Welbeck has launched its new narrative non-fiction imprint by pre-empting a “completely unique” book on the human senses by Russell Jones in a “significant” five-figure deal.
Wayne Davies, group publisher for adult non-fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights including audio in Sense: Why Lemons are Fast and White Wine tastes better with Blondie from Jon Wood at RCW. The book will be published in autumn 2020 under the Welbeck name.
Its synopsis explains: “Sense explores the incredible interplay between the human senses, how they shape our perception of reality and how we can influence them to improve our daily lives. How a round red cup can make drinks sweet; how a hot coffee in your hands can make you like someone more and, indeed, how Blondie can drastically improve a substandard bottle of chardonnay. It is both a fascinating work of popular science and detailed guide on how humans can hack their environment.”
Davies said: “Obviously when starting a new list you want to make your first acquisition something special – one that’s both a brilliant book and symbolises where your list is going. So when Jon put this completely unique book in front of us that does both those things, and so much more, we had to have it. Commercial, hugely readable and crossing boundaries - pop science, smart thinking and self-improvement - I hope Sense will come to represent everything that Welbeck’s non-fiction is about."
Jones runs a multi-sensory marketing consultancy that creates global brands – from designing the crunch of a Cornetto to making beer glasses more refreshing. His work is based on scientific research into the mind and he has collaborated with the Crossmodal Research group at Oxford University.
He said: “Since first creating the ‘Sounds of the Sea’ dish with Heston Blumenthal, making fish taste fresher through sound, I’ve been hooked by this amazing multi-sensory layer to our lives, and the scientific research behind it. My work has been to use these insights creatively, to sensorially enhance people’s experiences of products and spaces. And for a long time, I’ve been wanting to apply it to our everyday lives. Now, by publishing Sense with Welbeck, I can share this knowledge to help people get the most out of everything they do and be better versions of themselves”.
Wood added: “This proposal gripped me from the first line. Like the best popular science books, Sense changes the way you perceive the world fundamentally – and reminds you how fantastically complicated the human experience really is. Fortunately, Russell is such a skilled communicator and guide that you never lose sight of the big picture. Welbeck and Wayne saw all that straight away and we are incredibly excited to be part of their exciting new venture."