Esteemed Chinese Children’s Publisher CCPPG Grants World English Rights to Sourcebooks for Children’s Science Book Series
Sourcebooks, a leading independent book publisher, has preempted world English rights to Chris Ferrie’s Red Kangaroo series from China Children’s Press & Publication Group (CCPPG). The deal gives Sourcebooks world English and North American Spanish rights, and comes ahead of the Bologna Book Fair, where China is this year’s guest of honor.
The new series is a way to bring the world of physics and mathematics to the graduates of Baby University. The Red Kangaroo Physical Quiz series explains, in simple terms, the theories of classical, mechanical, optical, and quantum physics. An abundance of illustrations makes learning physics fun and easy for children, and not-so-daunting for parents, too. (10 titles; ages 4-8) Lively conversations between “Dr. F” and the adorable Red Kangaroo character introduce young readers to scientific concepts using real-life examples.
China Children's Press & Publication Group (CCPPG), the largest professional children's press and publication group in mainland China, was formed by consolidating of China Teenagers Press (established in 1951) and China Children's Publishing House (established in 1956).
With 750 employees, CCPPG publishes 5 newspapers, 11 magazines and around 1,500 books every year. In 2013, the total printed copies of books, newspapers and magazines reached over 130 million. CCPPG owns Juvenile & Children Reading Experience Wonderland (the Wonderland), a website (www.ccppg.com.cn), China Children Audio-Visual and Electronic Publishing House and a range of educational services branded as "Heart-to-Heart Sister". The Wonderland, a base to promote reading among young people, is China's largest professional bookstore for children and teenagers. In 2013, as shown in the "2012 Press and Publication Industry Analysis Report" developed by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of The People's Republic of China, CCPPG ranks the first in terms of total economic value among all children's publishers in China.
Sourcebooks is a thriving entrepreneurial company that brings extraordinary authors to readers in the most dynamic, data-driven ways. We create books that transcend categories and defy odds and have been honored with hundreds of national bestsellers and awards. We are home to enthusiastic, book-loving employees who are dedicated to connecting books to readers in new and innovative ways. Story by story, book by book, we have touched over 100 million lives. Join us as we change 100 million more.
Many were no doubt surprised and saddened by the news that Sally Dedecker passed away on Monday night.
Sally was a close friend, and an extraordinary asset to the publishing industry. So many have since come out to talk about the ways that Sally impacted their life, their work, and themselves.
In September, I had the honor of presenting her with the BISG Lifetime Service Award. I spoke of Sally’s many achievements and contributions to BISG and the entire book industry. I was speaking on behalf of all of her many friends at BISG:
As we continue to reinvent BISG, there's no better example of what our core values mean in practice than Sally Dedecker. For more than half of the time that BISG has been serving the industry, Sally has been serving BISG.
Her knowledge and experience make her invaluable to this organization and the publishing industry as a whole.
As seen through her work with BookExpo, uPublishU, BISG, and more, Sally’s collaborative nature has helped publishers, authors, readers, and so many others connect for meaningful conversations that help our industry move forward.
In a sense, Sally is an unsung hero, with an incredible breadth of knowledge. Through her comprehensive consultant agency, Sally Dedecker Enterprises, Sally has helped provide solutions in distribution, sales, marketing, product development, among other areas of the digital and print publishing process. As many of you know, she has also developed and curated the educational conferences for BookExpo America.
When asked about Sally, Maureen McMahon said, "If I had to describe Sally Dedecker in one word, it would be 'unstoppable.' Her combination of industry knowledge, energetic problem solving, and generous friendship put her at the top of the list of colleagues we turn to for advice -- or when we just need a dose of Sally's no-holds-barred candor. You can always count on Sally to tell it like it is."
No task has been too small, no project has been too big for Sally. She has looked at our business as if it were her own, because truly, it has been. Sally has dedicated her life to this industry, and has made an incredible impact.
