Penguin Random House's Random House division has joined with Sugar23, a TV/film and content management and media production house, to launch Sugar23 Books, a co-branded publishing imprint that will develop and release titles in partnership with a variety of imprints at the Random House division.

The new partnership was announced by Crown president David Drake, who will be the imprint’s in-house liaison, and by Sugar23 CEO Michael Sugar, who will directly oversee the imprint, along with Sugar23 Books editorial director of books Angela Ledgerwood. Ledgerwood will oversee efforts to partner with the various imprints at Random House on acquisition, and publication strategy, in addition to managing Sugar23’s many relationships across the media and entertainment industry. Kevin Doughten, former executive editor at Crown, will take on new responsibilities in the newly created role of executive editor, Crown, and nonfiction editorial director, Sugar23 Books.

The Sugar23 Books imprint will focus on “culturally relevant” works of fiction and nonfiction by a range of new writers, “that lend themselves to amplification across different creative forms and platforms,” according to the announcement about the deal. In addition, the launch of Sugar23 Books/Random House effectively ends the publishing program of a previously established Sugar23 book imprint launched at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2020. Sugar23 Books/HMH will release seven previously planned books in 2022; but with the announcement of the new partnership, all newly acquired books under the Sugar23 Books brand will be published via the new partnership with Random House.

Sugar23 was founded in 2017 by the award-winning producer Michael Sugar. The company produces and manages a wide variety of entertainment content across all media platforms, providing advice, investment, and support to content creators and producers. Among the award-winnings projects the company has worked on are such TV/film projects as Spotlight, The Knick, Dickinson, and The OA.

In a release, Sugar praised Random House’s “track record of publishing masterful storytellers and amplifying stories,” adding that “to be able to exchange knowledge from our different vantage points, and experiment with new models of publishing in service of the books we have together is at the heart of what is sure to be a fruitful partnership.”