David Allender, editor-in-chief of Children's Book-of-the-Month Club, is leaving to join Workman Publishing, where he will direct the children's publishing program.
Allender said he'll be "looking to publish nonfiction titles for children of all ages, books that inform as they entertain. The Brain Quest line is a good example of that—10 million copies have been sold in that line." He plans to publish "a fairly small number of books, with each one having the potential of making an impact. The idea is to look for the kinds of books that will truly be indispensable, that every home will be better off for having." While Workman already publishes children's books, it has never had a dedicated children's editor.
"I've spent 11 years sending the best in children's books to millions of families," Allender said. "No one but Peter Workman could get me to leave this job. Publishing well is one of life's greatest pleasures, and joining a company founded on that principle is like going to publishing heaven."
Workman founder Peter Workman said he was "tickled pink" that Allender would be joining his house. "David has great energy for his work, and he knows the children's book business very well," he said. "We'd like him to build a better business for us, and make our children's program more vital and more successful."
The Children's Book-of-the-Month Club has undergone considerable growth since the arrival of Allender in 1991. "It was a start-up when I came in," he said, "and over my time here it has grown into a business of substantial size and scale. In fact, this fall it will be splitting into two clubs, a preschool club and a school-age club."
In a statement, Mel Parker, senior v-p and editorial director of Bookspan, said that a replacement for Allender would be named shortly. Allender's last day at CBOMC will be August 23, and he will join Workman the week after Labor Day.