Following his surprise departure as president of the Independent Publishers Group in March, Mark Suchomel is returning to the distribution business as head of a new unit that will be part of Perseus Book Group's Publishers Group West division. Legato Publishers Group will be based in Suchomel's hometown of Chicago and will look to build a client list of between 30 to 40 publishers over the next two to three years, Suchomel told Show Daily just before leaving for BookExpo America, where he is at the Perseus booth (1226). "I've always admired PGW for the passion, commitment, and professionalism of its people," Suchomel says. "And it's obvious publishers like them, since when they become clients they never leave."

LPG will use PGW's infrastructure and sales terms as well as its trade sales reps; LPG will use Perseus Distribution Group reps to call on the gift market, and Suchomel will hire a Chicago-based rep to call on major accounts. Suchomel says he is interested in attracting publishers that have a "good sales pace and are interested in increasing that pace." He wants to limit the number of LPG clients in order to provide the necessary attention to help publishers grow, and expressed his willingness to work with clients "on a title by title basis." LPG will also look for international houses that fit its basic criteria.

"We're very much looking forward to working with Mark," says Susan Reich, president of PGW. "We are longtime admirers of his work with independent publishers."