HAVING ACQUIRED FORMER MI5 chief Stella Rimington for the fourth novel in her Liz Carlyle series - following three previous bestsellers published by Random House - Quercus is planning to re-position her to appeal to a more female readership when it publishes Dead Line in October with a striking female image on the jacket. It is the latest example of a publisher seeking to boost its market for a particular author by altering the jacket and overall packaging. Little, Brown is currently planning to reposition Nora Roberts to make her appeal to a broader audience, following research which showed that her readers weren't happy with her being solely billed as romance.
“Women are heavy readers of crime novels, and we believe there is an untapped market for women buying thrillers,” says Quercus Sales Director David Murphy. “Stella's novels have a strong female character, but we believe women readers may have been put off by the masculine look of her previous books.” Rimington's editor at Quercus, Jane Wood, adds: “Random House did a brilliant job with Stella, but as the first woman Director General of MI5 with great appeal herself to women as a role model, and writing about a strong female heroine, she should have strong appeal to women who like to read thrillers.” There will also be a filmed interview with Rimington for David Freeman's Meet the Author website to be shot in the apartment of Quercus Chairman Anthony Cheetham, once owned by Sir Winston Churchill.
The challenge for Quercus is to reach a new female readership without alienating the core male market for thriller fiction.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
The Quercus approach to Stella Rimington
From Publishing News: