Sourcebooks has formed a new imprint that company founder and publisher Dominique Raccah said will “expand what publishing can be for women authors.” The as yet unnamed imprint will launch at midnight March 31 when the entire print backlist of mega-selling author E.L. James becomes part of the unit. James’ current publisher, Penguin Random House, will retain audio rights to her back and front lists, and large print rights to James’ backlist. Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial will retain the Spanish language rights to James’ backlist. PRH has a 45% stake in Sourcebooks.
Raccah said she had been thinking about creating a new publishing model for entrepreneurial women for a number of years and in informal talks with PRH executives discovered they were interested in such an approach as well. For her part, James said she is looking forward to becoming part of something new. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Sourcebooks family,” said James in statement. “It feels like I’m coming home – returning to my indie roots, and working with an innovative, dynamic and hugely successful publisher who’s always up for new ventures.”
Helping to direct the new imprint is Pam Jaffee, who joined Sourcebooks earlier this year as senior director of publicity and brand marketing for the imprint after holding senior publicity and brand development positions at HarperCollins. Jaffee said the imprint will not only be looking for romance writers, but for women authors of a wide variety of adult fiction and from a variety of viewpoints.
In addition to offering authors a different financial model, the imprint—which will be given a name latter following input from readers-will give authors more control over the creative and marketing processes than a traditional publisher, Jaffee said. Distribution to physical and retail accounts will be through Sourcebooks.
A key part of the Sourcebooks model will be to offer authors access to all the publisher’s data to promote a writer’s books. Digital marketing, Raccah said, will be hugely important to publishing going forward and pointed to last week’s announcement of an expanded Sourcebooks e-commerce and online marketing department. Raccah noted that the publisher is in the process of developing new marketing initiatives for James’ backlist titles. A new James project is expected to be released under the imprint at a later date.
Both Raccah and Jaffee said Sourcebooks is open to publishing authors through a range of formats. Each deal with an author will be tailored to meet the needs of that particular author, Raccah said. Sourcebooks is looking for women authors from not just traditional publishing but self-published authors who are looking for a publishing partner. “We’re developing a team approach to publishing,” Jaffee said.