9th October 2013, HarperCollins was thrilled to announce its new imprint The Borough Press which will be adopting a mission “to publish exciting and intelligent fiction with a broad appeal, bringing stand-out writing to a wide readership.”
Katie Espiner leads this new imprint, with her high skill set within online publishing and ebooks, that will give The Borough Press a high ground in the shifting sands in the present publishing world – it will bring the best writing to the widest possible audience. That widest possible audience will be found through social media and encouraged interactivity with stories.
The Borough Press was named by Espiner
to reflect both the spirit of the imprint and its new location (Southwark) – proud of a rich and varied past, whilst concerned with a thriving present and a bright future.
It may just be that we are at the beginning of the road that publishers will journey toward understanding and using digital within publishing. From the ongoing debates at Frankfurt Book Fair it still seems that publishers know they have to improve and develop their usage of digital within publishing, but no one quite knows what to do with it.
This new digital age is being treated like a Pandora’s box. Everyone is just a little to scared to really push the limits of a story – afraid to lose its true essence admist new ideas. However, echoing the words of Kate Wilson and Kate Espiner publishing stands on shifting sands at the moment, one thing that remains constant is readers’ desire for excellent storytelling.
Storytelling will always be the key. It is something we all need to get our heads around if digital publishing is ever going to reach its full potential.
The Borough Press launches in January 2014 where it will, hopefully with success, really show off the values of digital publishing. In doing so, they can create an identity around authors which will come to represent a hallmark of quality for readers.
The imprint is also set to publish some of HarperFiction’s largest names including Lionel Shriver and Tracey Chavalier. It is also set to call itself home to The Austen Project; a re-imagination of Austen’s six novels with a new perspective shown through six contemporary authors.
The Borough Press does not explicitly state itself as a pioneer of digital publishing, nor does it outright mention digital publishing at all. Yet to reach the largest audience possible requires more than just twiddling thumbs as customers walk in and out of the bookshops. This could be the pioneering imprint that interacts with it’s readers like never before. Hopefully, with a new image and with Espiner leading the way, the Borough Press will lead the way to to generate unique interactivity with stories and messages, beyond the conventional book, to reach a wider and varied audience. Certainly an imprint to keep an eye on.