The U.K. lifestyle publisher, whose imprint is housed at Hodder & Stoughton, talked to us about coloring books for adults, when the paleo diet will have its moment across the pond and what she believes is the 'holy grail' of self-help books.
Your imprint specializes in lifestyle books. What are Brits interested in, in this category, right now?
Healthy eating, and this idea of taking your health into your own hands is big right now. I’ve had huge success with Deliciously Ella [a gluten-free cookbook] and Grain Brain [David Perlmutter's U.S.-published book about carbs' effect on the brain] here in the U.K., for instance. Coloring books for adults is another big trend. That craze started in France last year. Coloring is a way of focusing the mind in a relaxed way, and finding a state of flow; it’s also very enjoyable and creative. I launched my list, which offers ‘books to help you live a good life’ just over a year ago, and it’s exciting, because it feels like just the right moment for books of this nature. It’s as though people are waking up to the idea that there are practical things they can do to enhance their lives and heal their bodies.
Any titles on your new list that you're particularly excited about?
Yoga Girl, which comes out in July. Rachel Brathen, aka Yoga Girl, has an immense online following and offers an aspirational, yet achievable, window on yoga practice. She also delivers some profound life lessons in her book. She is coming to the U.K. to promote the book, and host a yoga event or two, which is really exciting. When colleagues (and other authors) start asking if they can come to an author’s events months in advance, you know you’re on to a good thing.
What are some unique advantages, and challenges, of publishing lifestyle books?
We are able to be nimble and respond quickly to trends, which can be incredibly rewarding. It can also be challenging at times, in terms of production schedules. But it’s very gratifying when you can get a book that people need, and want, out fast. In terms of marketing, we are focusing on building an engaged community online with our social media, and using our authors to help grow that community. In January, we held an online festival to grow our following and our mailing list for our fortnightly newsletter, which was brilliant. The authors were so engaged and keen to get involved, it felt like Yellow Kite was the place to be for anyone writing or interested in this area.
Any specific type of book you're looking for that you just haven't found yet?
I was thrilled to publish Rachel Kelly’s memoir of overcoming depression and the power of poetry, Black Rainbow, last year, and I'm interested in doing more memoirs like this. I have just published The Whole 30 [a cookbook and health guide by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig that was recently published in the States by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt] here in the U.K.; I do think paleo has yet to have its moment here, so that’s an interesting area. I am wondering where coloring books will go next. Lastly, I'm always on the lookout for books with a long tail. This can happen in my area, and really is the holy grail for self-help books in particular.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated the original territory Deliciously Ella was published in. It is the U.K., not the U.S.