After working for more than 20 years for three of the Big Five trade houses (HarperCollins, Random House, and Simon & Schuster), Anthony Ziccardi left corporate publishing in 2013 and has been working at, and consulting for, independent presses ever since. He is now publisher and owner of Post Hill Press and an affiliate company, Permuted Press. Over the past 18 months, Post Hill has acquired the Fidelis imprint from B&H Publishing, formed a joint venture with Ziccardi’s former S&S colleague Adam Bellow, and launched an imprint (Emancipation Books) within an imprint (Bombardier Books).
Ziccardi’s most recent move is rebranding Permuted Press, which was founded in 2004 as a publisher of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and pop cultural and historical nonfiction. He is now putting more emphasis on Permuted’s pop culture titles. In doing so, he has teamed with Jacob Hoye, whom he knows from his days at S&S, when Hoye was publishing director of the MTV/Pocket Books imprint. “Jacob has a really good eye for talent,” he noted.
Ziccardi said the success of 2019’s Ghost Hunters Adventure Club, the first novel from YouTube brand Game Grumps, was what spurred him to broaden his pop culture reach. YouTube will be a key part of Permuted, with Paradise Island: A Sam and Colby Story by YouTube personalities Sam Golbach and Colby Brock set for release November 17. Ziccardi noted that he’s had “lots of success” with YouTube stars, even as some of the larger publishers have cooled a bit on them. The big companies “need home runs,” he added. “I am fine with singles and doubles.”
Other upcoming Permuted titles include One Step Closer: From Xero to #1: Becoming Linkin Park by Jeff Blue, the record executive who discovered the band; Messy in the Kitchen by Canadian TV host and WWE personality Renee Paquette; and a biography of Prince by music journalist Touré. Within four years, Ziccardi’s goal is to get the Permuted list to 40–50 new titles annually.
Permuted uses the resources of Post Hill to publish and distribute its titles (Post Hill’s distributor is S&S). Overall, Post Hill has 17 employees, and Ziccardi said he is hiring for a few new positions. Staff is split between Nashville and New York City, where most of the company’s editors are located.
Some of Post Hill’s biggest titles have been conservative books. A current hot author is Dan Bongino, a radio host and former Secret Service agent, who had a bestseller with Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump and whose Follow the Money: The Shocking Deep State Connections of the Anti-Trump Cabal hit shelves last month.
Ziccardi said political titles represent about 20% of Post Hill’s list and that the company publishes in a variety of categories, including business, memoir, and personal development. He noted that Bellow will publish some political books as part of their joint agreement but will also establish a line of books for Jewish readers. He has signed two titles for that line: The Wrong Jew: Defeating Those Who Want Us Dead by Hesh Kestin, due out in January, and Holocaust Holiday: One Family’s Descent into Genocide Memory Hell by Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, set to be publish in April.
Post Hill now has a backlist of about 750 titles, and Ziccardi said the publisher “navigated the turmoil early in the year well” and is positioned for growth, which could include more acquisitions. “I am looking to acquire a company if it is the right fit,” he added.