Histria Books Expands into Fiction by Acquiring Addison & Highsmith Publishers
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Posted by: Christopher Locke
|Director A.K. Brackob (far right) alongside two members of the Histria Books team.
“Everyone associated with Histria Books is excited to be part of our company’s strategic growth into new categories,” said Histria Books’ Director A.K. Brackob about recently acquiring Addison & Highsmith Publishers. “Those new categories include: fiction, books for children and young adults, as well as contemporary lifestyle and culture, sports, politics, and biography/autobiography.”
IBPA member Histria Books began as an academic publisher in 1997, focused on the history and culture of Eastern Europe, but “the desire to expand and grow our business has eventually led us to expand into new genres,” said A.K. “Addison & Highsmith has a number of really terrific titles in the fiction category that we will be rolling out in 2019 and 2020. We felt it was a good fit for our company and allowed us to take over an established fiction imprint with a small but solid catalog of titles.
“One of our goals is to expand our readership in an organic manner which means that the first tranche of fiction titles we are looking to bring on will be in the historical fiction category,” added A.K. “This ties in well with the academic titles, mainly history, that Histria Books has traditionally published.”
|Histria Books' upcoming title, Lafayette: Courtier to Crown Fugitive, by S.P. Grogan
Addison & Highsmith Publishers isn’t the only company Histria Books has reached out to. “Histria Books is selectively approaching publishers in niche genres for acquisition discussions. Our team does its own internal valuations of a prospective company's assets and prospects with an intensive examination of how their titles will complement and/or augment our existing library. We are focused on backlist and books under contract. We are always on the lookout for new talent, especially on the editorial and production side. Then we make the initial offer. If there is interest, we proceed, and if not, we move on. Our acquisition of Addison & Highsmith was relatively quick, whereas we have been in very serious negotiations to acquire another publisher that has been ongoing for over a year.”
With the new addition of Addison & Highsmith Publishers’ titles and the development of a new imprint, Gaudium, Histria Books is planning to release 16 titles in 2019 and 24 titles in 2020. “We are very excited about the direction Histria Books is headed,” said A.K. For Valentine’s Day, the company is launching Ovid in Exile, the story of the original poet of love. Also in 2019 they have Lafayette: Courtier to Crown Fugitive by S.P. Grogan coming out. And they just announced the signing of world champion Dutch gymnast Verona van de Leur to an exclusive book contract for her autobiography, Simply Verona: Breaking All the Rules.
Three Questions with Histria Books Director A.K. Brackob
IBPA: Does publishing fiction books change how you run your company? If so, how?
A.K. Brackob (AB): Publishing fiction does not intrinsically change how we approach the business overall. We do make sure that we have staff that has deep relationships in their area that can be transferred over to us. So far, we have been successful in this regard. For example, the creative team from Addison & Highsmith will remain as collaborators for Histria Books.
Of course, as with any new endeavor, there will be challenges to confront, but we are confident that we have carefully planned to meet them. We have a diverse international team of collaborators that each have unique skill-sets to contribute to the development of our company.
IBPA: How has it been beneficial to you to be a member of Independent Book Publishers Association?
AB: We joined IBPA in 2018 and we are delighted that we made the decision to join an organization committed to quality and integrity in publishing, as well as to promoting and supporting small business. IBPA is an invaluable source of information for small publishers with an impressive array of resources and benefits offered to members that we look forward to taking full advantage of as we expand our business.
IBPA: Can you share three key lessons you’ve learned about how one can succeed as an independent publisher?
AB: Love of books. Perseverance. And lots of imagination. But the key to success for an independent publisher is a commitment to integrity and fairness in dealing with our authors and collaborators. They are the bedrock of our business, without them we cannot succeed.
IBPA: Thank you, A.K., for sharing your story and insight with the IBPA community!
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