In moves that add scale and diversify its business, Red Wheel/Weiser has acquired Career Press and hired former Shambhala Publications publisher Peter Turner as associate publisher. The purchase includes Career’s New Page Books imprint and brings over 800 titles to Red Wheel.
“This is a major acquisition for us, increasing our publishing program by nearly 50%,” said Michael Kerber, president and CEO of Red Wheel/Weiser, in a statement.
Red Wheel has focused largely on the mind/body/spirit areas, while Career Press, founded in 1985 by Ron Fry, specializes in a range of business books. Among its top-selling titles is The Essential HR Handbook by Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell, and the forthcoming 1,001 Ways to Engage Employees is by Dr. Bob Nelson, whose books have sold over 5 million copies worldwide.
Career’s New Page Books imprint was founded in 1999 as a general nonfiction imprint and specializes in health, self-help, and new age topics. While New Page’s list fits well with Red Wheel’s existing titles, Kerber said, Career’s business books bring a new dimension to Red Wheel’s offerings, adding not only a new category but new customers as well.
To accommodate the Career list, Career Press employees Laurie Kelly-Pye and Michael Pye will be joining Red Wheel as sales director for national accounts and associate publisher of Career Press, respectively. After a transition period through the end of the year, Career Press and New Page titles will be fulfilled by Red Wheel/Weiser beginning in January 2018.
Red Wheel’s purchase of Career Press, which will be completed November 1, was accompanied by the announcement that it has hired Peter Turner as associate publisher. Turner will be launching a new, as yet unnamed imprint, which will publish books on meditation, the practical application of the teachings of the Buddha, and the perennial philosophies of the world’s wisdom traditions, Kerber said. In addition to running his own imprint, Kerber said Turner’s “primary responsibilities will be to focus on our Weiser, Conari, and Disinformation imprints, but he has such extensive experience in all areas of publishing that I’m looking to him to help us expand upon what and how we publish.”
The acquisition and the appointment of Turner also led to several promotions at Red Wheel: Gregory Brandenburgh has been appointed v-p in addition to his current roles as director of subsidiary rights and associate publisher of Hampton Roads; Bonni Hamilton, currently director of marketing and digital content, has been appointed executive director for business development; and Angela Martinez, director of finance and administration, has also been given a v-p title.
“All of these moves—the Career Press/New Page acquisition, the hiring of Peter and the promotions of Greg, Bonni, and Angie—put Red Wheel in a dynamic position as we navigate this transformative period in publishing,” Kerber said. “I believe that the company we are today will be very different from the one will be in five years.”