Four months after completing its purchase of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's trade division, HMH Books & Media, HarperCollins is merging HMH into its business. The moves include some imprint mergers, the creation of a new imprint and the loss of some jobs, but overall "increased focus and investment, with the majority of acquiring editors remaining in place," the company said.
Among the changes:
HarperCollins will launch a new, as yet unnamed, lifestyle imprint, led by Deb Brody, v-p and editorial director, who will report to Liate Stehlik, president and publisher, the Morrow Group. Brody and her staff will continue to grow existing brands such as How to Cook Everything, Martha Stewart, Whole30, and Betty Crocker, in addition to acquiring new titles in the cooking, wellness and lifestyle categories.
The North American J.R.R. Tolkien publishing program will now be published under the William Morrow imprint in partnership with HarperCollins's other English-language divisions around the world.
Mariner Books and HarperCollins's Custom House list will merge under the Mariner name. V-p and editorial director Peter Hubbard will lead the combined imprint, reporting to Stehlik. The new Mariner Books will house the majority of the HMH backlist, including classics by George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Rachel Carson, Tim O'Brien, and the Best American series. Mariner's publishing program will unite HMH and Custom House's nonfiction and fiction with a focus on books of lasting quality.
Mary Wilcox, v-p and publishing director, will lead the newly formed Clarion Group, comprised of the Clarion and Versify imprints. Clarion will remain the home of all HMH and Clarion frontlist and backlist children's books, including modern classics such as The Giver by Lois Lowry, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park and the Little Blue Truck series. Wilcox, who will report to Suzanne Murphy, president and publisher, HarperCollins Children's Books, will also oversee the continued growth of the Versify imprint, for which a new imprint head will be hired. Graphic novels previously published under Etch will now be published and co-branded with Clarion under HarperAlley, HarperCollins Children's Books's imprint of graphic novels for kids and teens.
HMH Productions has been rebranded HarperCollins Productions and will include all children's IP for the company.
Ed Spade will become senior v-p, online sales, and will oversee digital sales and marketing, Internet retail sales and analytics, reporting to Josh Marwell, president of sales.
The HMH Books & Media sales structure and process will remain in place for customers through the end of the year, at which time they will switch to HarperCollins following an integration of HMH Books & Media and HarperCollins sales.
Members of the design, marketing, publicity, production/creative operations and other support departments will be integrated into the existing HarperCollins departments, but the company acknowledged that "some employees will be leaving HarperCollins."
Brian Murray, president and CEO of HarperCollins, said, "I want to thank everyone involved in this transition for their professionalism and support over the last few months. We wish all our departing colleagues the best in their new chapters."
He added, "We are excited to continue investing in the authors, illustrators, and publishing programs that have joined HarperCollins through our acquisition of the HMH Books & Media group and look forward to our future together."