Avid Reader Press, a new fiction and nonfiction imprint at Simon Schuster to be overseen by current SS editors Jofie Ferrari-Adler and Ben Loehnen, is set to unveil its first list in late 2019 or early 2020. To launch the new imprint, which will slot in alongside the the Big Five house’s other adult imprints, Ferrari-Adler and Loehnen are leaving their posts at the publisher’s flagship imprint. At Avid, Ferrari-Adler will be v-p and publisher, and Loehnen will be v-p and editor-in-chief.
Drawing its name from the title of the memoir by former SS editor-in-chief Robert Gottlieb, the new line drew out of a sense of communion between its two executives. Jon Karp, president of SS adult publishing, said the pair started working at SS on the same day in 2010 and “since then have shared a thin wall between adjoining offices. They have also come to share a publishing sensibility that they will now devote to this new venture.”
Among the notable books Ferrari-Adler has edited are The Library Book by Susan Orlean, The TB12 Method by Tom Brady, Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict, Hothouse by Boris Kachka, and Rust by Jonathan Waldman. Loehnen’s list at SS has included, among others, Magic and Loss by Virginia Heffernan, It’s All Relative by A.J. Jacobs, The Internationalists by Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro, Razzle Dazzle by Michael Riedel, and Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins.
Elaborating on what the industry can expect from Avid Reader, SS said the imprint will pay “especially vigorous attention to marketing and publicity, and collaboration with authors and agents.” While Ferrari-Adler and Loehnen will both be acquiring books, SS expects the duo to hire one other senior editor who will, it said, “specialize in fiction, while also building a dedicated staff across editorial, publicity, and marketing.”
Karp said his hope is that Avid Reader will go down as one of the publishing house’s “notable spin-offs,” referring presumably to its roots from inside the flagship SS imprint, “just as PayPal was spun off from eBay, or Rhoda was spun off from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Ferrari-Adler and Loehnen, for their part, said in a joint statement that “the most rewarding publishing” features three traits: “great books, published with intense focus, in true partnership. We want to put together a small band of cheerful literary warriors who publish every book with avidity.”