Being touted as the next Ian Rankin has its privileges

I’m far from the only one to hear some of the buzz about Scottish crime novelist Lin Anderson, whose first three novels featuring forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod were published by Luath Press. But thanks to the efforts of her agent, Jenny Brown, Anderson’s books will be published as mass market paperback originals by Hodder & Stoughton — with three more books to follow:

The deal was secured by Hodder and Stoughton senior editor, Suzie

Dooré, who recently joined the publishing house to boost its crime

fiction division. The company moved in after Luath Press’ three-book

contract with Ms Anderson expired, securing UK and Commonwealth rights.

It is likely to print at least four times the number of copies,

potentially running into the hundreds of thousands if the English

readership takes off.

She said: “We were familiar with the three back list titles.

“She is a great writer with fantastic potential, and we had a

section of the new book, Dark Flight, which really blew everybody away.

“There is no reason why a Scottish writer can’t be sold everywhere.

Look at Ian Rankin. It is really good that she has a strong base of

sale to build on, and we hope to sell her strongly in Scotland but also

elsewhere. We have high hopes for her.”

The folks at Luath were no fools, either:

Gavin McDougall, director of Luath Press, said: “We are delighted

for Lin, and delighted that we have been able to incubate her as a

writer as far as getting her established. We have kept the overseas


“We deliberately held back from doing a mass-market paperback in

anticipation of this. We have to be realistic and say from Lin’s point

of view this is fantastic for her.”

Although Anderson’s books have done pretty well internationally, with sales to Russia, Sweden, France and Germany (who set up a bidding war for the books at Frankfurt last year) to the best of my knowledge there haven’t been any takers by a US publisher. Whether this will happen now, of course, remains to be seen…