Sally once again chaired this year's jury to select the recipients of BISG's 2017 awards. We couldn't tell her that we'd also picked out one for her. I am happy, proud, and honored, to present Sally Dedecker with the 2017 Lifetime Service Award, given by all of her colleagues, past and present, who know all the many and amazing things she has done to make BISG work for its members and for our industry.
I will miss my friend. I know we all will. She made an enormous difference in our lives, for which I will always be grateful.
—Dominique Raccah, CEO and Publisher, Sourcebooks
In celebration of Children’s Book Week, March 4th and Sourcebooks recently made a joint donation of 21,000 books to First Book, the nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 160 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families. The donation of six Little Pickle Press titles appealing to children from preschool to middle grades is being made in support of First Book’s partnership with Every Child a Reader, the charitable arm of the Children’s Book Council and sponsor of Children’s Book Week, which will take place May 1 to 7, 2017.
Little Pickle Press is known for award-winning books that help children make sense of complex issues. Titles donated include: A Bird on Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Roar Like a Girl by Coleen Murtagh Paratore, Spaghetti Is Not a Finger Food (and Other Life Lessons) by Jodi Carmichael, The Treasure of Barracuda by Llanos Campos and translated by Lawrence Schimel, What Does It Mean to Be an Entrepreneur? by Rana DiOrio and Emma D. Dryden, and What Does It Mean to Be Safe? by Rana DiOrio.
In January, Sourcebooks and March 4th (formerly Little Pickle Press) announced an innovative publishing partnership, and this donation is one of the first efforts undertaken as part of their on-going relationship.
“We are honored to help make these books available to schools and families who may not otherwise have access to quality children’s content,” said Rana DiOrio, CEO of March 4th and founder of Little Pickle Press. “We have always believed that for society to thrive, it must promote literacy and instill values in its young people. Getting meaningful messages into the hearts and minds of more children has always been the keystone of our approach.”
To learn how to participate in Children’s Book Week, visit Every Child a Reader.
March 4th is catalyzing a universe of character-driven stories that meet the cross-format demands of young consumers and their caring adults. Brought to life through video, film, aStories™, and merchandise, this universe increases market awareness and penetration for its publishing partners.
Sourcebooks brings extraordinary authors to readers in the most dynamic and data-driven ways. Through innovative publishing, exploring every platform, and creating breakthrough models, Sourcebooks is consistently finding new ways to help authors touch people and change lives. In 2016, Sourcebooks CEO and publisher Dominique Raccah was named PW Person of the Year and BISG Innovator of the Year. Visit www.sourcebooks.com for more information, and check out the Sourcebooks blog.
March 4th, Inc.:
3701 Sacramento Street #494, San Francisco, CA, 94118; (877) 415-4488; firstname.lastname@example.org
1935 Brookdale Rd, Ste 139, Naperville, IL, 60563; (800) 432-7444; email@example.com
As announced last month, we are partnering with fellow independent publishers to draw attention to books that have big impact. This month, we're celebrating International Women's Day - a day that recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.
From brilliant scientists, physicsts, and mathematicians, to navigating fragile terrain and fighting for unity, these stories showcase amazing women in our past, and the power of those who lead us today. They will encourage, inspire, and empower both girls and women to be themselves, seize the day, and break barriers.
You can learn more about International Women’s Day here. Join the conversation at #IReadIndie and #BeBoldForChange!
A Country Between: Making a Home Where Both Sides of Jerusalem Collide by Stephanie Saldaña
“Beautifully written, ardent and wise.”—Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Secret Chord, People of the Book, and March
When American writer Stephanie Saldaña finds herself in an empty house at the beginning of Nablus Road, the dividing line between East and West Jerusalem, she is a new wife trying to navigate a fragile terrain, both within her marriage and throughout the country in which she has chosen to live. Pregnant with her first child, Stephanie struggles to protect her family, their faith, and herself from the cracks of Middle Eastern conflict that threaten to shatter the world around her. A Country Between captures the fragile ecosystem of the Middle East and the difficult first years of motherhood in the midst of a conflict-torn city.
