The newly launched, Brooklyn-based crime and mystery fiction publisher, Syndicate Books, has announced a distribution agreement with independent publishing house Soho Press. Through the deal, select print and digital titles from Syndicate will be distributed under the imprint name, Soho Syndicate, via Soho Press’s pre-existing relationship with Random House Publishers Services.
Syndicate publisher, and sole staffer, Paul Oliver, also happens to be the director of marketing and Publicity for Soho Press, and has no plans to leave Soho with the incorporation of his new micro-publisher.
With an initial focus on crime fiction and mysteries--Oliver is kicking around ideas about other genres--the goal of Syndicate is, he said, to “republish, or in some cases publish for the first time, books that will have some sort of ‘wow’ factor for readers and writers alike.”
The new house’s first release is the late Ted Lewis’s Get Carter, due out in September. The book has been adapted to film three times, most famously by Mike Hodges in 1971, with Michael Caine as the protagonist, Jack Carter; the Syndicate edition will include a special foreword by Hodges. The two other Lewis novels featuring Jack Carter will also publish this fall—Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon (which has never before been published in North America) and Jack Carter’s Law (which has been out of print for nearly 40 years). The rest of Lewis’s novels will be published digitally.
Oliver, former co-owner of the now-shuttered Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia, said the idea for Syndicate traces back to his bookselling days. “Before handling new books we focused on used, rare, and out of print books,” he recalled. “Over the years a lot of the latter passed through the store and it's something that stuck with me.” Oliver was struck by the idea that “works of merit might rest among these ‘lost’ books,” and began to seek out out-of-print and previously unpublished titles. “I have a lot of those books kicking around in my head,” he said. “And Syndicate is the result.”
Bronwen Hruska, Oliver’s boss and publisher at Soho, was intrigued by the idea of Syndicate’s publishing program, and “the business relationship grew from there.”
Syndicate will issue lead titles in print and digital via the Soho Syndicate distribution agreement and the also issue digital only properties via the usual online vendors. “The nice thing about the partnership with Soho is that we can put into print any of these titles should the need or desire arise,” said Oliver. “It's fluid and capable of quickly adapting to needs.”
Oliver hopes to announce another set of properties in the coming months, all while balancing both his role at Soho and tending to Syndicate as a burgeoning press. “It's a lot,” he said. “But I love the books and at the end of the day that's what it's about. That and being from a long line of workaholics.”