Bloomsbury to raise books from the dead

Steve Dinneen
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HARRY Potter publisher Bloomsbury says it will bring out-of-print titles “back from the dead” through a new digital-only imprint.

The publisher will focus on books whose English-language rights have reverted back to the author or the author’s estate.

Digital sales currently account for around 10 per cent of Bloomsbury’s turnover, with the publisher expecting this to grow to 50 per cent by 2015.

The announcement is another indication of the growing influence of ebooks, which looks set to continue their meteoric rise in light of the release yesterday of Amazon’s new tablet computer.

The venture – called Bloomsbury Reader – has already signed up authors including politicians Alan Clark and Ted Heath, crime writer HRF Keating and Monica Dickens, great grand-daughter of Charles.

The new venture, however, will also allow customers to order “print-on-demand” titles for around £13 – a significant premium on the £7 charged for ebooks. Bloomsbury’s digital offering will receive a kick start when Harry Potter author JK Rowling launches the Pottermore website, through which she will sell her books based on the boy-wizard.

Stephanie Duncan, digital media director at Bloomsbury Publishing, said: “If people read a book by an author, they suddenly want to read more and that’s where this can fit in.”