HarperCollins Christian Publishing announced Monday it is stepping up its reach into the U.K. Christian market with a new London-based imprint, Harper Inspire, which will release its first five books this June.
The focus will be on publishing new inspirational fiction and nonfiction from U.K. authors. Inspire will also manage classic titles from the Marshall Pickering imprint, previously housed within Zondervan and HarperUK, which is being absorbed in the new imprint.
Rose Sandy, who will lead as Harper Inspire’s affiliate publisher, told PW Monday that although the U.K. is a very secular market, there is a growing evangelical audience and a wide interest for crossover books. The goal, she said, is to offer books to a global audience with “insight, impact, and imagination for all ages. I see this as, in a way, the church writing for the unchurched.”
For the launch this summer, Inspire purchased rights to author and TV producer Wendy Alec’s self-published Chronicles of Brothers series, which has sold nearly one million copies worldwide, said Sandy. On June 28, timed to a TV mini-series in the works in the U.K., Inspire will release: The Fall of Lucifer; Messiah—The First Judgement; Son of Perdition; A Pale Horse and the fifth book, Alec's newest in her epic series End of Days, for which the title has not been released. The books are part of an ongoing saga of a dark angel out to corrupt humanity.
Sandy called Alec "an exciting author with legions of fans and retailers calling for her books. She can transcend both the Christian and mainstream audiences with her contemporary suspense style.”
Later in 2018, Inspire will release one of several titles by author Adrian Plass from the Marshall Pickering backlist. Publishing of the novel Silver Birches will be timed to a film version to be released in the U.K. and the U.S., once the movie premiere date is set, Sandy said.
David Moberg, senior vice president and group publisher at HarperCollins Christian Publishing, said Harper Inspire will draw on U.K.-based authors who seek to leave "life-changing impressions on readers. That’s our job as publishers and I look forward to Inspire’s launch.”