Gerald Durrell and Vita Sackville-West for a new generation Bello, Pan Macmillan's new digital imprint, launches today

Today, Friday 16 December, Pan Macmillan publishes the first twenty titles from its new digital imprint Bello, reviving 20th century classics for a 21st century audience. All launch books are drawn from the prestigious backlist of the Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency. Featured in the launch e-book list are 10 titles by one of the country’s best-loved naturalists, Gerald Durrell, whose stories about his globetrotting adventures with animals have enchanted generations of children and adults. Amongst the titles are much-loved favourites such as Beasts in my Belfry, Catch Me a Colobus and The Drunken Forest as well as Ark on the Move, which inspired a television series which was broadcast around the world and brought Durrell’s pioneering rescue and breeding programmes with the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust to international attention.

Also in the launch list are five titles by poet, novelist and gardener, Vita Sackville-West. 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the author’s death, and sees Macmillan’s Bello imprint revive her critically-acclaimed first novel, Heritage; two novellas, Seducers in Ecuador and The Heir; a novel, Family History, a wonderful evocation of the complexity of 1930s high society mores and values; and The Eagle and The Dove, a biography, long regarded as a classic, of Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

A crime novel from behind the Iron Curtain by Andrew Garve, Murder in Moscow is also available in ebook format from today, along with three novels from the prolific writer (and wife of CP Snow), Pamela Hansford Johnson (the centenary of whose birth is 2012), and Madensky Square, a rare novel for adults from children’s author, Eva Ibbotson.

Lee Durrell, Gerald Durrell’s widow and Honorary Director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, says:

”I am utterly delighted at this development. Everybody has been asking me when Gerry’s backlist is going digital, and it’s great that this is now happening.”

Sara Lloyd at Pan Macmillan says:

“It’s a pleasure to be able to republish some great writers of earlier generations and to introduce them to modern audiences in 21st century style.”

The publication of these titles in ebook format is against the backdrop of a massive expansion in the market for ebooks. Pan Macmillan expects their ebook sales to have more than tripled in 2011 compared to 2010.

Bello has been launched in partnership with Curtis Brown, one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious literary agencies. The imprint is designed to bring long out of print books by iconic authors to a new readership in the 21st century, and more than 500 more titles will be made available in ebook format during the next twelve months.

Bello will also make all titles available in Print on Demand (POD) editions.

Forthcoming titles to be published in the Bello imprint next year include books by Francis Durbridge, author of classic detective fiction; novelist and critic D J Taylor, who featured on this year’s Man Booker Prize long list; and a revival of the fiction of Gillian Tindall, now acclaimed for her miniaturist histories.