Perseus Books and Running Press to Merge

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On March 14, Perseus Books Group (PBG) and Running Press announced an agreement to merge the two houses. The result will be one of the largest independent trade book publishing companies in North America. "This merger will bring together two entrepreneurial success stories in the world of publishing," Jack McKeown, CEO of PBG, said in a press release.

The New York City-based PBG, founded in 1997, publishes literary fiction and serious nonfiction, ranging from anthropology to history to music. At present, the company publishes over 500 new titles annually, with an active backlist of 5,000-plus titles.

With the addition of Running Press, PBG will be composed of nine member companies, the others being Da Capo Press; BasicCivitas Books; Counterpoint Press; PublicAffairs; Westview Press; Fisher Books; Perseus Publishing; and Basic Books. Each company maintains editorial and marketing autonomy at the imprint level.

Notable books published by PBG include: Cassada by James Salter (Counterpoint); Vernon Can Read! by Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. (PublicAffairs); Kind of Blue, by Ashley Kahn (Da Capo Press); and Breakfast with Scot, by Michael Downing (Counterpoint Press), a May/June ’01 Book Sense 76 pick.

The 30-year-old Running Press, based in Philadelphia, is one of America’s largest independent publishers, producing approximately 180 titles annually. The company employs 80 people and has almost 800 books in print.

Running Press’s books cover a wide array of subjects, including children’s books, gift books, photo-essays, and cookbooks. Running Press is probably best known for its Miniature Editions series, for inventing the postcard book format, and for the New York Times bestseller I Feel Great and You Will Too by Pat Croce.

Running Press’s Stuart "Buz" Teacher will continue in his role as president and publisher of Running Press and will also join PBG’s board of directors. One of Teacher’s first missions will be to grow Running Press’s children’s book line, since PBG has no presence in that particular market segment, as reported by Publisher’s Weekly.