Buy the Book
Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Brave New Girl: How to Be Fearless by Lou Hamilton
Insightful, bold, and timeless, Brave New Girl shows women and girls that anything is possible, and motivates them to move past fear and into courage. Each page is an invitation to pause, reflect, and happily rise to the occasion. This inspirational gift book encourages girls and women to seize the day, be kind to themselves, and break down any imaginary barriers holding them hostage.
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Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
“Fascinating and thoughtful.”—B.A. Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of The Art Forger and The Muralist
Albert Einstein’s first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Maric, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century. The Other Einstein offers a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow.
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Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker
Girls being fearless. Girls being silly. Girls being wild, stubborn, and proud. Girls whose faces are smeared with dirt and lit up with joy. So simple and yet so powerful, Strong Is the New Pretty celebrates, through more than 175 memorable photographs, the strength and spirit of girls being 100% themselves.
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Workman Publishing | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel by Elizabeth J. Church
Follow the journey of a driven young woman whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era in Elizabeth J. Church’s debut novel. Told through the eyes of Meridian Wallace, The Atomic Weight of Love takes us from the World War II years in Chicago through to the 1970s in Los Alamos, New Mexico, blending an intriguing piece of American history and science with feminism and a passionate love story.
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Workman Publishing | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Radioactive: How Irène Curie and Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World by Winifred Conkling
Radioactive tells the fascinating, little-known story of how two brilliant female physicists working in a male-dominated field made groundbreaking discoveries that led to the creation of the atomic bomb. A nonfiction narrative that reads with the suspense of a thriller, Radioactive sheds light on Irene Curie and Lise Meitner, who are still largely ignored despite their crucial contributions to cutting-edge research.
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Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
NEW VENTURE WILL SIGNIFICANTLY EXPAND SOURCEBOOKS JABBERWOCKY'S NONFICTION PROGRAM
Sourcebooks has acquired from March 4th all publishing rights for Little Pickle Press, best known for creating books that relate meaningful, complex concepts to children, including the bestselling and award-winning picture book Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by author JoAnn Deak, Ph.D. and illustrator Sarah Ackerley, which has sold more than 250,000 copies, and a multi-award-winning series that includes What Does It Mean To Be An Entrepreneur?® and What Does It Mean To Be Kind?®
Since founding March 4th (formerly, Little Pickle Press) in 2009, Rana DiOrio has sought to create products that inspire character development—traits such as kindness, honesty, bravery, and patience—in young people, and to do so in a socially and environmentally friendly manner. In addition to Deak, Little Pickle is the publisher of a number of bestselling authors, including Shawn Achor, Elizabeth O. Dulemba, and Coleen Murtagh Paratore. Many of the company’s titles are multiple award winners, and in 2014 Foreword Reviews named Little Pickle Press Independent Publisher of the Year. In 2015, Little Pickle expanded into the middle grade and young adult markets.
“We are thrilled to partner with Sourcebooks! Dominique and her team embody so many qualities we admire—professionalism, entrepreneurialism, and kindness,” said DiOrio. “We couldn’t have wished for a better partner in furthering our mission to inspire character development in young people, and we are excited by the tremendous potential made available by our shared vision for the future.”
Kelly Barrales-Saylor, who joined Sourcebooks as editorial director for children’s nonfiction in June 2016, has been working to quickly build its children’s nonfiction program, which has already seen great success with titles like This Book Is Gay, Dear Nobody, and the New York Times bestselling Poetry Speaks to Children series.
“I could not think of a more natural fit than adding Little Pickle Press to our growing children’s business,” said Barrales-Saylor. “Rana’s mission to create books for a better world perfectly syncs with the Sourcebooks vision that books change lives. Little Pickle provides us with the opportunity to partner with a remarkably talented entrepreneur, as well as significantly expand our offering of books that inspire, encourage, and teach young readers.”
Little Pickle Press will live as an imprint under Sourcebooks’ Jabberwocky brand, the company’s children’s imprint. The acquisition includes about twenty-five frontlist and backlist titles, which will be available through Sourcebooks beginning February 1. March 4th will work with Sourcebooks to seek out and generate new projects for the Jabberwocky and Little Pickle Press imprints, with new titles to come as soon as spring 2018. DiOrio will continue to run March 4th, Inc., with a focus on creating and acquiring content and developing video, film, and merchandise strategies in support of Sourcebooks and other partners.
