Titchmarsh gets serious

<p>Hodder &amp; Stoughton is planning &ldquo;a lavish production&rdquo; to repackage Alan Titchmarsh as a more serious novelist after poaching him from Simon &amp; Schuster last April.</p><p>Rowena Webb, publishing director at Hodder &amp; Stoughton, said the new look for Folly, Titchmarsh&rsquo;s latest novel, better reflected his writing. The book will be published in hardback on 2nd October.</p><p>&ldquo;We are changing the style from when he was published at Simon &amp; Schuster, which was quite jokey,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Ours is much more into Maeve Binchy territory, with a gorgeous landscape jacket. Going towards Christmas, we will be doing a special package for Alan, with a belly band around the jacket as an add-on, and a &ndash;special message on the band.&rdquo;</p><p>Webb explained the move was designed to bring him to a broader market. &ldquo;We took him on because we thought we could bring him to a new level with a more ambitious book, which he has delivered,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>She described the book as &ldquo;multi-&ndash;generational, full of twists and turns and intrigue&rdquo;. &ldquo;We really believe in Alan as a serious novelist, not just a writer of celeb&ndash;rity novels,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;Also, I think this is the first time in hardback for the Christmas season, so we want him looking gorgeous. With the addition of belly bands and other effects, it will be a lavish production.&rdquo;</p><p>Alongside the new design, H&amp;S is planning a marketing campaign focused on the female &ldquo;British heartland&rdquo; readership. It will carry out a combination of interviews with the likes of the Daily Express and Good Housekeeping, as well as &ldquo;trolley media&rdquo; campaigns in Sainsbury&rsquo;s supermarkets. </p><p>Charlotte Merritt, marketing manager at the publisher, explained: &ldquo;We are wanting to evoke the experience of reading one of Alan&rsquo;s novels&mdash;which is that it is perfect for a winter&rsquo;s evening. We will very much focus on that to entice people to buy it.&rdquo;</p><p>The firm will also take marketing online, including an author video clips.</p>