With his background in technology, Steve Floyd hopes to be able to develop August House Publishers' book and audio properties "into multiple formats and multiple channels." Floyd's company, Atlanta-based Marsh Cove Productions, acquired August House for an undisclosed price earlier this month.
August House's publishing operations, in Little Rock, Ark., will continue to be run by Ted and Liz Parkhurst, while Floyd will serve as CEO. The combined companies will operate under the August House name. As part of his plan to diversify August House's business, Floyd has appointed several Marsh Cove executives to top spots: Joe Kissack, with a background in television and multimedia, will be executive v-p, sales and distribution; Graham Anthony, an illustrator and art director, is executive v-p and creative director; Pamela Rubin, former teacher, is head of the education division; and storyteller and comedian Rob Cleveland is director of development.
Ted Parkhurst said the additional resources of Marsh Cove, both in terms of funding and manpower, "will give us the opportunity to do things we had thought of, but couldn't afford." First new products include Web-based activities that tie in to books and, possibly, DVDs based on August House titles. Floyd also sees August House's titles, which have a strong storytelling element, being developed for film and television.
The sale to Marsh Cove comes about one year after August House began to rebound from a business slump that began with September 11 and continued with the decline in funding to libraries, a crucial market for the company. Sales since last July are up about 30%, Parkhurst said, led by Spicy Hot Colors and The Pig Who Went Home on Sunday. August House, which plans to publish 16 new titles this fall, has a backlist of 364 titles—two-thirds books and one-third spoken-word audio. Sales are estimated in the $2 million to $3 million range.