The independent presses Hawthorne Books and Dzanc Books have merged, with Hawthorne becoming a Dzanc imprint. Hawthorne has a backlist of about 40 titles and the imprint will continue to acquire and publish new books. In a release, the companies said the merger “allows both houses to maintain their own individual editorial vision…while also working together on select projects."

As a result of the deal, the merged publishers will have offices in Ann Arbor, Mich., and New York, with a publicity center for both at Hawthorne’s Portland, Ore., office. Rhonda Hughes, Hawthorne publisher, will now serve as Dzanc’s director of marketing and publicity.

According to Steven Gillis, Dzanc's publisher, discussions with Hughes began last year after Hawthorne acquired Gillis' fifth novel, Benchere in Wonderland (Sept.), and after discussions between Hawthorne and another publisher about a possible merger did not pan out.

"We got to talking," Gillis said, and when a marketing position opened up at Dzanc, the merger "became a perfect fit." At that point the two presses decided to "merge our strengths and move ourselves forward," with Hawthorne taking over marketing responsibilities while Dzanc took charge of administrative responsibilities.

Dzanc, which was founded in 2006, currently has 200 books in print, and 600 e-book titles. Dzanc and Hawthorne are both distributed by PGW.