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Taunton Looking To Book Unit
-- 5/11/98
As part of its effort to expand its book publishing program, the Newtown, Conn.-based Taunton Press will switch its distribution to Publishers Group West, beginning June 1. According to Jim Childs, publisher of Taunton's book division, the publisher decided to move to PGW from Norton because it wanted a company that specializes in sales as well as distribution.
Childs joined the Taunton book division last June after serving in various positions with a number of New York houses, most recently with John Wiley. His arrival represented the most serious efforts by Taunton Press owners Jan and Paul Roman to translate the success of their how-to and home and gardening magazines into books. In addition to Childs, within the last year Taunton has hired a number of new editors and marketing personnel, to the point where the book division now has a 30-person staff. Taunton has also increased its title output over the years and plans to release about 35 titles in 1998. Taunton has done well in the specialty markets but is looking to grow in the traditional trade areas, Childs told PW. The company currently has a backlist of some 250 titles.

Taunton focuses on illustrated books in the areas of home building and remodeling, woodworking, sewing and knitting, and gardening. Approximately 60% of its list is published in hardcover, with prices ranging from $25 to $30. Top sellers include How to Carve Wood and The Timber Frame Home, which have, respectively, more than 160,000 and 140,000 copies in print.

Steerforth, Levin Join PGW

In addition to taking on Taunton, PGW will add Steerforth Press and Hugh Lauter Levin Associates to its publishing roster beginning in June. Located in Vermont, Steerforth has 46 titles in print in general fiction and nonfiction. Levin Associates concentrates on quality large-format illustrated titles.
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