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Hearst to Keep Hearst Books
Jim Milliot -- 4/3/00

Hearst Books, the magazine-branded book publisher that had been an imprint of William Morrow, has been made a part of the Hearst magazine division. Jacqueline Deval will continue to run the imprint as v-p and publisher, and Elizabeth Rice will remain as editorial director of the book line.

Since the sale of Morrow and Avon to HarperCollins, Hearst and HC had been discussing the disposition of Hearst Books, and late last month the two companies reached an agreement whereby all rights to the program will remain with Hearst. "Hearst Books offers the magazine unit a natural opportunity to develop our brands, and we've been pleased by the recent growth of the line," said Cathleen Black, president of Hearst's magazine division. HC had served as the distributor for the imprint, but all sales, marketing and fulfillment is now being handled by Client Distribution Services, the distribution company established last year by former Random House executives.

The imprint will publish between 30 and 35 titles a year in a variety of formats. Although Hearst Books will use the subjects and themes of the Hearst publications (which include Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Redbook, House Beautiful and Popular Mechanics), the books will feature original content. For the most part, the books will be written by a pool of writers commissioned by Hearst, although editors from the different magazines will consult on titles being published in association with their publications.

The first full list under the new Hearst Books imprint will be released this fall and will feature Frank Lloyd Wright's House Beautiful by Diane Maddex and The Illustrated Cottage by Nina Williams. Deval also has high expectations for the fall 2001 release of The Good Housekeeping Essential Cookbook. Deval told PW the imprint will work with the magazine unit to promote its titles through ads in specific publications, direct-mail programs and other avenues.

CDS Set for Growth

Hearst is CDS's fifth client. Steve Black, senior v-p for sales and marketing, said that since the purchase of its warehouse in December, the company has become more aggressive in its recruiting efforts, and he estimated that CDS could add eight new publishers this year. Black added that CDS is close to signing an agreement with a nonbook e-commerce company under which CDS will handle direct-to-customer fulfillment. CDS is also looking to acquire smaller distribution companies. "Our sales will ramp up dramatically this year," Black told PW.

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