Focus on Quercus Publishers - profits surge and launch of new imprint

Quercus has nearly matched the £1m digital revenue it made from e-books last year in the first three months of 2011. e-book sales increased 16-fold last year and now account for 3% of Quercus' total sales of £31.8m.

Quercus now plans to make individual chapters and short stories available as e-books. Quercus also wants to publish 225 new titles by 2013, up from 128 currently. C.e o Smith said: “We want to increase the quality of authors and commerciality of our titles."

The publisher is planning to set up websites for its science fiction and horror titles, offering author interviews and discussion forums for fans.

Profits also surged to £7.5m at Quercus last year and the publisher has announced the launch of Heron Books, which will be run by HarperCollins publishing director Susan Watt. She will continue to work at HarperCollins part-time, as she has done from April 2010.

The list will concentrate on fiction and non-fiction. Watt said: "I am so interested in finding original, even quirky, talent in writing every kind of book, storytelling in both non-fiction and fiction—and of course particularly fascinated in finding books that suit the rapidly expanding group of new middle age, who have the time to read as well as the means to buy."

Other imprints include Maclehose Press, and Jo Fletcher Books.