Abingdon Press is “reassessing and realigning” its Abingdon Fiction and Christian Living programs and has “paused” acquisitions, according to a statement released July 31. The change has resulted in the departure of associate publisher Pamela Clements.
“Sales in these two lines have been short of expectation,” Neil M. Alexander, Abingdon president and publisher, told PW, emphasizing that Abingdon will “continue to actively sell and market all forthcoming titles.” There are about 75 titles in the pipeline in the two categories set to be published through the end of 2015; what happens after that is an open question." By taking time for reevaluation, we are able to continue serving our authors and customers while we plan for the future,” said Alexander, adding that he anticipates no further staff cutbacks. Forthcoming titles will be overseen by Ramona Richards, senior acquisitions editor for Abingdon Fiction, and Lil Copan, senior acquisitions editor of Christian Living.
Abingdon, the trade publishing arm of the United Methodist Publishing House, entered the crowded and competitive Christian fiction category with the launch of Abingdon Fiction in 2009. Clements came on board as associate publisher in 2011, and the press has published 25-35 fiction titles per year. Abingdon has always published Christian living titles, but ramped up its program under Clements, to 25-30 per year.