The following e-mail message was recently sent to Ashgate Literary authors. It was forwarded to me by an Ashgate author and I am posting it for those who have not yet seen it. Though it offers little new information, it clarifies one rumor: whatever the future holds, and whoever is working there, Ashgate will now operate out of offices in New York (US) and Milton Park (UK).
Dear Ashgate Author,
Firstly, please allow me to introduce myself as a Senior Editor for the Literature list at Routledge. Please excuse the form nature of this email, but I wanted to be sure to communicate to everyone on Ashgate’s impressive Literary Studies list before the holidays.
As you know, we acquired Ashgate publishing in July of this year. Following the initial announcement about the acquisition, we have been in a period of transition which is now coming to an end, so I am writing to you to let you know of our post-acquisition plans for the list, and also to reassure you that your book(s) and the Ashgate lists are in good hands.
We are delighted with the recent acquisition of the Ashgate business. The lists are well-aligned with our Routledge Humanities/Socials Sciences portfolios, and we are confident that the Ashgate books will have an excellent future with us.
I am sure you were working with various folks at Ashgate on your books, and as a result of the acquisition, some of those key contacts will be changing. Any such acquisition, however smoothly handed, creates disruption, both for the authors and the editors involved. Most notably, we have offices in both the UK and US already, and so as part of the acquisition, it was necessary for us to relocate the Ashgate business to our own premises (in New York in the US, and Milton Park in the UK). I would like to reassure you that all Ashgate editors were given the option to come and work for us, with the option for home working, and indeed, all those staff who did express an interest are now working for us. Ultimately some Ashgate staff chose not to take up these options.
The changes brought about by the acquisition do not mean that we will cease to publish in any areas. The business is in a period of transition, and where necessary, we are in the process of recruiting new staff to ensure the lists in question do not suffer. We bought the Ashgate business because we want to expand our publishing program in these areas, so you can rest assured that we are committed to publishing the Ashgate frontlist, and to continuing the good momentum of the lists and series.
Now that things are finally somewhat settled down, we will be redoubling this focus on publishing and on taking the lists forward. We have plans to expand the excellent portfolios developed by Ashgate, publishing, and we are actively seeking new book proposals and series ideas.
Shortly, I will be out of the office for the rest of the year due to the approaching holidays, but I look forward to working with you and will be in contact.