In October 2014, Rowman & Littlefield CEO Jed Lyons brought on Jim Childs, former president of Time Home Entertainment and publisher of Oxmoor House, as publisher of Globe Pequot, which R&L had acquired five months earlier. Since his appointment, Childs has doubled down on the press’s brand as a regional publisher, as well as beefing it up with the addition of a new imprint and increasing title output.
The press was founded in Stonington, Conn. as the Pequot Press (named after a local tribe), and in 1981 it was acquired by the Boston Globe. Currently located in Guilford, Conn., the company was widely known in the past as a regional publisher of books on New England. Under Childs’s direction, the press is reaffirming its role as a publisher of local interest titles, but with expansion into different areas of the country. “People are interested in all things local,” said Childs. “They want to know what’s happening in their backyard.”
This fall, the publisher is launching the Made series within its flagship imprint, Globe Pequot. The series will showcase hundreds of each state’s top cottage industries and factories—the first titles include Connecticut Made in September and Massachusetts Made in October. “It’s about exploring and celebrating the role that these local industries, some of which have been around for hundreds of years, have played and continue to play in shaping the character of the region,” said publicity manager Sharon Kunz.
In June 2013, the imprint kicked off its Discovering Vintage series with Discovering Vintage New York, which, according to Kunz, aims to help readers explore a city’s “timeless and quirky landmarks.” The book did so well that Globe Pequot is rolling it out to other cities—Las Vegas, Miami, and Boston are available now; and Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C., will all be released by fall.
Other locale-specific efforts include Globe Pequot’s Two Dot imprint, which focuses on the regional history of the American West and operates out of an office in Helena, Mont. The publisher is also relaunching a major list in Texas, in an effort led by Rick Rinehart, editorial director for Taylor Trade, a general interest imprint with regional presences.
“One side of our business is really about special interest/enthusiast publishing, regional, and all things local,” said Childs. “Indie stores really thrive on that, ones that ground themselves in local markets. It’s a unique part of the business when you go sit down and talk to booksellers who know their markets especially well.”
Lyons Press, Globe Pequot’s largest imprint, is “a little more on the guy side of the spectrum,” said Childs. The division, acquired in 2001, branched into general interest trade, but, according to Childs, it will now renew its focus on American, military, and sports history; fly fishing; and hunting. Childs added that they are invigorating the imprint, in addition to outdoor sports press Falcon Guides, by developing soon-to-be-announced partnerships with companies (such as sporting goods providers, environmental nonprofits, and food companies). “We’re doing more partnerships across the spectrum,” said Childs. “We’ll leverage those brands in conjunction with ours. That can be really consequential.” In February 2015, Rowman & Littlefield acquired Gooseberry Patch, which became Globe Pequot’s seventh imprint. The publisher, best known for its line of family-friendly cookbooks, is also finding a fresh face at Globe
Pequot—Childs said a redesign and repackaging of many Gooseberry titles, such as The Super-Fast Slow Cooking Cookbook, is currently underway.
Childs also stressed that the publisher is channeling efforts into increasing overall title output. “I think some of the categories could really use it,” said Childs, adding that adding more titles annually will work toward the goal of strengthening its regional branches, some of which, he said, are not yet maximized. In 2015, Globe Pequot will be publishing close to 400 titles across all imprints, up from roughly 300 titles in 2014.