Stemmer House, purchased in September by Pathway Book Service, a warehousing and fulfillment service in Gilsum, N.H., is releasing its first books since the acquisition: reprints of its highly regarded design titles.
"We bought Stemmer House for the International Design library," said Pathway president Ernest Peter, who noted that he's also known Stemmer House founder and former owner Barbara Holdridge for 30 years. "It's extraordinary, and I think it will grow."
"We've returned 12 titles to an in-stock situation and published Designs of Tonga [Dec.] by F. Williamson," said Peter. He anticipates releasing another International Design book on art deco later this spring, and two more design books in the fall. He plans to increase the number of International Design titles from one or two a year to six annually by 2005.
The first Stemmer House children's book under new owner Pathway is also due out soon: Helen Kay's The First Teddy Bear (Mar.), the story of the making of the first teddy bear in the early 1900s. At the same time, said Peter, "We're thinking of adding another division." The Stemmer.com Web site is currently under construction and is expected to be up and running in March. Peter is also reorganizing the two companies' sales forces, which sell directly to Ingram, the chains and jobbers; he projects that "we'll have an effective sales force by the end of the year."
In addition to Stemmer House, Pathway publishes such books as Carol W. Hotchkiss's Quests & Quandaries, for the independent school market, under its 14-year-old Avocus Publishing imprint. It has had an active fulfillment service, primarily for small presses here and abroad, since 1978.