Bonnier Books UK has launched its new dedicated music imprint, Nine Eight Books, headed by Pete Selby.
“Nine Eight Books will provide a year-round publishing home for broad, bold and entertaining musical perspectives,” the publisher said. “Working with some of the world’s greatest artists and writers, the Nine Eight list will include memoirs, social histories, genre explorations and first-person oral narratives where music is always at the heart of the story.”
Selby joined Bonnier Books UK last summer to head the music imprint. Prior to two senior publishing roles at W H Smith and the Roald Dahl Story Company, he led the music and books division at Sainsbury’s for eight years. He appointed Melissa Bond as senior editor last March. Bond has previously worked at the National History Museum, where she was in charge of print editorial content, and at Simon & Schuster UK.
The imprint has unveiled a range of acquisitions which will be published from November. Among the first books to publish on the list will be The A-Z of Queen in November 2021 by music journalist and bestselling author Mark Blake, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the world's biggest rock band. Being Britney: Pieces of a Modern Icon follows in early 2022, in which author and cultural historian Jennifer Otter Bickerdike explores and dissects the phenomenon of Britney Spears as seen through pivotal moments in her life, career and the environment which both shaped and reflects her.
Titles acquired for publication in 2022 include When Does the Mind-bending Start? a memoir from Gordon King of indie pop band World of Twist, an in-depth profile on the Bee Gees by Bob Stanley acquired as part of a three-book deal, as well as the autobiography of musician and former Lush frontwoman Miki Berenyi and a non-fiction work by songwriter Nadine Shah which ruminates on grief, fame and human behaviour.
“Our aim is to publish books which will not only appeal to music afficionados and fans but also curious readers who simply love a good story,” Selby said. “Having spent my life working in music I have always been drawn to those record labels that have the ability to maintain the listener’s trust and interest through incredible, diverse and accessible releases — and this is exactly the template that we aspire to replicate at Nine Eight Books.
“By publishing about 12 books a year we can provide a focused and nurturing home for our authors who, in turn, will create a rich body of work that our readers can always rely on to inspire, inform and, most importantly, entertain.”
Perminder Mann, c.e.o. of Bonnier Books UK, commented: “I’ve really enjoyed seeing Pete’s vision for Nine Eight Books take shape, with a broad and fascinating list of books already in the pipeline. What sets Nine Eight apart is its commitment to working with artists and talent from all works for life, helping them tell their unique stories and drawing them to the attention of music fans around the world. An exciting component of our growth strategy, I can’t wait to see the list evolve.”