Two subsidiaries of Hachette Livre have teamed up to bring Hachette Book Group’s Basic Books imprint to the U.K. Hachette UK’s John Murray Press division has formed Basic Books UK, which will be overseen by Nick Davies, managing director of John Murray.
According to HBG, Davies and a still-to-be named commissioning editor will work with Basic Books’ American publisher Lara Heimert and her New York team to acquire eight to 12 titles annually. The U.K. imprint will stick to Basic’s traditional strengths in such nonfiction categories as history, science, and economics.
“I’ve long hoped to extend the Basic imprint into the United Kingdom, and I’m thrilled that we’re able to achieve that goal in partnership with John Murray,” said Heimert in a statement. “I am excited to see Nick and his publishing team bring the quality of the Basic Books list to more readers in the UK and around the world. And I’m excited for the many new writers who Nick and his team will bring into Basic’s orbit.”
The first title to be published simultaneously in North America and the U.K. will be The AI Disruption by Martin Ford, which was acquired by Davies in collaboration with T.J. Kelleher, v-p and associate publisher of Basic Books in New York. Ford’s previous book, The Rise of the Robots, was a bestseller in the U.S., and was named Financial Times Business Book of the Year in 2015. The AI Disruption will be released in spring 2021.
Two other titles have also been jointly acquired with the U.S. office for the newly established U.K. list: A World Without Stars by Roberto Trotta and Scorched Earth by Paul Thomas Chamberlin.
Davies said that while John Murray has worked with Basic Books in the past, the new partnership “marks an exciting new chapter in our relationship.”