With a major acquisition, a name change and a switch in distribution all within the past eight months, Quayside Publishing Group, headquartered in Gloucester, Mass., is positioning itself for expansion. "We're in a growth mode. We're always looking for companies to acquire," said CEO and president Ken Fund. Quayside's August purchase of Creative Publishing international helped boost U.S. sales for Quarto Group, Quayside's U.K. parent, to more than $80 million.
Going forward, Fund sees lifestyle as the area with the biggest growth potential. He notes that Fair Winds Press, which shifted its emphasis from mind, body and spirit titles to "self-improvement books with a twist," went from "zero to $9 million" in four years. Fair Winds received a big boost from Dana Carpender, whose eight low-carb cookbooks have sold more than 1.5 million copies. In recent weeks, Fair Winds has had a hit with Elycia Rubin and Rita Mauceri's Frumpy to Foxy in 15 Minutes Flat: Style Advice for Every Woman, which will have 50,000 copies in print after a third printing. Launch parties were held at the W Hotels in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and the authors appeared at Saks stores in those cities.
Quayside currently publishes close to 200 books a year in a constellation of imprints, ranging from Minnesota's Creative Publishing international to Massachusetts's Fair Winds, Rockport Publishers and Quarry Books. Quayside also handles sales and marketing for RotoVision in North America and other territories, and for Apple Press in Latin America and the Far East.
Over the past year, Fund, who used to manage several U.K. houses for Quarto, has begun concentrating on U.S.—originated lists, which he has repositioned into three main areas. Graphic design titles are produced under the Rockport and RotoVision imprints, home improvement books come under the CPi imprint, while lifestyle titles are published by Fair Winds, Quarry and CPi. Quayside has a staff of 80, including an in-house sales group of 15 in Minnesota.