Los Angeles—based BowTie Inc. is moving aggressively to up its presence in book publishing. The company is already a major publisher of pet and animal magazines through its Fancy Publications division and publishes pet and other books under its BowTie Press imprint. Last week, BowTie completed the acquisition of Kennel Club Books, a publisher that specializes in dog breed books, and BowTie chairman Norman Ridker told PW another acquisition of a pet book publisher is expected this week.

"We're eager to grow our book business, and these acquisitions give us a jump start," Ridker said. Kennel Club, which has about 200 titles, will remain in Allenhurst, N.J. The existing staff will stay on, though company founder Doug Calhoun will retire. Ridker said that he will oversee the Kennel Club operation until a new general manager can be found.

BowTie's own book unit was launched in 1995 and has about 100 titles. Its focus is on pet books for children and adults, ranging from books on pet care to reference titles. Many of BowTie's books have been done in collaboration with the magazine division, which provides the book unit with access to editors and photographers. The company has two existing imprints, Advanced Vivarium Systems (on reptile care) and Thoroughbred Times Books.

In addition to working together on the editorial side, the book and magazine divisions also share a companywide distribution system that is one of the largest distributors of pet related magazines and books to special interest retailers. Ridker said BowTie will handle distribution of Kennel Club books to special markets, but that the book trade will continue to be served by Client Distribution Services. BowTie's trade sales are conducted through National Book Network.