The objectives for HarperCollins' recently minted Collins division became clearer last week when executives said that following a fall launch list of 125 titles, the new group will publish 400 titles annually beginning in 2006. The division will consist of two new imprints, Collins Reference and Collins Wellness, as well as three former Harper imprints that are being rebranded: Collins Lifestyle (formerly HarperResource), Collins Business (formerly HarperBusiness) and Collins Design (formerly Harper Design). HC will support the launch of the Collins U.S. brand with a major marketing campaign, executives said.
HC CEO Jane Friedman is convinced the company can make the Collins brand as well known in the U.S. as it is in the U.K., Canada and Australia. "We had a brand name we hadn't done much with, but I'm confident we can capitalize on it in the U.S.," Friedman told PW. Beginning with the fall list, all new books in the Collins division will carry the Collins logo and "the vast majority" of Harper titles in the unit will be rebranded as Collins titles as they are reprinted, said Joe Tessitore, Collins group president.
The Collins Reference imprint will feature light and popular reference works, such as dictionaries and atlases, and will be led by Phil Friedman, who will join HC January 18 as v-p, publisher, Collins Reference. Friedman has held top spots with a number of companies, including Scholastic and Macmillan. The Collins Wellness imprint will offer titles in health, fitness and well-being. Wellness "is an area where we want to be a major player," said Brian Murray, group publisher of HC.
The entire fall Collins list will include about 25 imports from the U.K. and is 25% to 30% larger than the comparable list in fall 2004, Tessitore estimated. Collins U.S. will continue to import books from the U.K. and will also engage in codevelopment deals with Collins units in other countries. Using the editorial talent from other Collins units will allow all of Collins to get involved with bigger projects, Murray said, as well as help Collins U.S. ramp up its publishing operation quickly.
To help sell the Collins line, HC has promoted George Bick to senior v-p, director of sales, and associate publisher for the division. Bick had been senior v-p of sales for Morrow/Avon, where he is being replaced by Brian McSharry.
HC also announced that Mark Tauber has been promoted to deputy publisher of Harper San Francisco. Stephen Hanselman, who had headed HSF, is leaving the company. The unit was originally to be part of the Collins division, but has been shifted to the HarperMorrow division, which is directed by Michael Morrison.