Thursday, January 11, 2018

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Penguin Random House announced Tuesday it has purchased the trade-book publishing assets of Rodale Books from Hearst -- the new owners of Rodale -- and will "take over the publication of its frontlist and backlist titles effective immediately." Longtime distributor for Rodale Books Macmillan will continue to sell and distribute the titles for the time being. PRH spokesperson Claire von Schilling tells us, "It is the expectation that we will transition to PRH platforms in the first half of the year, on a timeline that ensures that we can take care of the authors and the books as seamlessly as we can." The acquisition comprises over 100 frontlist titles and 2,000 backlist titles. A source tells the WSJ that Rodale Books was generating $20 million to $25 million in annual sales, so the sale price was likely equal to that range or less.

Rodale's adult nonfiction titles become an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group's illustrated and lifestyle division, and will be run by editorial director of Harmony Books Diana Baroni. Rodale Kids, which debuted in fall 2017, will become part of Random House Children's Books, run by publisher of the Random House Books for Young Readers Group Mallory Loehr. In other words, no current Rodale Books staff were named as continuing to have supervisory roles at PRH. The "asset purchase" means the new owners acquired the publishing assets of the division, but "the Rodale Books employees remain employees of Hearst." Von Schilling indicates to us that "during an interim period, Rodale Books' current staff members will assist with the transition." Beyond that, "We are committed to ensuring that Rodale's books and authors are fully supported and are evaluating the resources required to ensure the program's long-term success." The NY Post's
sources said that Rodale Books has about 20 staff members.

Hearst Magazines president David Carey
acknowledged, as was expected, that "we were not the natural owner of the book business, which deserves to be part of a global book-publishing powerhouse." The sale to PRH was essentially simultaneous with the closing of Hearst's acquisition of Rodale, which was announced internally January 2.

Markus Dohle, CEO, Penguin Random House, said in the announcement: "With our acquisition of Rodale Books and its impressive frontlist and backlist, we continue to grow the Penguin Random House portfolio of award-winning and bestselling titles."

Sarah Murphy will join Flatiron Books as senior editor on January 26. Previously she was an editor at Harper Wave.

Amber Hoover has joined Perseus Books as director of subsidiary rights. Previously she was foreign rights manager at Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Allegra Green has joined Macmillan Children's as associate marketing manager. She was most recently assistant manager of brand and licensed marketing at Little, Brown Children's. In addition, Morgan Rath has joined as associate publicist. Previously she was an assistant publicist at BookSparks.

Maria Whelan has joined Dutton as a senior publicist. She was previously a publicist at Other Press.

Heather Duncan will
become executive director for the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association on January 22. She has been vice president of the board and was elected to take over as president before stepping down to take the staff position. Duncan has been working at the Tattered Cover, most recently as director of marketing and events.

Vicky Williams has been promoted to ceo of Emerald Publishing, and Richard Bevan moves up to executive chairman of the parent company Emerald Group as founder Keith Howard steps down as chairman after 50 years.


Eight Cousins books in Cape Cod is closed indefinitely due to severe water damage, the third bookstore in recent days to experience flooding after the recent winter storms and deep freezes. Greenlight Bookstore's Prospect Lefferts Gardens location re-opened on January 5 after a pipe burst in the space above the bookshop, while Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC suffered from more minor damage when a pipe burst in a nearby luxury apartment complex.

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