of 2011, tells the story of “an iconic protagonist” with “a powerful imaginative force”. An outsider, the titular Goblin uses the power of imagination to help her navigate and survive in a cruel world, even to find a desperate kind of joy. One of the focal points of the book is a little known event of World War II: the mass killing of pets to “help the war effort”.
Dundas said: “Goblin is my debut novel and very special to me, so I’m obviously delighted that it has found a new home at Saraband.”
Publisher Sara Hunt said: “In Goblin, Ever has created a character to die for. The book itself has echoes of Jeanette Winterson and Angela Carter: it is a superb piece of writing. But it was originally published by Freight Books earlier this year, just as the problems were emerging there. Obviously that timing was disadvantageous for the book. And we loved Goblin so much that we felt it deserved its chance to shine. Goblin is a wonderful novel and we’re delighted to be able to add such an outstanding talent to our stable.”
“With the ongoing difficulties at Freight, the author had been proactive in getting her rights to Goblin reverted. After discussions with Jenny Brown (Ever Dundas’ agent), Saraband acquired the rights at the beginning of November 2017. Following a new edit, we will be printing new copies of the book as soon as possible.
“The situation at Freight is obviously sad for all concerned. Like everyone else in publishing we just hope that things will be resolved for the authors affected as soon as possible. Currently, we do not have plans to acquire the rights of other titles published by Freight.”
Meanwhile, Hodder & Stoughton has scooped up the rights to publish novelist Sarah Maine’s debut book, The House Between Tides. Senior editor Emily Kitchin acquired British Commonwealth rights excluding Canada and ANZ from Brown.
The House Between Tides is a sweeping historical gothic novel about Hetty Deveraux, a young woman who discovers the century-old remains of a murder victim on her family’s Scottish estate in the Outer Hebrides, plunging her into an investigation of its mysterious former occupants.
Originally published as Bhalla Strand in the UK by Freight Books in 2014, The House Between Tides has enjoyed global success. It was published by Atria in the US and by Allen and Unwin in Australia and New Zealand, and rights were also sold to Goldmann in Germany and Bruna in the Netherlands.
Hodder is also the publisher of two other historical novels by Maine: Beyond The Wild River, which published earlier this year, and a forthcoming novel, as yet untitled, to be published in August 2018: a mystery set on the wild and rugged West Coast of Scotland, which draws on that area’s rich heritage of Celtic and Norse legends and archaeology.
Maine said: "I’m delighted that Hodder and Stoughton have picked up The House Between Tides and it's great to be working with Emily and her supportive team again."