January 31 – February 7, 2008 Edition

Penguin Canada

Refocuses Fiction Unit,

Enters Custom Publishing

CANADA/1/29/08–Penguin Group Canada has restructured its editorial department to sharpen its focus in literary and commercial fiction and to expand into custom publishing. President David Davidar announced last week that Barbara Berson, long-time editorial head, is leaving the company, and that Penguin is now actively recruiting a commissioning editor specifically for commercial fiction, including crime, thrillers, romance, fantasy and historical novels.

Executive Editor Nicole Winstanley will cover fiction, taking Berson’s authors and also covering children’s publishing. Editorial Director Diane Turbide will now focus on non-fiction, and Editorial Director Andrea Magyar will be developing a custom publishing list. “Our companies round the world have [custom programs] as part of their publishing,” said President and Publisher David Davidar, “They do it very effectively, and I haven’t seen it done to a similar degree here.”

Earlier this year, Penguin announced that Raincoat Books will close its publishing unit following the spring 2008 season, despite record growth over the past three years. "The company is building on this momentum, looking for new areas to publish into," company spokesperson Katie Wolsley told Authorlink. "This is definitely not a downsizing, but an editorial restructuring," she said.