Penguin USA Poised to Fill a Growing New Market for Non-Fiction

February 1, 2004
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February 1-15, 2004 Edition

Penguin USA Poised

to Fill a Growing New

Market for Non-Fiction

NEW YORK, NY/2/1/04—The Penguin Group, second largest English-language publisher in the world, seems to be in the midst of reinventing its US affiliate, Penguin Group (USA), with a strong emphasis upon non-fiction lines. The naming last week of yet another new imprint at the U.S. group–the adult hardcover nonfiction imprint called Hudson Street Press—marks the fifth new nonfiction imprint introduced by the house within the past 18 to 24 months. A new children’s line also was been announced last year.

As the latest in a succession of new imprints, Hudson Street Press was founded in May 2003 by publisher Laureen Rowland and will release its first titles in Winter 2005, focusing on non-fiction categories such as narrative nonfiction, memoir, lifestyle, health/diet, women’s issues, popular history, biography, and science.

Ann Godoff’s new imprint, The Penguin Press, officially launched in April 2003 with the unprecedented acquisition of one of the largest and most prestigious lists of award-winning authors at one time—including 13 bestselling critically acclaimed authors for its debut list. The imprint will include an ambitious line of 50 American history books endorsed by a group of 12 prominent historians led by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. A majority of The Penguin Press trade paperback editions being published in 2004 will be overseen by Penguin Books, headed by Kathryn Court as president. Court reports to Susan Petersen Kennedy, president of Penguin Group (USA). Scott Moyers is editor of the history series, which is part of the Penguin History of American Life project..

Gotham Books was launched in August 2002 and published its inaugural list of seven hardcover titles and two trade paperback originals in Winter 2003. The imprint, with William Shinker as founder and publisher, offers a tightly focused list of high-quality commercial non-fiction with occasional fiction titles. The unit expects to turn about 35 titles per year, including 20 hardcovers and trade paperback originals, as well as reprints from its own repertoire.

Adrian Zackheim was hired away from HarperInformation in 2002 to launch two new nonfiction imprints. A business line, Portfolio, was launched at Penguin in September 2002, and a new conservative political imprint, recently named Sentinel, began in April 2003. Sentinel will release about four titles in 2004 and when fully mature, will produce 15 titles annually.

Razorbill, a new children’s imprint, was announced in 2003.

On naming Hudson Street Press, Laureen Rowland said, “Hudson Street, and the area where our offices now stand, boasts a long-standing a commitment to books and writing, as evidenced by the small presses and salons that flourished here in the early to mid-20th century. It is also an area known for individuality and creativity. As such, Hudson Street will endeavor to publish authors who bring a creative new perspective, or a distinctly unique voice, to some of the traditionally successful nonfiction categories, such as narrative nonfiction, memoir, lifestyle, health/diet, women’s issues, popular history, biography, and science. And, of course, I’m proud to build upon the long-established and successful roots that Penguin Group itself has laid here.”

When fully mature, Hudson Street Press will publish 30 hardcover non-fiction titles per year. Plume, one of Penguin Group’s longstanding trade paperback imprints, will publish Hudson Street Press’s titles in trade paperback.

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

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