Lori Benton.

Lori Benton has been named general manager/publisher of fiction imprints at the children's book publisher Capstone. The move puts Benton in charge of Stone Arch Books and Picture Window Books.

Benton was most recently v-p and publisher of Harcourt's children’s book division; she has also worked for Henry Holt Books for Young Readers and the children's division of William Morrow.

Capstone’s major market is schools and libraries, and Benton will be working to develop more of a trade list for the company. A fiction list was started four years ago by Joan Berge, who retired at the end of 2009. “They’ve identified fiction as a growth area,” Benton said in an interview, “and I’ll be looking to expand that.” The YA market, for which Capstone does not yet publish, as well as early childhood, are both seen as growth areas for the company.

Benton reported that Capstone has made “a big commitment” to digital, and said that from the beginning of the book development process we’ll be thinking about possibilities for digital.”

The move reunites Benton with Capstone’s new book trade sales manager, Paul Von Drasek; the two were longtime colleagues at Harcourt, where Von Drasek held senior sales management posts.

Benton will divide her time between her home in New York City and the company’s Minneapolis headquarters. Her first day at Capstone was January 11; commenting on the sub-zero temperatures she has encountered, Benton told PW, “Minnesota has lived up to its reputation so far.”