From the Bookseller
Independent publisher Robert Hale Ltd is to “withdraw from
publishing” after nearly 80 years, with 10 people from the business made
redundant. However, Robert Hale's lists and imprints - NAG Press, J A
Allen and Buried River Press - have been acquired by fellow independent
publisher The Crowood Press in Wiltshire.
Robert Hale Ltd ceased trading as a publisher on Tuesday (1st
December), but will remain in business for the "immediate future" as it
begins the process of calculating royalties and closing the company, it
said. The company’s chairman, John Hale, said he intends to retire and
realise the family’s assets next spring. The decision has resulted in 10
redundancies so far and when the entire company is "formally wound up"
next spring, there will be four more people made redundant.
Gill Jackson, managing director of Robert Hale, told The Bookseller:
“It is a sad time, but we are delighted that our lists, including our
forthcoming titles… have been acquired by The Crowood Press. It is hoped
that our authors will be as happy with Crowood as we like to feel they
were with us. Certainly we have enjoyed the pleasure and privilege of
being associated with so many wonderful writers.”
Founded in 1936 by Robert Hale, the company, based in Clerkenwell
Green in London, published fiction and non-fiction and specialised in
general hardback fiction, mind, body and spirit, biography and practical
reference titles. Robert Hale's J A Allen imprint published books about
horse riding and equestrianism and its NAG Press imprint published
books about jewellery, precious metals, horology and gemmology.
Robert Hale published authors including Berthold Brecht, Robert
Goddard, Harold Robins, Robert Block, Wendy Perriam, E.V. Thompson and
Author Gary Martin Dobbs, whose Jack Martin western novels were published by Robert Hale, said in a blog post:
"Hale had been in the book business since 1936 and are the only UK
print publisher with a Western line... The UK's government's austerity
policies have seen a large number of public libraries closing in recent
years. Hale's Western line was largely aimed at the library market so
this was a bitter blow. Add to this the upheaval to traditional
publishing caused by the digital revolution, and it is a difficult
market within which to do business."
Robert Hale's Design and Production Manager, Catherine
Williams, told The Bookseller:
"It is sad indeed that Robert Hale has ceased trading. I've had seven
very happy years working for the company and will always be grateful for
the opportunities to develop my design and production skills across a
wide range of titles. I wish every success to The Crowood Press in
continuing the imprints."
John Dennis, chairman of Crowood, said that he was "honoured" to have
the Robert Hale imprints on the Crowood list. He added that
distribution would pass to Grantham Book Services from 1st December 2015
and all orders thereafter should be transmitted to them.