Blue Rider Press, established in 2011 by David Rosenthal to publish a select number of fiction and nonfiction titles, is being discontinued. The announcement was made in a memo sent from Penguin Publishing Group president Madeline McIntosh to Penguin Random House employees.
McIntosh said that while Blue Rider has had a good number of successes, the imprint “has faced the particular challenge of being a small startup in a hypercompetitive market, with results that have not been as consistent as we need them to be.” As a result, McIntosh said, existing and upcoming Blue Rider books will be released under the Dutton imprint.
The closing of Blue Rider means that Rosenthal, and associate publisher Aileen Boyle, will be leaving PRH in the coming months.
The Bluer Rider move also affects the Plume trade paperback imprint, which was moved under Rosenthal in 2015. Plume will now also move under Dutton and McIntosh said it is still being decided whether new paperback originals will be released under the Plume or Dutton names. Similarly, the fate of the Blue Rider name will be determined at a later date.
Blue Rider had done about 24 titles annually. Among the authors it published were Jeff Bridges, James Carville, Elvis Costello, R.A. Dickey, Delia Ephron, Carrie Fisher, Michael Hastings, Jewel, Patrick Kennedy, Chuck Klosterman, Bill Maher, Stuart Scott, Lesley Stahl, Mike Tyson, and Neil Young.
Total staff was about eight. In her memo, McIntosh said Penguin has been meeting with the affected employees to discuss their options. McIntosh also noted she is talking to agents and authors affected by the move with the goal of “ensur[ing} the most beneficial future for each title.”