Monday, November 01, 2010

Duckworth Academic teams up with Bloomsbury

Today Peter Mayer, MD of Gerald Duckworth & Company Ltd, and Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing, announced the sale of the Duckworth Academic list to Bloomsbury. Integral to the sale, the Duckworth Trade list will be sold by Bloomsbury in the UK and all overseas markets from March 1, 2011. Duckworth remains independent.

Duckworth Academic will operate henceforth as Bristol Classical Press, taking effect immediately. Duckworth’s Academic list has long been known for its strong publishing centered on books about the ancient world. This new arrangement will allow Bloomsbury Academic to build on its inherent strength alongside the company’s worldwide strategy in other academic disciplines.

Mayer comments, ‘After seven years of growth at Duckworth, our Trade list now matches in size the traditionally strong Academic list. Bloomsbury is the perfect home for the Duckworth Academic list. This sale gives Bloomsbury Academic the ability to build that side of Bloomsbury’s business but the important thing for us is that it gives Duckworth a much broader infrastructural sales context within which to continue to build the Trade list, working closely as well with our US sister company, The Overlook Press.

‘To that end, we have recently appointed Jon Jackson, previously of Osprey and before that Weidenfeld, as Editorial Director of the Duckworth Trade list and Ben Slight, coming from a position as a Waterstone’s regional manager, as Duckworth Sales Coordinator, both working with Publicity Manager Suzannah Rich.’

Nigel Newton, Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing said ‘Bringing such a distinguished academic list into Bloomsbury Academic is an important stepping stone in the development of our publishing in this area. We are also delighted to be representing the Duckworth Trade list, one which I have long admired, in the UK and overseas markets.’

Mayer adds ‘The Duckworth name is one of the oldest and most famous in British publishing. It has grown from what had become a small base in 2003 by nearly five times since then. Working together with Overlook in the US, with a strong staff and the support and facilities of Bloomsbury in the UK and abroad, this growth looks set to continue.

‘We have sought to develop a structure for our two parts and we found it with Bloomsbury. The new structure looks to a future in which both parts of the present Duckworth can prosper in different ways. On the General side we aim to fulfil the promise of the historic Duckworth Trade list, a trade publisher since its founding by Gerald Duckworth in 1898. It continues as independent as ever.

‘Two Duckworth stalwarts, Deborah Blake and Ray Davies, will be joining Bloomsbury Academic and, based on long years of service, I can truly say that they have both been the soul of our publishing. Even in the time of Colin Haycraft, when Duckworth embarked on Academic publishing, Deborah, as Editorial Director of the Academic list, helped form it. She finally came to be virtually the Academic list’s embodiment. Also that in the first very difficult years after Overlook and Duckworth became associated, she and Ray, our Production Director, were the sturdiest of linchpins connecting the past with the present.

‘I believe Academic publishing, like many editorial areas, needs a larger environment today in which to prosper. I really have no doubts that both the creative and economic sides of the Duckworth Academic list will prosper within Bloomsbury Academic, with its ever-broader stance.

‘With the recent appointments, and with additional funds now available for the further expansion of Duckworth as a trade publisher, I think there is much optimism.’

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