Next month Little, Brown Book Group launches a brand new website, The Crime Vault, which will be home to the very best in crime fiction ebooks. We spoke to Jade Chandler, commissioning editor for crime and thrillers at Sphere, Little, Brown Book Group to find out what it’s all about.
The ebook market has exploded in the UK this year. It’s a changing world out there. Is this why you decided to create TheCrimeVault.com?
In a word, yes! We’ve been so encouraged by the way the crime-reading community has taken to reading ebooks that we wanted to offer them a one-stop site to provide a huge range of content that’s only one click away from appearing on their ereaders.
Tell us more about TheCrimeVault.com – what is it exactly?
It’s essentially a website that offers a broad range of crime and thriller titles, from well-known bestsellers to authors that we love, but who have not previously been published in the UK. Our personal experience of shopping for ebooks online has sometimes left us frustrated as we try to find out the exact order that a crime series runs in, or to discover new authors with recommendations that we wholeheartedly trust, so one of our main aims for the site was to make the browsing experience not only easy, but a pleasure.
The Little, Brown office is packed with genuine crime fiction fans, so we want to harness this enthusiasm by giving weekly personal recommendations of titles that we are reading and enjoying. Our aim is to bring excellent books that you may not have heard of – be they old or new releases – to the reader’s attention. We’d also love to hear from readers, via our Twitter feed, when they’ve read an ebook of ours that they’ve really enjoyed – this recommendation thing is a two way street.
What do you think makes TheCrimeVault.com different?
It’s all about the range of ebooks on the site – from hot new writers to perennial classics. There are new releases from our number one bestselling authors like Mark Billingham, Val McDermid and Patricia Cornwell, but there is also a range of ebook exclusive titles that we love. These authors may have many fans in the US or Canada, for example, and our aim is to give them the chance to shine here, as well.
Is it just a list of ebooks then, or is there more for the crime fan?
Not at all, The Crime Vault is run by a passionate group of crime fans – after all, we all work in publishing because we love reading and bringing exciting new books to readers – and we want to grow this as a community. We will be offering exclusive content, pieces written by high-profile authors like Mark Billingham, for example, as well as videos and competitions and an easy way of connecting with other crime readers through Twitter, which we are big fans of.
Why is Little, Brown Book Group the right publisher to bring us TheCrimeVault.com?
Well, obviously we’re a bit biased but we think we’ve got a great group of people here! A combination of passion, experience and enthusiasm for the crime genre makes us strong and the key to everything we do is teamwork. We want to share books that we love with readers and to open up a dedicated channel of communication for this genre so that we can hear from them as well.
Our crime list showcases such a broad range of authors that there really is something for everyone. Whether you want to read a gritty British police procedural, a high-octane American thriller, some gripping psychological suspense, or a true crime book about the history of serial killing, we’ve got something for you.
Some of the exciting titles that will be available through The Crime Vault
Have you made acquired any exciting new authors for TheCrimeVault.com?
We have indeed. Amongst others, we’re very excited to be publishing the ‘Queen of Danish Crime Fiction’, Sara Blaedel, a must for fans of The Killing; US author Charles Finch, whose Victorian mysteries feature gentleman sleuth Lenox; multiple award-winning Canadian author Bryan Gruley as well as C.J Lyons, whose book Blind Faith became a bestselling New York Times ebook phenomenon.
Does TheCrimeVault.com give you as a publisher any new opportunities to bring relative unknown voices to readers?
Yes, absolutely. Before The Crime Vault was even a twinkle in our eye we were already commissioning a great range of crime in translation from countries as diverse as Italy, Denmark, France and Japan – there are so many talented writers around the world that we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding who to add to our list next. The Crime Vault is the perfect place for readers to discover these authors from all over the world.
OK, so do you have any highlights for December?
Yes, we do. We’ll be highlighting four titles every month with a mix of big names and new voices that will be available at special introductory prices. For December our top reads are: A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch, Freak by Jennifer Hiller, Blue Blood by Sara Blaedel and The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell. Our aim is to provide a range of highlights each month so there’s something suitable for everyone.
We have to ask you, why The Crime Vault? Where did the name come from?
We wanted to convey the idea that the site is full of valuable treasure – you can think of each ebook that appears in the vault as a specially selected gold quality read!
Lastly – when do you go live!?
December 1st, with sneak samplers and previews in the run-up for those who sign up to our newsletter. Sign up at www.thecrimevault.com and you also have the chance to win a shiny new ereader – the perfect way to unlock the Vault and get reading! Keep an eye on @TheCrimeVault on Twitter for updates.