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New Publisher For Serious Nonfiction
Jim Milliot -- 5/18/98
The Bradley Foundation, a Milwaukee-based conservative institution, is providing the seed money to launch Encounter Books, a new publishing house that will publish nonfiction titles in the fields of history, culture and public affairs. Bradley is investing $3.5 million in start-up capital, although a spokesperson for the foundation said Encounter will be an autonomous and independent publisher.
The company will be based in San Francisco, and Peter Collier, the author of several biographies, has been named editor-in-chief. The new house expects to publish its first 10 titles in the year 2000 and anticipates publishing approximately 20 titles per year by 2002.

Collier told PW he will begin hiring a staff this summer and expects to begin operations with four or five people. Initially, Collier hopes to handle sales internally and his plan is to show the independent booksellers that he considers them an important part of the industry.

Calling serious nonfiction publishing an "endangered species," Collier said Encounter hopes to contribute to the national dialogue. "We believe that in a robust intellectual atmosphere one should hear many voices. But we also believe that while Dennis Rodman may be a great rebounder, he is not a major author, and that it is a symptom of the confusion in American publishing that he and other celebrities command so much editorial attention and resources," Collier said.

Collier said he thinks the independent publishing movement "has stumbled on to something" that can help revive publishing and "make it fun again. Our goal is to focus on the promotion of ideas, not on moving units."
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