Less than a year after it purchased a majority interest in Ontario-based Boston Mills Press, which was headed into bankruptcy with the collapse of its parent, Stoddart Publishing Company, Firefly Books has gotten the 29-year-old publisher back on track.

"We were very pleased to be snatching Boston Mills away from the jaws of bankruptcy," Firefly president and publisher Lionel Koffler told PW. Boston Mills, which specializes in books on trains, aviation, canoeing and Canadian history, stopped publishing new titles with its fall 2001 list. "We paid all the back royalties, more than C$200,000, and we recapitalized and reinvigorated the company. We published all the deferred titles from the spring and fall lists and improved all their specs—better paper and more photographs," Koffler said. Firefly also retained all of Boston Mills's staff, including publisher John Denison, who is now a minority shareholder, and left the editorial offices intact. Firefly is handling all the back-office operations and is distributing Boston Mills books in both the U.S. and Canada.

The spring '03 list has 13 new titles and nearly 40 backlist books. Going forward, Koffler plans to do nine or 10 new books each season, or about 20 a year. "Right now," said Koffler, "we're concentrating on reviving the titles and letting people know they're here." The word is already out on at least one new release. The revised edition of Seth Bramson's Speedway to Sunshine: The Story of the Florida East Coast Railway sold out its 4,000-copy first printing before publication and went back to press for another 4,000. Plans are in the works for a third printing.