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How HarperCollins Will Integrate HMH Trade
By Jim Milliot | Sep 14, 2021
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About four months after completing its acquisition of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media, HarperCollins has announced its integration plans for the former HMH divisions.
The new organization will place the adult properties in the William Morrow group under Liate Stehlik, Morrow president and publisher, while the two children’s imprints and HMH Productions, now officially rebranded HarperCollins Productions and responsible for all of children’s IP, will become part of HarperCollins Children’s Books and be under the purview of president and publisher Suzanne Murphy. HC said the "majority" of acquiring editors at the imprints will remain in place, though the publisher confirmed the integration involved "some" layoffs, but did not comment on how many people were cut or who was let go.
Courtesy HC
Liate Stehlik and Deb Brody
On the adult side, HC will launch a new, as-yet-unnamed lifestyle imprint led by Deb Brody, formerly v-p and publisher for HMH Adult Trade and currently v-p and editorial director at Morrow. Brody, who had worked at Morrow before moving to HMH, will continue to oversee such existing brands as How to Cook Everything, Martha Stewart, Whole30, and Betty Crocker, in addition to acquiring new titles in the cooking, wellness, and lifestyle categories. She will report to Stehlik.
Mariner Books, once HMH’s trade paperback publisher of literary fiction and nonfiction, will merge with HC’s existing Custom House list under the Mariner banner. Peter Hubbard, who was named Custom House v-p and editorial director in January 2020, will lead the combined imprint, and will report to Stehlik. The new Mariner Books will house the majority of the HMH backlist, including its classics by George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Rachel Carson, and the Best American series. The Custom House name will be phased out.
Stehlik will oversee the North American Tolkien publishing program in partnership with HC’s other English language divisions around the world.
The former HMH Books for Young Readers division, which had been headed by senior v-p and publisher Cat Onder, has been restructured as the Clarion Group. It will comprise the Clarion and Versify imprints and be led by Mary Wilcox, v-p and publishing director, who will report to Murphy. Clarion will remain the home of all of HMH and Clarion’s frontlist and backlist children’s books, including such bestsellers as The Giver by Lois Lowry, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, and the Little Blue Truck series.
While Wilcox will oversee the Versify imprint, HC said a new imprint head will also be hired. Graphic novels previously published under HMH’s Etch line will now be published and cobranded with Clarion under HarperAlley, HC’s graphic novels for kids and teens.
Caroline Fraser will continue to oversee HC Productions, and will look to develop properties from the full HarperCollins Children’s catalog.
Ed Spade, who took over as head of HMH trade following the departure of Ellen Archer last November, has been named to the newly created position of senior v-p of online sales. He will report to Josh Marwell, head of sales.
In terms of support and sales units, HC said “members of the design, marketing, publicity, production/creative operations, and other support departments will be integrated into the existing HarperCollins teams in order to best support authors and titles with the broadest possible resources.” Meanwhile, the HMH Books & Media sales structure, HC said, will "remain in place for customers through the end of the calendar year at which time they will transition to HarperCollins following an integration of HMH Books & Media and HarperCollins sales functions.”
“I want to thank everyone involved in this transition for their professionalism and support over the last few months,” HC CEO Brian Murray said in a statement. “We wish all our departing colleagues the best in their new chapters."
A version of this article appeared in the 09/20/2021 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline:
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