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Book Biz Gets a Bounce

BOOK STACK

Earlier today we mentioned some good news from the online publishing front (well, okay, Facebook) in terms of new operations and subsequent hirings. Now it’s old media’s turn. A Publishers Weekly bulletin just announced a new imprint for the venerable house of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. After serving extremely capably at FSG for the past three decades, most recently as the publisher and editorial director at FSG Books for Young Readers, Margaret Ferguson will be heading an eponymous imprint beginning next year.

According to PW, Ferguson’s imprint will “publish approximately 15 titles per year, across all age ranges and formats.” This is excellent to hear for Ferguson naturally but also provides a welcome boost of confidence for an industry that is more than ever in search of just that.

Additionally that number–15–suggests perhaps publishers are getting wise to the formula that’s worked so well for Jonathan Karp and his own imprint at Hachette Book Group, Twelve, which, as the name indicates, puts out a dozen new titles a year. As Karp says in this piece, focusing on such a manageable number of titles every year allows him to give each one the attention it deserves, and that also pays off nicely for the bottom line. Of Twelve’s first 30 books, 15 of them landed on The New York Times‘ best-seller list. That’s an unheard of success ratio for a business that is forever trying to solve the riddle of what makes a hit.

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