Macmillan Library Reference, one of several former Simon &Schuster divisions being sold by Pearson, shut down six children's imprints last month. Bill Oldsey, head of the professional group and senior v-p, planning and market development for Pearson Education, told PW the imprints -- Silver Burdett Press, Dillon Press, Crestwood House, Silver Press, New Discovery and Julian Messner -- "were not a good strategic fit with the rest of the library group. MLR [Macmillan Library Reference] is having a great year, and we didn't want these imprints to become a distraction."
Oldsey explained that the company decided to close the operations before the entire MLR unit was sold so that the buyer "would know exactly what they were getting." He declined to comment on whether Pearson had tried to sell the children's imprints separately.
Selected titles from the imprints will be transferred to Pearson Education's elementary group. Oldsey said Pearson will most likely let rights on other titles revert back to the authors, adding that the company also may give authors the chance to acquire existing inventory. If authors do not want the inventory, according to Oldsey, Pearson will consider a number of options, including donating the books to charity.
Oldsey said no decisions had been made yet on whether Pearson will try to keep the names of the imprints alive in some fashion. He also noted that closing the units involved cutting two editorial positions; one of the editors was reassigned within Pearson.
Retailers and wholesalers who need information on how to return titles can call (800) 428-5331.