Amadeus Press has acquired Limelight Editions, the New York publisher of performing arts books. Limelight, which has a 120-title backlist, will become an imprint of Amadeus, said John Cerullo, who acquired Amadeus about one year ago. Mel Zerman, founder and president of Limelight, will continue to acquire and edit new titles; Jenna Young will continue in her capacity as Limelight publicity director as well as serving as a liaison between Limelight and its authors and freelancers.
The addition of Limelight more than doubles Amadeus's list, which prior to the deal had focused on books on classical music and opera. Cerullo said the purchase is part of his goal to make Amadeus a "full-fledged" publisher of media books in five years. He plans to up the number of books published under the Limelight imprint to 20 a year from the current annual rate of six or seven. The number of books published under the Amadeus banner will also go up this fall from four a season to about 10.
As part of the expansion of Amadeus, Cerullo said he plans to launch a number of new series, including one with the piano manufacturer Steinway & Sons. Under an agreement signed last month, Amadeus will create a new book line that will combine books with CDs and DVDs that feature the piano. Two titles are already set for release this fall: Polly and the Piano is an illustrated children's book by Steinway artist Carol Montparker whose music for children will be on the accompanying CD. A second book will tie into the Playing the Romantics CD by pianist Robert Taub. A second book/CD series will feature interviews by Steinway artist David Dubal with famous pianists.
Cerullo is not limiting book/CD/DVD packages to the Steinway series. Many new titles will combine books with other media. "It's the future," Cerullo said. Also part of the future is continued expansion of Amadeus's distribution channels. Cerullo, who is head of Hal Leonard's trade division, said that distribution agreement with Leonard "has done exactly what I hoped," in getting Amadeus's titles into a wide variety of stores, including music outlets. Expansion of direct marketing efforts, which include use of the Web, is also planned.