Abrams announced Monday that on March 31, Andrew Smith will join the publisher as senior v-p and publisher of its children’s books division, which includes three imprints: Abrams Books for Young Readers, Abrams Appleseed, and Amulet Books. Susan Van Metre, who has served as publisher of the division since 2010, is transitioning into an editorial role at Abrams and has been named v-p, editor-in-chief, children’s books, and editorial director for Amulet. Van Metre will report to Smith.
Smith is a children’s publishing industry veteran who has worked for Hachette Book Group for the past 10 years. Since 2013 Smith served as deputy publisher of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, where he led the company’s efforts to increase its market share in licensed property publishing. Before joining Hachette, Smith was v-p of sales at Candlewick and v-p of marketing at Random House Children’s Books.
In a release, Abrams president and CEO Michael Jacobs said he looks forward to Smith "challenging us to expand and grow with new and creative opportunities.”
In her new role, Van Metre will focus on acquisitions and on guiding the children's group's editorial team.
In an email to PW, Smith stated, "I will work in close collaboration with the group to build on its current successes, to look at categories, formats, and franchises across the board to determine where the opportunities for expansion and growth lie. My vision is for Abrams to continue to be the destination for quality publishing for children of all ages and teens --one that both supports and celebrates the creative vision of its authors and illustrators while adding a strong knowledge of the market so that every book finds as wide a readership as possible.”
Abrams Books, once best known as the publisher of art and illustrated books for adults, has seen much growth in the past decade in its children's books division, with the overwhelming success of Jeff Kinney’s Wimpy Kid series – the 11th volume will be released by Abrams/Amulet on November 1 and there are 165 million copies of the books in print globally. Abrams is also the publisher of the Newbery Honor books El Deafo by Cece Bell and Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus; Caldecott Honor book Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Colllier; and Sibert Medalist and Pura Belpré Honor book Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh.