Award-winning independent publisher UCLan Publishing signs deal with TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham
Innovative independent children’s publisher UCLan Publishing is the new UK children’s publisher of Chris Packham, TV presenter and naturalist. Packham is best known for presenting Springwatch, Blue Planet Live, and also for the ground-breaking programme reflecting on his own condition, Asperger’s and Me.
In a deal concluded with David Foster of David Foster Management, UCLan Publishing has acquired worldwide rights to a five book deal. Exact details about the books are under tight wraps but we can reveal that the first few books will be highly illustrated, funny and feature Chris’s beloved dogs. The first in the series is scheduled for publication in 2021.
UCLan Publishing, operating out of the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, is the only publishing house in the world involving students at every stage of the publishing process. Whilst the publisher is run by Debbie Williams (Director) and Hazel Holmes (Publisher), UCLan Publishing empowers students to “learn on the job” with students in BA Publishing and MA Publishing based within the company and working on producing books as part of their course. Students enjoy first-hand experience of negotiating with buyers, conceiving and running innovative high-level events to leverage sales and running a content creation business enterprise. In the words of the Independent Publishing Award judges, “there’s a distinct difference to UCLan’s approach—a disruptive spirit and an infectious enthusiasm.”
With that disruptive spirit to the fore, Chris is keen for the students on the MA Publishing at UCLan to be heavily involved in the publication of his books. He will be working with them on a children’s book module starting this September.
Packham said – “I am very excited about working with UCLan Publishing. Their innovative approach along with the fact that they are a not for profit independent publisher, working with students, is something I really believe in. I am so glad that the books I originally wrote for my family have found a good home with people who are as passionate about the project as I am.”
Debbie Williams, Director of UCLan Publishing said “I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Chris and that he really believes in what we’re trying to achieve with the course. I have always been a fan of Chris’s work both on and off the screen, so this is a real career highlight for me. We are on the hunt for the right illustrator right now and we can’t wait to get started.”
ABOUT UCLAN PUBLISHING:
UCLan Publishing, operating out of the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, is the ONLY publishing house in the world involving students in every part of the publishing process. Whilst the publisher is run by Debbie Williams (Director) and Hazel Holmes (Publisher), UCLan Publishing empowers students to “learn on the job” with students in BA Publishing and MA Publishing based within the company and working on producing books as part of their course. Students enjoy first-hand experience of negotiating with buyers, conceiving and running innovative high-level events to leverage sales and running a content creation business enterprise. UCLan Publishing is also the only independent children’s specialist publisher in the north of England.
With Debbie Williams as Director and Hazel Holmes as Publisher, UCLan Publishing has quickly established itself with an innovative approach to publishing. Debbie Williams says, “To the outside world we are the same as any other publisher. We compete against the biggest publishers and work with a full spectrum of talent ranging from debuts, such as Rose Edwards, to high-profile names like A J Hartley, Chris Packham and Jane Johnson. The students are fully immersed in the publishing projects. They help to edit, typeset, design, market and sell our books, and gain assessment credit for their work. They essentially undertake an apprenticeship in publishing when they join us.” This makes UCLan Publishing one of the most exciting new publishers in the children’s field.
UCLan Publishing loves to partner with unusual people and is currently working on books with NASA, the British Interplanetary Society and MaaChild amongst other organisations. UCLan also runs festivals, prizes and events. It set up the first Northern Young Adult Literary Festival, which is Arts Council funded and sees thousands of youngsters, bestselling authors and publishers come together in Preston. UCLan also established the first STEAM Prize for children’s books. The aim of the prize is to highlight the importance of STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts, maths) and praise the publishing industry and authors for championing them. By providing children with engaging, fun, and exciting literature, they’ll hopefully be inspired to take an interest in STEAM further into their education.
In 2018, UCLan Publishing won the Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts.
In May 2019, UCLan Publishing won the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award at the Independent Publishing Awards.