Rodale Books has found a new publisher. After a number of executive shake-ups at the division, and then the departure of publisher Steve Perrine in November, Rodale has hired Mary Ann Naples to oversee its books unit. Naples, who was most recently chief of business development at e-book retailer Zola Books, will start at Rodale as v-p and publisher on March 4.
Despite leaving Zola, Naples is not severing all ties with the company, and will remain on Zola's advisory board. Before Zola, Naples worked for OpenSky, another retailer that, like Zola, rolled social networking into the online shopping experience. Although Naples's recent work experience melded social networking with retailing, her career began in book publishing. She co-founded the boutique literary agency Creative Culture, which was known as a specialist in the areas Rodale predominantly publishes: branded lifestyle and nonfiction. (Some of the authors Creative Culture worked with include Danica McKellar, Lauren Conrad and Joel Fuhrman.)
Speaking to the hire, CEO Maria Rodale said Naples has a "breadth of experience at the nexus of tech and talent, at traditional publishing houses as well as at groundbreaking start-ups, [and this] positions her perfectly to drive the Rodale Books business into the future."
Naples, who will be based in Rodale's New York City office, said she will look to "build on Rodale’s incredible assets, as well as create opportunities for growth across new categories and initiatives."