F+W Media has established a new standalone book group, naming Heidi Sachner as head of books. Joining Sachner in the group are F+W fine arts editor Pam Wissman who has been promoted to executive director, heading up the editorial and design teams across all communities, and Greg Nock who has been promoted to production director.
Under the new structure, all book publishing in F+W’s various communities, such as crafts and art instruction, will be overseen by Sachner. Greg Osberg, who took over as CEO of F+W in January, said the new structure, which also affects the company’s magazine and digital formats, is designed to bring more expertise to each product line.
While each community will have employees dedicated to working on books, Sachner and her team will have a “horizontal view” of all the books being published by the different verticals. She will also approve all new projects.
In the past, the different communities published books for their own audiences and did little coordination with the other communities. Among the advantages of the new approach, Osberg said, is that Sachner, who will have the final say over all book publishing decisions, can now resolve any issues that crop up in a timely manner.
Osberg recruited Sachner from Ingram’s Two Rivers Distribution unit, which had taken over distribution of F+W’s titles in January. In her new role, she is tasked with building up the company’s trade business, while the general managers of the different communities will focus on selling books directly from their websites. The general managers will also continue to be responsible for creating content in varied formats, be it books, magazines, online materials, and events.
“I’m bullish on the book business,” Osberg,said. “I think this new structure will give us the opportunity to grow, [which is] something that we couldn’t do very well the old way.”