Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Black Inc. to launch new ‘Redbacks’ series in July

Black Inc. will launch a new series of ‘short books on big issues by prominent Australian writers and thinkers’ in July.

The Redbacks series will launch with Battlers & Billionaires by Federal Labor member of parliament Andrew Leigh and Why We Argue about Climate Change by Eric Knight, author of Reframe: How to Solve the World’s Trickiest Problems (Black Inc.). The third Redback book, to be published in November, will be written by economist Ross Garnaut and will tackle the topic of ‘Australian complacency in the Asian century’.

Black Inc. publisher and Quarterly Essay editor Chris Feik told Books+Publishing that Black Inc. plans to publish between four and six Redbacks titles in 2014. Feik said the books will be between 25,000 and 45,000 words long, and ‘will often be a bit longer than a Quarterly Essay, which gives writers the space to present more detailed arguments’. ‘These are very much short books [with] no correspondence section,’ said Feik of the difference between Redbacks and the Quarterly Essay.

Feik said the name ‘Redback’ comes ‘from the fertile imagination of [Black Inc. director] Morry Schwartz’. ‘It refers to the red spine of the books, but, more importantly, suggests something idiosyncratically Australian, with bite!’

While Feik said Redbacks will ‘publish Australia’s leading thinkers and writers in the tradition of Quarterly Essay’, he said the new series will also have ‘room to launch new, exciting voices’.

‘Given the great success of the Quarterly Essay series, including most recently as an ebook, we saw a need and desire for punchy, accessible, authoritative short books about today’s key issues,’ said Feik. ‘Australia has many brilliant thinkers and writers, and we think this format will appeal to them and to readers. Quarterly Essay comes out only four times a year, and we have more to give. And in today’s media landscape, there is an urgent need for greater diversity of opinion and greater depth.’



Category: Local news