Curious Fox is a new imprint for young readers of all ages. As the company celebrates its first birthday, we asked what’s been going on in the Fox’s den.
Curious Fox MD, Miles Stevens-Hoare explains, ‘At Curious Fox we are always asking questions. What if this? Why is that? Mostly what if. What if that character ran away? What if we ask our readers to help write the story? What if tea-drinking were illegal? We’re all about what if’s – it’s our raison d’être.
It was this question that inspired us to launch Curious Fox just a year ago. Our sister imprint, Raintree, has been running as a successful educational list for years, but what if, we asked ourselves, we used our expertise and customer feedback to create a fiction list for curious young minds? And so Curious Fox was born.
In our first year we’ve launched 32 titles, including five series, five challenging YA books, and six debut authors. We’ve also been busy with some really good campaigns to support the books and spread the word, which have been ambitious, innovative and flexible.
So as we celebrate our first birthday, here are some of our favourite moments from the past twelve months, and some things that we’re really looking forward to in our second year:
An ambitious and innovative ‘Lipstick Library’ national tour in our first spring marked the launch of Luisa Plaja’s Diary of a Mall Girl, and comprised eight evening events in libraries, ten school events, as well as a partnership with Bliss magazine and Westfield shopping centre to give three lucky competition winners a day’s experience of being a ‘mall girl’ themselves.
Then there was ‘Zed day’, to mark the launch of The Soterion Mission, set up in with help of the wonderful Stewart Ross. Zed day was packed with school events and a launch party at Waterstone’s Margaret Street, which was the shop’s best ever events day.
Thinking beyond the book is really important, too – so when we published Amber, by Julie Sykes, last autumn, the jewellery theme in the book seemed a great opportunity to work with Basingstoke College of Technology, where budding jewellery design students made stunning pieces of jewellery inspired by the book.
Or there’s the partnership with Wood Green, the Animals Charity, which benefits from a donation for every copy we sell of Half My Facebook Friends Are Ferrets, the debut author by J A Buckle. Which means that buying a Curious Fox book can help a fox in real life (and a ferret!).
Signing up Alex As Well, which we’re due to publish this coming spring, is a bold and ambitious commitment to a groundbreaking book that we really believe in – we’re bringing the author Alyssa over from Australia for a tour to mark the launch, which takes in two national literary festivals, a blogger event, a librarian event, media interviews, and bookshop meet ‘n’ greets. We think it’s a book that you’ll be hearing a lot more about in the coming months.
As well as outwardly promoting our books we’ve also looked inwards, to make sure we’re looking after our authors as best we can. We strive to make our authors feel they are part of our family, that each of us in the fox’s den in Oxford are championing their books, that we care about their writing, their lives and their careers long term.
And as we celebrate our first birthday, we are very aware that we wouldn’t be in the exciting position we find ourselves without support from so many wonderful people – our warmest thanks to everyone who has bought, reviewed or supported a Curious Fox book. We’re talking about you, librarians, parents, teachers, booksellers, bloggers, critics, and, of course, the curious young minds of our readers.
What excitement have we got in store for our second year? If we were babbling and crawling last year, our newborn year, this year we’ll be firmly stood on two feet, cruising along the bookshelves. We’ve got some amazing crossover novels coming, some unmissable series, and we’re also venturing in to new territory by publishing for younger readers with favourite characters, favourite stories, and some really remarkable books without words.
I leave you with the most important question of all…what does the fox say? This fox says thank you, see
you soon and keep reading.’