Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Introducing Pantera Press’ millennial imprint

Sydney-based publisher Pantera Press recently launched a new imprint called Lost the Plot that is aimed at the next generation of readers. Founders Martin Green and Alison Green spoke to Think Australian:

What makes Pantera and Lost the Plot unique?

Pantera Press was created to invest in Australian writing culture by finding and nurturing the next generation of both readers and writers. As a social purpose business, Pantera Press aims to find wonderful Australian authors who will appeal to a global audience, using the revenue to not only reinvest in new authors and development programs for the wider writing community, but also partner with charities and not-for-profits to help close the literacy gap in Australia and encourage a joy of reading.

Lost the Plot is an imprint of Pantera Press, and an evolution of the philosophy of Pantera Press. Lost the Plot is aimed at the next generation of readers. It is a list of stimulating, entertaining and inspiring content aimed to excite the next generation of readers and leaders. This millennial list is very visual, partnering with established and up-and-coming artists and designers to pair beautiful imagery with up-to-the-minute information. We’re trying to get ideas out there that can change lives and look damn good doing it. We might save the world.

How many books does Lost the Plot publish—and what kinds of books?

We’ve launched with four titles this Christmas, and are planning to increase the list to 10 next year and 20 the year after that. These are slick, cool and powerful books for the young, hot and hip—tackling the big issues that our generation is facing in an easily digestible format that cuts through the bullshit while being delightful on the eyes. We’re focusing on climate change, mental health and empowerment—but we’re not above going for gross, crude and funny, too.

Have you sold international rights to any Lost the Plot books?

This list very much targets the global millennial demographic, who are not territory specific but who ‘live in the internet’. As such, for English-language markets our approach has very much been around curating consistent marketing messages to audiences who are fuelled by unique perspectives on important, inspiring and exciting topics. To have that control, we’re distributing the books to those markets rather than selling the rights. We do see many of these titles resonating in foreign-language markets, too, so selling their translation rights was a big push for us at Frankfurt this year.

Which titles have been most successful overseas?

We see Space is Cool as Fuck as the most immediately relevant. It’s an amazing and beautiful book, co-written by Kate Howells, a Canadian with ties to the international space community and featuring an interview with American television celebrity scientist Bill Nye, the Science Guy. It’s filled to the brim with information on everything you ever wanted to know about space, like—what are black holes? Or, what the hell is everything made of? The book contains more than 100 original works by 35 young international artists that need to be seen to be believed. Like space itself, this book is everything.

Which title or author on your list do you believe deserves bigger recognition overseas?

The Quit Smoking Colouring Book taps into a real need, in a funny and practical while unique way. Sure, the colouring books craze is not thriving—but this is a great new twist, and is very much content driven with beautiful packaging—large format, bulky with copper foil. It’s the perfect gift for the smoker that just can’t let it go, and at 20 bucks for a huge and lovely book, it is the Christmas bargain of the year.

Have you acquired the rights to publish any international titles in Australia?

We are actively seeking clever, thoughtful, out-there content from international publishers to complement our local list.

What will you publish next (that may appeal to international publishers)?

Our list next year focuses on the big issues that define this generation—climate change, mental health, empowerment and equality, work. We also have a spiritual sequel to Space is Cool as Fuck that will rock coffee tables the world over.


Category: Think Australian newsletter Profile