With Simon & Schuster’s adult publishing group struggling, the company is replacing publisher David Rosenthal with Jonathan Karp, publisher of Hachette Book Group’s Twelve imprint. S&S has endured a difficult 18 months, with sales off in 2009 and down again in the first quarter of 2010. CEO Carolyn Reidy has acknowledged that hardcover sales have been particularly soft; the biggest hits from the company recently have come not come from the flagship imprint but from the publisher’s conservative imprint Threshold Editions overseen by Louise Burke. Karp takes over as executive v-p and publisher of the S&S trade imprint June 14.
The promotion of Karp puts him in charge of a much big operation than Twelve, which published about 10 books annually. In an article in PW in April 2009, Karp outlined his view of publishing successfully--publish fewer, original books and market them thoughtfully, a strategy he has used successfully at Twelve. The imprint’s most recent hit is Sebastian Junger’s well-received War. Among Karp’s other critical and commercial successful books was Edward Kennedy’s True Compass. According to S&S, about half of Karp's titles have reached the bestsellers list.
Rosenthal has led the S&S trade imprint for 13 years. “A truly original thinker, he brought a wealth of creative and inspired ideas to the entire publishing process, and he has been a trusted and valued colleague who made many contributions to the overall success of our company. We wish him well in all his future endeavors,” said CEO Carolyn Reidy in a statement.