Sterling Publishing, the publishing division of Barnes & Noble, has made its second acquisition in little more than a month, acquiring the gift and publishing company, Knock Knock. Founded in 2002 by Jen Bilik, the company has two brands: Knock Knock, known for its notepads, sticky notes, journals, decks, and books; and Em & Friends, known for humor- and empathy-themed gifts and greeting cards.
The acquisition adds more than 600 backlist and 150 frontlist projects to Union Square & Co.'s catalog. Emily Meehan, chief creative officer and publisher of Union Square & Co., will oversee the Knock Knock business. Bilik and Emily McDowell, founder of Em & Friends, will remain as creative consultants, reporting directly to Meehan. Also staying on from Knock Knock and reporting to Meehan will be Jim Papscoe, v-p of sales and operations, and Craig Hetzer, v-p and associate publisher, who will both focus on the day-to-day operations of the overall business.
In March, Sterling, on behalf of Union Square, acquired the U.K.-based Boxer Books. Other Union Square imprints included Union Square Kids, Puzzlewright, and Sterling Ethos.
“We are honored to welcome the smart and inspired team at Knock Knock and Em & Friends, and to provide them with a new home where they can continue to thrive,” said Meehan in a statement. “Their distinctive book, gift and paper products fit perfectly into categories we’ve earmarked for growth and will move our strategic vision forward.”