Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hard Case’s Titanic Move

After the discouraging news in August that the Hard Case Crime line of quality crime-fiction paperbacks had been orphaned amid a change of direction by Dorchester Publishing, the following press release from Hard Case editor Charles Ardai should be greeted with relief:
We’ve got some big news to announce today: After a year’s hiatus, Hard Case Crime will be returning to bookstores with new titles in 2011, thanks to a deal we just signed with UK-based Titan Publishing.

Titan is a publisher both of fiction and of gorgeous art books focusing on pop culture such as movie poster art, pin-ups, newspaper comic strips, and Golden Age comic books, and has worked with filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, and George Lucas. Titan has been around for 30 years, has more than 200 employees, and in addition to publishing books also has a magazine division, a retail division (Titan owns the famous Forbidden Planet bookstore in London, and until recently co-owned the Murder One mystery bookstore with Maxim Jakubowski), and a merchandise division that produces items such as T-shirts, sculptures, and accessories. We look forward to exploring ways we might develop some cool Hard Case Crime products with them!

But first things first: books.

Hard Case Crime will relaunch in September/October 2011 with four new books, including
Choke Hold, by Christa Faust (sequel to her Edgar Award-nominated Money Shot), Quarry’s Ex, by Max Allan Collins (the latest in the popular series of hit man novels by the author of Road to Perdition), and two never-before-published novels by MWA [Mystery Writers of America] Grand Masters (names to be announced shortly).

Additionally, Titan Publishing plans to acquire all existing stock of Hard Case Crime’s backlist from Dorchester Publishing and to resume shipping these titles to booksellers immediately.

New books will be published in paperback (possibly some in hardcover as well!); e-book editions will also be released across multiple platforms. Titan is distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Random House.

We’re very excited about working with Titan (indeed, we had offers from five publishers and chose Titan over several that were much larger and better-known)--they love pulp fiction as much as we do and appreciate that in books like ours the visual dimension is just as important as the storytelling. It’s hard to imagine a better home for Hard Case Crime.
It’s good to see Hard Case land firmly on its feet. I look forward to reading more of its hard-boiled-classic reprints and original paperbacks.

One final note: James Reasoner reports that Hard Case’s companion line of Gabriel Hunt adventure novels “will remain at Dorchester for now, with plans to reissue the series in trade paperback editions.”

POSTSCRIPT: I sent an e-note this morning to editor Ardai, asking whether this arrangement with Titan would make it possible to release Hard Case titles simultaneously in the United States and Britain. His response: “There will no doubt be some authors who only sell us North American rights (for instance, if there’s already a UK edition of their book available), but in all cases where we get world rights, I expect the books will be simultaneously distributed in Britain. It’s one advantage of working with a UK-based publisher.”

READ MORE:Good News from Charles Ardai at Hard Case Crime” (Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine); “Hard Case Crime to Return in 2011 Through Titan Partnership,” by John Kenyon (Things I’d Rather Be Doing).


Dan Fleming said...

This is fantastic news. I've been a member of the Hard Case book club for years (since #20 or so) and my mailbox has felt empty since they stopped arriving on a monthly basis. Next September will be a long wait, but well worth it.

Naomi Johnson said...

This is news we can all welcome.

Anonymous said...

Nov. '10 - Dorchester is continuing to ship books to Hard Case Crime Club members - but they're not Hard Case Crime books! Watch your mailboxes. There's a new "Hard Boiled" Club that members have been "grandfathered" into... I suspect this is their way of ditching Leisure imprint backstock. Call/ write and quit the club or these gems will keep coming to your mailbox (and you'll keep getting charged)...