Penguin Random House's Random House division has launched a new imprint dedicated to licensed book publishing. All of Random House’s backlist and frontlist titles tied to licensed properties will be brought under the new imprint, Random House Worlds, starting in 2023.
“Our individual imprints, especially Del Rey, have published a really robust list of licensed titles for some time,” said Keith Clayton, v-p, deputy publisher of Del Rey, who will also serve as publishing director of Random House Worlds. “Since the mid-2010s we’ve been seeing strong organic growth in our licensed titles, as we’ve added new brands and new partners, and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
The move unifies novels, cookbooks, coloring books, and other formats, along with properties of any genre, all under one roof. “There’s a different set of demands that are unique to this kind of publishing,” Clayton said. “Our job is to focus on the needs of these kinds of books to better serve our partners with a coordinated and cohesive program.”
The new set-up will allow the imprint to offer a fully aligned strategy and streamlined processes across all titles tied to a license, as opposed to a title-by-title strategy. “That adds value to the overall brand,” Clayton said. “It comes down to having one conversation with our partners, our retailers, and our readers.”
The imprint’s leadership will also include Kristin Conte, business director of licensing and brands; Sarah Malarkey, editorial director, nonfiction and illustrated books; Elizabeth Schaefer, editorial director, fiction; and Alex Larned, senior publishing manager, Del Rey and Random House Worlds.
The imprint will continue to work closely with Clarkson Potter on licensed journals, puzzles, games, and tarot cards tied to the same properties. It will also collaborate with Random House Children’s Books division, which holds rights to some of the same licenses, when there are synergies. “We work closely with them if it makes sense, so we can make the process as seamless as possible for our partners,” said Clayton.
Licenses under the Random House Worlds imprint will include Star Wars, Minecraft, Stranger Things, Garfield, Magic: The Gathering, Lore Olympus, and Critical Role.