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Posts Tagged ‘Serpent’s Tail’

Profile Reports Best-Ever Results

The Bookseller reports that Profile Books has posted its best ever set of results following the success of its quirky New Scientist titles and the acquisition of fellow independent Serpent’s Tail. In full year results to 31st March 2007, turnover was up 9% on 2005/6 to just over 9m pounds and operating profit increased by 56% to 2.1m pounds, representing 23% of turnover.The results include three months’ trading of Serpent’s Tail, which Profile acquired on 1st January 2007. The integration of the two businesses was completed in late January and Serpent’s Tail is now part of the Independent Alliance.

Andrew Franklin
, Profile m.d., said: “We’re pleased to announce some great results and with the acquisition of Serpent’s Tail it’s been a very exciting time for the company…In the end it’s only the books that matter.”

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Competing on Harry’s Turf

Is it foolhardy for any publisher to compete head-to-head with the juggernaut that is HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS? Well, according to the Bookseller, Serpent’s Tail has no plans to get out of J.K. Rowling‘s way when it releases an adult-oriented “anti-Hogwarts” novel at the same time as the final Harry Potter at midnight on July 19th. Danny King‘s SCHOOL FOR SCUMBAGS takes place in a boarding school, but instead of learning magic, boys learn thievery. “It’s Harry Potter on crack,” the publisher said. Inspiration for the midnight launch will be taken from the book and is being kept “under wraps”. “The subscription won’t be as big, but we expect to outsell HP7 by Christmas,” said publisher Pete Ayrton, using a very liberal definition of “outsell”, I suppose.

In other Potter-related news, Bloomsbury has rebutted reports that HP7 will be delivered in containers fastened with steel chains, and remains tight-lipped over the company’s security plans. “Of course we’ll clamp down, we always do, [but] it’s just too sensitive to talk about,” said project manager Sarah Beal. And for those with a poetic bent, check out Abebooks.com’s Harry Potter Poetry Contest, giving entrants a chance to win an exclusive bookshelf constructed from Harry Potter books.

Lionel Shriver’s Hard Choices

Sarah Lyall at the New York Times sits down with Lionel Shriver in her South London home as reviews pour in for the Orange Prize winner’s latest novel, THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD. And even if the literary world doesn’t quite know what to make of Shriver – who grabbed headlines with her declaration that she did want to win the prize – Shriver makes no excuses or apologies. “I’m as capable as anyone of manipulative self-deprecation,” she said. “It’s obviously a ploy, but I don’t think it’s an obligation. I do think I have the reputation increasingly as someone who is insufferably arrogant. I don’t want to be.”

Nor did she want to remain obscure, as her first six novels were published but didn’t sell well (things might be a different story as Serpent’s Tail, her UK publisher, prepares to republish some of her backlist titles.) The new book – which is, to my mind, brilliant – explores the parallel tracks of a woman choosing between two different men, a scenario Shriver drew from her own life. “There was more than one moment that I could have gone either way,” she said about leaving a longtime partner to marry jazz drummer Jeff Williams. “I know what it’s like to be on the knife edge and to have this inkling that whichever way you go it’s going to have huge implications.”

The same goes for her writing career, no matter how hard it got. “I find it more narratively appealing than instant success. I paid my dues. I did not write a novel at 21 and it sells a million copies and everybody thinks I’m brilliant and I’m on TV. That did not happen to me. I’m glad. Looking back I didn’t feel glad all those years. But if I was going to pick my own story, I might have picked this one.”

Profile Acquires Serpent’s Tail

In a statement available on the Serpent’s Tail website today, the company announced that they will join forces with Profile Books, bringing together two of the most distinctive, highly regarded and fiercely independent small publishers in London.

Andrew Franklin, managing director of Profile Books, said Serpent’s Tail has “one of the great international lists of the world and taking it on is both thrilling and daunting. We are very excited to be publishing fiction – and of such exceptional quality but we are only doing this because Pete [Ayrton] is staying on and will continue editing and publishing his authors exactly as before.” Ayrton added that the merger “guarantees that Serpent’s Tail remains within the independent sector. It also means I can devote myself to publishing and editing – a dream come true. 20 years is long enough to be on your own.”