The children’s book publishers Candlewick Press, Holiday House, Peachtree, and Pixel + Ink—all owned by the private equity firm Trustbridge Global Media—have begun the process of integrating their North American sales and marketing functions. Mary Marotta, most recently senior v-p for Candlewick, will head the combined group as senior v-p of sales, marketing, and business development.
Under the reorganization, beginning with the spring 2025 list, the current Candlewick Press in-house sales staff will sell all four houses’ books in North America and Marotta anticipates adding new sales reps in some areas. To date, Penguin Random House has handled global sales for Holiday House, Peachtree, and Pixel + Ink, and also sells Candlewick titles into Canada and special markets.
The Candlewick group will maintain its ties with PRH, and has signed a new contract in which PRH will continue to warehouse and distribute all four houses’ books in North America. PRH will also continue to sell and market all four houses’ lists for special markets in the U.S. and for all accounts in Canada.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our sister companies to integrate more meaningfully in the U.S., benefit from greater scale, and work together to grow opportunities for our creators,” Marotta said in a statement. Trustbridge entered the U.S. children’s market in 2016 with its acquisition of Holiday House and followed that up with the 2018 purchase of Peachtree, the 2019 launch of Pixel, and the 2020 acquisition of Candlewick parent company Walker Books.
While more details of the sales and marketing integration are still to be determined, it was announced that Derek Stordahl, formerly general manager at Holiday House, Peachtree, and Pixel + Ink (HPP), is taking on the newly created role of senior v-p, global integration and planning, for the group. Stordahl will continue to oversee editorial acquisitions for HPP while also spearheading collaboration across the four North American businesses and their sister companies Walker Books UK and Walker Books Australia, with a focus on pursuing opportunities in global export and rights markets.