Penguin Random House has acquired the literary-themed clothing and accessories company Out of Print. Founded in New York in 2010, Out of Print creates licensed merchandise based on books for children, teens and adults, including T-shirts, socks, mugs, tote bags, matchboxes and more. The company also contributes to literacy programs and book donations for every product sold.
For Penguin Random House, the acquisition is part of an effort to expand its author- and imprint-brand merchandising capabilities. Out of Print will continue to operate independently and remain in its headquarters in Manhattan, while company founders Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc will now report to Alison Rich, v-p, publishing innovation development at PRH.
"Working hand-in-hand with Penguin Random House is a tremendous opportunity for all our partners, and for our fans, globally to express their passion for their favorite reading," said Lawton and LeBlanc in a press release. "We cannot be more excited to start writing the next chapter in the Out of Print story."
"With their forward-thinking entrepreneurship, joyful collaborative spirit, and shared social values, [Out of Print] will be enthusiastically welcomed as new members of the Penguin Random House family," said Nina von Moltke, executive v-p and director of publishing development and author platforms.
"Much in the way that music stars, sports figures and other entertainers have T-shirts and other apparel and collectibles to connect with their fans in a commemorative way, Out of Print has been doing that with books and authors," PRH spokesperson Stuart Applebaum told the Wall Street Journal. "It's a revenue stream for our authors, illustrators and for us. It's also a way to further connect with readers and fans while building additional recognition for our books."
Out of Print offers many products featuring PRH books and authors, including Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale; George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm; Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita; Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis; Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude; William Golding's Lord of the Flies; Ian Fleming's Casino Royale, Live and Let Die and Moonraker; Louisa May Alcott's Little Women; Ransom Riggs's Miss Peregrine Series; and the recently launched Pelican Shakespeare collection.