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Orbit down under, cobber

01/06/2006. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Hachette Livre is to launch two new SF and Fantasy imprints in the USA and Australia. Orbit, an imprint of the Little, Brown Book Group (formerly Time Warner Book Group), is a U-based SF and Fantasy imprint, and the firm says that launch of Orbit USA and Orbit Australia will give it a major presence in the three largest English-language markets in the world.

Orbit USA, to be launched by the Hachette Book Group USA, will be incorporated into its Little, Brown division under Publisher Michael Pietsch. Orbit Australia will form part of Hachette Livre Australia.

Orbit USA will be run by Tim Holman, currently Publishing Director of Orbit in the UK, who will be relocating to New York in July. He will also oversee the development of Orbit Australia, where an editor will be appointed to manage the local publishing. Both imprints, expected to launch within the next 12-18 months, will have a significant impact on SF and Fantasy publishing in their respective markets.

Tim Holman will continue as Publishing Director of Orbit UK and teen fiction imprint Atom. Darren Nash (currently Senior Editor) will be promoted to Editorial Director and George Walkley (currently Marketing and Publicity Manager) will be promoted to Business Manager. An additional Orbit UK editor will also be appointed.

Tim Holman, Publishing Director of Orbit and Atom, told SFcrowsnest: 'Many of the challenges facing SF and Fantasy publishers are the same in the UK, USA and Australia - and many SF and Fantasy writers have truly international appeal. The success of Orbit in the UK over recent years would not have been possible if we had not published so many great writers from around the world, so the launch of Orbit USA and Orbit Australia is particularly exciting. This move will, of course, put us in an extremely strong position to offer global English-language publishing opportunities, while aspiring to publishing excellence in each market. I am hugely looking forward to working with new colleagues in both the USA and Australia, and strengthening ties between all of the Hachette Livre SF and Fantasy publishers.'

Ursula Mackenzie, Publisher and CEO of the Little, Brown Book Group, said: 'This a truly exciting development for Orbit that can only result in a considerable strengthening of its presence and reputation in the UK and around the world. While we will all miss Tim Holman on a day to day basis, we are very fortunate to have Darren Nash and George Walkley ready to step up to more responsible positions. Tim will of course continue to oversee his global empire with his usual flair and attention to detail.'

David Young, Chairman and CEO of the Hachette Book Group USA, said: 'Tim has done a wonderful job in making Orbit the dominant SF/Fantasy imprint in the UK and Michael Pietsch and I will look forward to working with him to help Orbit USA have a significant presence in the US market. This genre has a truly global reach and demonstrates the desire of the Hachette Livre companies in the USA, UK and Australia to work together to publish effectively in all their key markets.'

Malcolm Edwards, Managing Director of Hachette Livre Australia, said:
'This is a very exciting development, both for Hachette Livre Australia and for the growing pool of very talented Science Fiction and Fantasy authors in both Australia and New Zealand. It is rare for large publishers to combine, in such a single minded way, to nurture talent, with the express intention of giving authors the very real opportunity of being published globally, and we are very much looking forward to being part of this pioneering approach.'

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