Oneworld Publications is officially introducing at BEA a new digital imprint that literally creates a buzz: Oneworld Expresso—the British publisher’s short story imprint. It has just launched with 21 short stories by such authors as Joanne Harris, Alaisdair Gray, A.L. Kennedy, and Toby Litt.
Juliet Mabey, Oneworld’s cofounding publisher, says, “Short stories and novellas have traditionally been difficult to publish and sell effectively. But with the proliferation of new platforms for e-reading, we’re keen to publish a variety of short-form fiction for smartphones, e-readers, and tablets.”
It’s a natural progression for Oneworld, which was founded in Oxford, England, more than 25 years ago to publish nonfiction titles. In 2009, Oneworld expanded into fiction and is building its list from 10 novels each year to 20. Oneworld, which has offices in London and Manhattan, publishes approximately 60 titles each year. Moving into fiction, Mabey explains, was done to “build at the intersection of the literary and the commercial” a list of “strong narratives and emotionally engaging stories.”
By all accounts, Oneworld didn’t waste any time to achieve its goal: A Cupboard Full of Coats (2011), Yvette Edwards’s debut novel, was longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize and for the 2012 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Oneworld has high hopes as well for its 2013 list, which includes two debut novels set on either side of the Atlantic: Magnificent Joe by James Wheatley (Apr.), set in an English mining village, and What the River Washed Away by Muriel Mharie Macleod (Aug.), set in Louisiana during the Jim Crow era. Magnificent Joe has just been selected for B&N’s Discover Great New Writing program; booksellers who can’t wait to get their hands on either title can run, not walk, to booth 1233.