Ivan Held Named President of G.P. Putnam's

April 1, 2005
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April 1-15, 2005 Edition

Ivan Held

Named President

of G.P. Putnam’s

New York, NY/03/29/05—Ivan Held has been named President of GP Putnam’s Sons, it was announced today by Susan Petersen Kennedy, President of Penguin Group (USA). Mr. Held, who will report directly to Mrs. Kennedy, will begin his new position on April 4, 2005. GP Putnam’s Sons was the number one adult, hardcover imprint in the consumer trade publishing industry in 2004. It led the industry in this category with a record 32 New York Times bestsellers and has been the market leader for over a decade consecutively.

Mr. Held will be responsible for the overall business and publishing operations of the imprint as well as scouting for promising new writers to add to Putnam’s world-renowned list of bestselling authors. His primary focus will be to expand the direction of the publishing program by bringing in and nurturing a new generation of writers in commercial and literary fiction, as well as substantive nonfiction that will complement the existing stable of internationally known talent on Putnam’s list.

In making the announcement, Mrs. Kennedy said, “Ivan is very highly regarded among writers, agents, the media and his colleagues in the industry. I am very happy to welcome Ivan back to Penguin Group (USA). He played a key role in doubling Viking’s gross revenue and growing its number of New York Times bestsellers during his three-year tenure with the company from 1997 to 2000. I continued to admire his successes at other houses after he left Viking and we now have the rare opportunity to work together again. I am very excited to have Ivan joining our ranks again and I am confident that he will successfully manage all the available resources and lead the imprint in new directions that will continue to secure its future growth.”

Mrs. Kennedy continued, “Ivan’s infinite energy, intense drive and unique personal style will complement the publishing talents of the current Putnam team. He will work very closely with the newly established Executive Board of GP Putnam’s Sons, which includes one of the most respected and admired publishing teams in the industry, who have worked together over fifteen years and proven that their combined experience, talent, wisdom and passion is a winning formula for Putnam’s continued success. They are Neil Nyren, Senior Vice President, Publisher; Dan Harvey, Senior Vice President, Publishing Director; Marilyn Ducksworth, Senior Vice President, Associate Publisher and Executive Director of Publicity; and Catharine Lynch, Vice President, Associate Publisher. They will help guide the future publishing strategy of the imprint and contribute new acquisitions to the imprint.”

“Vice President, Executive Editor Christine Pepe, Senior Editor David Highfill and Associate Editor Aimee Taub have done an exceptional job of discovering new talent and each has played a significant role in building impressive lists of repeat bestselling authors who remain at the heart of Putnam’s publishing program. Their contributions will continue to be invaluable to the Group. Vice President, Editor Marian Wood, who is responsible for acquiring and publishing books for her award-winning list, as a part of the GP Putnam’s Sons imprint, will continue to pursue her own editorial interests for her list.”

Mrs. Kennedy added, “Our intent is to continue Putnam’s trademark tradition of advancing authors’ careers and helping authors realize their greatest potential in the market year after year, and to bring in some new editors to add to the widely respected editorial team. We are looking for editors with individual visions who understand the genius of their writers but who also appreciate the broad tastes and desires of the reader. We are looking for fiction that entertains and sometimes transforms, as well as non-fiction that ranges from political to the practical. Publishing houses are only as good as the writers they serve.”

Leslie Gelbman, President of the Mass Market Paperback Division for Penguin Group (USA), said, “We have long enjoyed our relationship with the Putnam team and their powerhouse list of authors. Berkley and Putnam together have created some of the most successful hardcover/paperback joint ventures in the industry. I look forward to working with Ivan to build on our already impressive track record and to offering him new opportunities to join forces, particularly on commercial fiction writers.”

Ivan Held said, “I am pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Susan Petersen Kennedy again, and I am very much looking forward to working alongside the extraordinary Executive Team at Putnam.” Most recently Mr. Held was Vice President and Associate Publisher at Warner Books, where he helped publish numerous #1 bestsellers in 2004 including NIGHT FALL by Nelson DeMille, HOUR GAME by David Baldacci and THE RED HAT SOCIETY(TM): Fun And Friendship After Fifty by Sue Ellen Cooper as well as Jon Stewart’s 2 million copy bestseller AMERICA (The Book). He also helped publish Lolly Winston’s New York Times bestseller GOOD GRIEF and Brad Meltzer’s New York Times bestseller THE ZERO GAME.

Prior to joining Warner Books, Mr. Held was the founding Publisher of Random House Trade Paperbacks, which produced 11 bestsellers and turned a profit in its first year of existence. His work there helped transform an organization with little paperback experience into a multi-format division with a stronger, more profitable backlist orientation. In his dual role as Associate Publisher of the hardcover division, he guided a team of 20+ professionals to a new level of market-oriented focus. Authors included Adam Gopnik, Michael Pollan, Ruth Reichl, Alan Furst, and Tom Brokaw. Books from Random House trade paperback continue to top The New York Times paperback bestseller list.

Before that he was the Marketing Director and (co) Associate Publisher at Viking. He was responsible for planning and orchestrating national marketing and publicity campaigns for Helen Fielding, Melissa Bank, Jan Karon and Terry McMillan, among others. He had joined Viking in 1997, after spending eight years at Random House, where he began his publishing career in publicity and ultimately became Vice President, Director of Publicity at Random House. He helped put dozens of books— including Colin Powell’s MY AMERICAN JOURNEY, MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL and PRIMARY COLORS—on the bestseller list.

Authors Mr. Held has worked with over the course of his career include John Berendt, Colin Powell, E.L. Doctorow, Mario Puzo, Norman Mailer, Anonymous (Joe Klein), James Carville, Jeffrey Toobin, Christopher Buckley, Caleb Carr, Hunter S. Thompson, Stephen Hunter, Alexandra Fuller, Adriana Trigiani, Studs Terkel, Robert Harris, Frank Rich, Billy Collins, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Jim Lehrer, Gerald Posner, Richard Preston, Anna Quindlen, David Remnick, Richard Russo, Carol Burnett, Laurence Schiller, Peter Straub, and Gore Vidal. A native of Western Pennsylvania, Mr. Held holds a B.A. from Georgetown.


GP Putnam’s Sons, a hardcover imprint of Penguin Group (USA), founded in 1838, is one of the oldest and most prestigious imprints in the publishing industry. It led the publishing industry in 2004 with an unprecedented 32 hardcover fiction and nonfiction New York Times bestsellers, more than any other single hardcover imprint in the consumer trade book publishing business, besting its previous year’s single-year record. Putnam has been the hardcover bestseller imprint leader for more than a decade consecutively. Among the distinguished roster of bestselling authors Putnam publishes are Dave Barry, Lilian Jackson Braun, Tom Clancy, Robin Cook, Patricia Cornwell, Catherine Coulter, Clive Cussler, Kaye Gibbons, William Gibson, W.E.B. Griffin, Jack Higgins, Jayne Ann Krentz, Steve Martini, Robert B. Parker, Amanda Quick, J.D. Robb, Nora Roberts, John Sandford, Daniel Silva, Amy Tan, Kurt Vonnegut and Stuart Woods.

In nonfiction, Putnam’s authors include Lance Armstrong, Thomas P.M. Barnett, A. Scott Berg, Maureen Dowd, Linda Ellerbee, Goldie Hawn, T.D. Jakes and Spencer Johnson.

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading US adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, GP Putnam’s Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin Books, The Penguin Press, Philomel, Plume, Puffin, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group ( http://www.penguin.com ) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

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