Despite all the talk about ebooks , self-publishing, and the death of print, there is always one brave soul who launches a new press or imprint. In 2005 Claiborne Hancock, who formerly edited mysteries for the now-defunct Carroll & Graft, started Pegasus Books and devoted himself to publishing an eclectic mix of history, biography, literary fiction, and noir thrillers. Among Hancock’s early discoveries were British thriller author Martyn Waites and Swedish crime fiction novelist Camilla Läckberg, who also happens to be the sixth best-selling writer in Europe (behind Stieg Larsson but ahead of Henning Mankell).
Now the April 27 publication of Lackberg’s The Preacher (the sequel to her acclaimed The Ice Princess) marks the debut of Pegasus Crime, a new imprint that will focus on publishing crime fiction, mysteries, police procedurals, espionage thrillers, and paranormal suspense. Hancock explained that the idea came about in a strategy meeting with Pegasus’s distributor, Norton, when Norton’s director of sales Bill Rusin suggested putting Pegasus suspense titles under one banner.
“We plan to publish 12 novels per season, both in hardcover and trade paperback,” said Hancock. ” We will publish some mysteries in translation, like Call Me Princess by Sara Blaedel (whose first five novels sold a combined five million copies in Denmark), and Silence by Jan Costin Wagner, who is considered the Henning Mankell of Finland. We’ll also do traditional mysteries (Holmes pastiches, etc.) and gritty, urban English crime novels.” Norton will continue to distribute Pegasus’s print books, while Open Road Integrated Media will handle its ebook editions.