Publishing veteran Jon Sweeney, author of seven books about St. Francis of Assisi, has been named editorial director at Franciscan Media Books, the nonprofit publishing arm of the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist. He will start in the new job on August 1.
As editorial director, Sweeney will oversee top Franciscan Media Books author relationships as well as the acquisition and development of new products to expand the imprint’s profile within publishing. Sweeney currently is editor-in-chief and publisher at Paraclete Press, where he has worked for almost 11 years.
“My life personally as well as professionally as a writer has been on a Franciscan trajectory, and it feels like the right move,” Sweeney said, adding that Franciscan Media “has had pretty dramatic growth.” Franciscan Media--which includes Franciscan Media Books and Servant books and audios, its flagship St. Anthony Messenger magazine, and other resources--has been restructuring. Following strategic planning in 2014, it laid off 27 employees, none of them in editorial. It also experienced a 12 percent increase in its book sales for 2014. Title output for 2015 is expected to grow modestly.
“Sweeney’s expertise and editorial vision combined with his more than 25 years in the book trade, including Catholic and ecumenical religious book publishing, make him ideal for this new role within the Franciscan Media Books editorial team,” said Mark Lombard, book division director at Franciscan Media, in a statement announcing Sweeney's appointment.
Sweeney, who has written more than 20 books, is finishing up a new biography of St. Francis for Ave Maria Press. He also is the editor of the forthcoming Phyllis Tickle: Essential Spiritual Writings (July), part of the Modern Spiritual Masters series published by Orbis.