A new imprint has been born.
One committed to creating a diverse list that will include traditional tales as well as new stories and, cheeringly, a strong emphasis on poetry.
The guest list at last night’s launch, held at the October Gallery in Holborn, included a host of poets and illustrators, alongside a mix of authors, agents and reviewers that spoke volumes for the high standing and reputation already enjoyed by Janet Otter-Barry courtesy of her previous publishing experience (notably with Frances Lincoln).
She told the assembled guests that the idea of setting up a company had come to her as far back as 1988. “I remember suggesting to my then fiancée David Ross, now my husband, how about we set up a publishing company together. For some reason he wasn’t keen!”
She feels that having acquired better market knowledge and experience, NOW is at last the right time to do this, “to set up Otter-Barry Books as a new independent children’s publisher.”
“We all know that children’s books have proved amazingly resilient to challenges from other media, and I do passionately believe that children’s books are here to stay and will never be taken over by digital media whether it’s apps or ebooks. Families do love beautiful books and they love sharing physical books. And schools love books too. So do libraries.”
ACHUKA is delighted that the new list will be championing poetry.
“I was very clear from the start that I wanted to include poetry on my list, and my colleagues have fully supported that and have shared my enthusiasm. Children love poetry, we know that. We also have so many fantastic poets in the UK who are brilliant at performing and workshopping poetry. We need to get more poetry out there, more poets into schools and festivals, more poetry into bookshops.”
Three cheers for that!
Otter-Barry recognises that hers is a small company right now, publishing about 12 hardbacks per year plus 2 to 4 poetry titles. “But we will grow,” she promises.
Guests at the launch event were shown the first six picture books already published (on 5 May).
Mother and daughter partnership Joyce and Polly Dunbar’s I Will Not Wear Pink.
Nandana Sen’s Kangaroo Kisses.
Nicola Colton’s illustrations for James Carter’s Zim Zam Zoom
Karin Littlewood’s IMMI
Princess and the Castle
Jackie Morris’s The Seal Children with a fabulous new cover treatment
Otter-Barry has two poetry titles coming in August: Dinosaurs and Dinner Ladies from debut poet John Dougherty and the beautiful Adder Bluebell Lobster from the award-winning poet Chrissie Gittins
Slideshow (sometimes needs clicking to kickstart)