Disney Publishing Worldwide has named Mary Ann Naples as v-p and publisher of its Disney Book Group. Naples was most recently senior v-p and publisher at Rodale, and she will be succeeded there by Gail Gonzales, who is being promoted from within, having been v-p and associate publisher at the house.
In her new role, Disney said, Naples will oversee the U.S-based book unit of DPW, "serving as an industry representative" to agents, editors and others in the industry. She will be based in New York City, reporting to Jeanne Mosure, senior v-p and group publisher of DPW. Naples replaces Suzanne Murphy, who left Disney for HarperCollins last spring.
Naples was tapped to head Rodale in February 2013, after working as chief of business development at digital retailer Zola Books. Prior to that she worked at the social retail platform OpenSky and at publishers including Hyperion and Simon & Schuster. She also co-founded the boutique literary agency the Creative Culture, Inc., which was known for selling lifestyle titles.
Her varied experience in the industry is something that Disney said was key to her appointment. Noting that DBG supports its authors—who include such franchise bestsellers as Rick Riordan and Melissa de la Cruz—by extending "the rich Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucas, Freeform and ABC franchises through our growing publishing imprints," Mosure said. Naples is the kind of "self-made entrepreneur" with the "right leadership capabilities" for the job.
Gonzales, who was overseeing the sales and marketing departments at Rodale, will now be in charge of all of the publisher's book operations. She will report to the company's CEO and chairman, Maria Rodale, and said she's "looking forward to continuing to publish the biggest and best names in the wellness space."
In her previous role, Rodale said, Gonzales was instrumental in a variety of key roles including "spearheading new products and initiatives" and managing the company relationship with its distributor, Macmillan.
Before joining Rodale, Gonzales was at Simon & Schuster as director of integrated marketing. There, Rodale said, she spearheaded a number of new book marketing efforts, such as "thematic large-scale non-bookstore author events and web-based live events." Before S&S, Gonzales worked for Hay House as director of marketing and publicity. She has worked with such authors and personalities as Cary Elwes, Bethenny Frankel and Eben Alexander.