John Murray Press (London) and Basic Books (New York) today announce the opening of a new UK office of the award-winning US non-fiction publisher. Basic Books UK will be an imprint of John Murray Press – Hachette UK’s serious and specialist non-fiction division. The UK imprint will collaborate closely with its US counterpart to publish major new works by influential historians, scientists, mathematicians, economists, psychologists and other leading experts on both sides of the Atlantic. Nick Davies, MD of John Murray Press, will take on the role of Publisher in the UK and will recruit an experienced commissioner to lead the new Basic Books UK list. The commissioner will report to Davies, and collaborate with Lara Heimert, Publisher at Basic Books US, and her editorial colleagues in New York. They will commission around eight to twelve front list titles per year, with additional commissioning coming from existing John Murray editors.
Nick Davies has acquired the first UK title, THE AI DISRUPTION by Martin Ford, in collaboration with TJ Kelleher, VP and Associate Publisher of Basic Books in NY. Ford’s previous book, THE RISE OF THE ROBOTS was a New York Times bestseller and was named Financial Times Business Book of the Year in 2015. This new book explores AI as a uniquely scalable technology poised to deliver a transformation that will rival the impact of electricity. Ford is a leading expert and commentator on artificial intelligence and robotics who, through his ground-breaking work with organisations such as Societe Generale and his relationship with the foremost research scientists in the world, has gained unique insights and predictions on the future of AI. Basic Books will publish simultaneously in North America and UK in Spring 2021.
Two other titles have already been jointly acquired with the US for the newly established UK list: Georgina Laycock, Publisher at John Murray, and Kelleher have acquired A WORLD WITHOUT STARS by Roberto Trotta, which explores our fascination with the night sky and the universe beyond our own planet. Trotta is a celebrated Italian cosmologist and Professor of Astrophysics at Imperial College London. And Joe Zigmond, Editorial Director at John Murray, and Brian Distelberg, Senior Editor at Basic Books, have acquired SCORCHED EARTH a radical, post-colonial history of World War II by Paul Thomas Chamberlin, Professor of History at Columbia University. Nick Davies said of the new list: “It’s a great honour to welcome Basic Books to the UK. We’ve collaborated with the US team for many years now, but this marks an exciting new chapter in our relationship. The Basic list is shot through with quality and gravitas – a tradition that we will be building on with a new generation of British and European talent. It presents a unique opportunity to build a serious non-fiction list with one of the most respected brands in American publishing, and the support of one of the most successful publishing divisions in the UK.”