Wednesday, January 13, 2016

No Longer A Group, Berkley Joins Putnam and Dutton

Publishers Lunch

On the anniversary of the first big wave of realignments in Penguin's adult publishing divisions, president Madeline McIntosh announced to staff the next phase. After merging the Berkley and NAL mass-market lines last June into the Berkley Publishing Group "to refine their genre fiction mass-market-original lists and shift their focus towards cross-format publishing," McIntosh writes, "today we are taking another major step: Berkley now will be joined together with Putnam and Dutton under unified management." (In the previous consolidation, NAL became the non-fiction group, with Berkley Books as the fiction imprint._

McIntosh explains further from an operational and strategic perspective: "As we face contracting shelf space for mass market paperbacks and ever-more-intense digital competition, this publishing team's unified approach will be able to better align back-end support functions and processes. Doing so will allow them to maximize their investments in new book acquisitions and in marketing development--and to achieve their constant mission to ensure ever-larger readership for our authors."

As part of the realignment, president of the Berkley Publishing Group Leslie Gelbman will leave the company at the end of the month. (Berkley publisher Kara Welsh moves within the company next week over to Ballantine Bantam Dell, announced in December.) McIntosh writes, "Leslie's contributions to this company since joining Putnam Berkley nearly 27 years ago are legendary and indelible. She has been responsible for discovering, developing, and in many cases personally editing many of the most successful authors in contemporary fiction. She has hired and mentored an entire generation of editorial talent, and her keen and critical eye and deep dedication to nurturing writing talent will long resonate with authors and agents alike." Thirty-seven year veteran Rick Nayer, vp, associate publisher, is also leaving "with the Berkley managing and production editorial departments now more integrated with the rest of the group, and with the copy department moving to marketing."

More broadly, McIntosh writes, "It has become a truism to refer to change as the new normal, but adjusting to new leadership, structures and ways of doing business is not often easy, and it is never easy to say goodbye to longstanding colleagues. I am tremendously grateful for the myriad ways you have found to adapt and thrive throughout the past few years of change we’ve experienced inside Penguin, Penguin Random House, and in our market."

Berkley will join with Putnam and Dutton under the management of Ivan Held, with "more closely integrated" managing editorial, production editorial, and production. Each unit keeps separate editorial, marketing and publicity departments and "Berkley will remain committed to publishing in mass market paperback, as well as in other formats, while continuing to refine the size of the list in order to ensure optimum results per title." Berkley editor-in-chief Claire Zion and Celebra publisher Raymond Garcia will report to Held. Deputy publisher Christine Ball expands her responsibilities, with Berkley executive director, publicity Craig Burke and director, marketing Jeanne-Marie Hudson reporting to her. (More shifts are noted in PL Deluxe.)

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