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M&S launches non-fiction imprint with new Margaret Atwood title

McClelland & Stewart has long been associated with some of Canada’s leading fiction authors. In an effort to shore up its reputation as a publisher of timely non-fiction, the company announced today the creation of a new non-fiction imprint, known as Signal, that will debut this fall with new titles from Margaret Atwood, Christopher Hitchens, and Munk School of Global Affairs director Janice Gross Stein.

In a press release, the new imprint is described as being “dedicated to the power of ideas and original thinking.” It will publish Canadian and international authors, and focus on topics including politics, religion, culture, history, business, and the environment.

Set to appear in October, Atwood’s In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination collects three unpublished lectures detailing her lifelong relationship with science fiction, as well as previously published reviews and essays. Signal’s inaugural season will be rounded out by: Diplomacy in the Digital Age, edited by Janice Gross Stein; Arguably: Selected Essays by Christopher Hitchens; Damned Nations: Greed, Guns and Aid by Samantha Nutt; and The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival by Hirsh Goodman.

Future Signal authors include Alain de Botton, Ezra Levant, Ronald Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski, Chris Anderson, Mel Hurtig, Conrad Black, and others.

M&S president and publisher Doug Pepper said in a press release, Our goal with Signal is to publish creative, daring, and intellectually significant works of non-fiction that stir the pot and raise our awareness of the most important issues of the day. As book publishing changes, so must publishers, and with the creation of this new imprint we are establishing a platform to not only publish great books but to extend their reach through digital- and event-based marketing.

As part of its digital marketing strategy to promote the imprint, M&S has launched SignalBooks.tv, an interactive companion website the company says is “designed to spark debate and continue the engagement with these authors and other critical thinkers.”

In recent months, M&S has ramped up its commitment to non-fiction. Last month, M&S hired former Key Porter Books publisher Jordan Fenn to helm a hockey-themed imprint. In August, M&S announced it had retained New York-based editor Philip Rappaport to acquire and edit non-fiction titles on behalf of the company.