In a surprising move, Robert McCormack, president of AuthorHouse, the print-on-demand subsidy publisher formerly known as 1st Books, is leaving the company and Bryan Smith has been named CEO. Smith was formerly with Gazelle Techventures, a venture-capital firm that awarded AuthorHouse a new round of funding in 2002. Smith also has been chairman of the AuthorHouse board for the last two years.

Mike Johnson, a spokesperson for AuthorHouse, told PW that after leading a year-long search for a new CEO, McCormack decided "he wanted to do other things." Johnson and Smith both denied that McCormack had been forced out of his position because of his performance at AuthorHouse. "Mac took a $1-million company and grew it to a $25-million company," Johnson told PW. "This has nothing to do with McCormack's performance." McCormack joined AuthorHouse in 1999.

Smith told PWhe had no immediate plans for any changes at the company and said he would be spending his time learning more about the day-to-day activities at AuthorHouse. Smith began his business career as a consultant at Andersen Worldwide before moving to a number of Fortune 500 companies and then joining Gazelle Techventures.

AuthorHouse published more than 8,000 titles last year and Smith said the figure is likely to rise. "The book market is broader than traditional publishers and retailers," said Smith. "Different authors write for different reasons," he said. "Some writers may not be interested in selling their books, and we provide services to help promote and market those authors who do want to sell. We think there's room for growth."