Pearson Education is teaming up with the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School to launch a new business education imprint to be known as Wharton School Publishing.
The venture will bring together a variety of prominent business educators and corporate executives on a list that will feature works in many formats, including print, audio, electronic documents, CD-ROM and video. The Wharton School imprint will be directed by Pearson's Tim Moore, v-p, editor-in-chief, Financial Times Prentice Hall, and Wharton marketing professor Jerry Wind.
The imprint will publish about 12 titles over the next two years, and Pearson expects to release 20 to 25 books a year when the imprint is fully up and running. The first title will be released in July.
Pearson is entering a crowded business book marketplace. In an interview with PW, Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino; Patrick T. Harker, dean at the Wharton School; and Gary June, president and CEO of the Pearson Technology Group, all emphasized that they would distinguish Wharton School Publishing from such competitors as Harvard Business School Press and John Wiley & Sons.
June emphasized that in addition to print books, the imprint will release works in different media, from electronic books and documents to audiobooks and videotapes. He also pointed to Pearson's "global reach" and the Wharton School's "international student body; 30% of its students are foreign born. We're going to distribute these titles in a different way." Wharton also offers a newsletter with a circulation of more than 300,000, including 77,000 alumni worldwide. WSP Books will be published in 10 languages, and there are plans to post full-text books from the imprint on its new Web site (www.whartonsp.com).
Harker pointed out that Wharton was the first American business school, founded in 1881. WSP books, he said, will have "the Wharton seal of approval. This is scholarship with impact in the real world. The books are aimed at the general trade, and they will provide a great book series for school, government and leadership in general." WSP's editorial board will comprise 15 Wharton School faculty members charged with finding both book ideas and new authors for the WSP list.
In addition to co-editing the WSP list, Wind has also teamed with former Citigroup CTO Colin Crook to write The Power of Impossible Thinking: How to Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business, the first book scheduled to be released by Wharton Publishing. WSP will also publish The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits by C.K. Prahalad.