The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group has pulled off a Texas double play, acquiring the assets of Austin's TaylorWilson Publishing less than two months after buying the trade assets of Taylor Trade Publishing of Dallas (News, May 28).

As a result of the twin purchases, RLPG has opened its own Austin office, which will be headed by David Hamrick, a former Southwest manager for Barnes & Noble who had been publisher for TaylorWilson. Hamrick will now be editorial director for Lone Star Books, an imprint of TaylorWilson that will now be home to regional books published about Texas and other Gulf Coast states. In addition to releasing backlist titles from both the Taylor Trade and TaylorWilson lists under the Lone Star logo, the imprint will eventually publish between 20 and 25 new titles annually, said Jed Lyons, president of RLPG. Among new books set for spring 2002 release are titles on Texas trees and beaches as well as a cookbook of Texas/cowboy recipes. "David has ambitious plans for the Austin office," Lyons told PW, adding that he expects Lone Star to be a major force in Southwest publishing.

Books acquired in the Taylor and TaylorWilson deals that do not deal with the Gulf Coast will be published under RLPG's Cooper Square Press imprint, located in New York. The two acquisitions add about 600 backlist titles to RLPG and generated total sales of just over $4 million in 2000. TaylorWilson was formed last fall to acquire the trade titles from Gulf Publishing, which was getting out of the book business (News, Sept. 25, 2000). Lone Star and Cooper Square books will be distributed by RLPG's affiliated company, National Book Network.