November 9 – November 16, 2006 Edition

Virgin Books’ New

USA Unit to Focus

on New Writers

NEW YORK, NY/ 11/8/06—The UK’s Virgin Books has established new offices in New York and has named Ken Siman, former Penguin/Tarcher vice president, as publisher. The US unit, which aims to discover and nurture new writers, will publish both fiction and nonfiction titles that focus on pop culture.

The UK web site is under construction, presumably to incorporate the new US unit in its online pages. The Virgin Books USA trade website says that the unit will publish health and lifestyle, biography, music, sports, business, film & TV, travel, counterculture, reference and crime. The company also will publish erotic fiction under the imprints Black Lace, Nexus and Cheek. The publisher is also interested in acquiring environmental titles.

Between January and April 2007, the division is releasing seven book titles and plans thereafter to release about 12 titles per season.

Virgin Books is part of a larger umbrella company that owns Virgin Megastores in the UK, which includes the sale of music, CDs, games and other items.

Part of Siman’s job as head of the book unit will be to attract 18 to 30-year-olds to Virgin Books USA and to help promote the parent company’s Virgin brands. Virgin Books USA are distributed by Holtzbrinck Publishers, which also owns St. Martin’s Press. The U.S. division has offices in the same Flatiron building at 175 Fifth Avenue in New York, where St. Martin’s is also headquartered.