“There are opportunities for creating momentum and real change in this industry by having publishers band together to better support booksellers and authors,” added Dominique Raccah, CEO and publisher of Sourcebooks. “I’ve greatly admired Rana’s work for years. She has created something really extraordinary, and I am tremendously excited to join efforts with March 4th and the very talented Little Pickle Press authors.”
This week Sourcebooks turned twenty-nine, and took some time to celebrate twenty-nine years of success, growth, and innovation, and most importantly, all the people who helped us get there.
The Sourcebooks Naperville team in front of the office, full of ice cream and good cheer.
After taking some time to let loose, and engage in some friendly competition, Publisher and CEO Dominique Raccah spoke on what it takes to create a company like this, and while she was addressing the employees, she was really talking to the entire Sourcebooks family. All of the authors who write such wonderful books, our bookselling partners who help to connect readers with the right books for them, our media partners who share their love of these books, and of course the readers. We wouldn’t be here without the readers. Here’s what she said:
“Wow. Twenty-nine years.
Sourcebooks as a book publishing company simply should not exist. Whoever has a copy of “The Rules of Publishing” would tell you that. You think that’s not an actual thing, but sometimes our industry believes that there are “rules.” We ran into them again and again, and we still do.
My book review of “The Rules of Publishing” is short but sweet, “Let’s create something amazing.”
Innovation is how we got here. It’s the cornerstone of who we are and who we’ll become next. As you all probably saw, we won the BISG Industry Innovation Award last week, and when I got up on stage I talked about how innovation is iterative, is about the customer experience, and is about having the right mindset.
What I didn’t talk about is what innovation looks like. For that I would have needed pictures because it looks like all of you. It looks like the great big ideas and the small improvements to processes that let us pursue those ideas. Each and every one of you has a daily impact on the work we do, how we innovate and the success we create.
There are so many places in the company’s history where we did something that other people thought was crazy. We put CD’s in books, we published not one but TWO New York Times bestselling children’s poetry collections, we built a whole personalized website from the ground up. But we did it to create something amazing—connecting authors to readers in new ways.
Sourcebooks would not be the company that it is today without you and your dedication to the idea that books change lives. YOU have changed my life, and all I can say is thank you! Thank you for your ideas, for your hard work, for your dedication. It has been a great year and I cannot wait to create an even bigger future.”
I’m incredibly honored to announce that Sourcebooks won the BISG Industry Innovation Award at the BISG Annual Meeting held today, September 30, 2016, which also happens to be Sourcebooks’ 29th birthday!
I’m sharing the acceptance speech I gave, below, because this award is not about me. It’s about each and every single person who walks through the door into our offices every morning, excited about what they will create that day. This is about our partners, and our authors, and the many readers whose lives we get to touch. It’s about what we’ve ALL created together.
We've done so much. We get to do more. Thank YOU for loving books and helping to create (each and every day) the future of this industry that we love so much.
BISG Industry Innovation Award – Acceptance Speech:
Last week as I was walking out of the office one night I started a list of the things that we were working on that looked like "new" to me. I came back the next morning, expanded that list of 6 to 14 and realized it touched every part of our organization. When I shared it with my team, they expanded it to 31 and at that point I realized that we were rethinking our business from the ground up.
Innovation is, I think, 3 things:
It is customer centric. Leaning into the customer experience, whether it's augmented reality, ya covers, Facebook conversions or personalized books.
And it is iterative. You try, learn, change, over and over. You start small, like that list I made. And you build from there.
And it is about mindset. Our industry is often thought to be the hallmark of stuck. Innovation is tough, it's expensive and on some days it's really embarrassing. But it's our mindset --the way we think about it -- that allows us to drive through and innovate.
When I look at us, the book industry, I see leaders. I see strivers. I see innovators.
I see an industry that's breaking the norms of what media transformation can and should look like. And people who daily do the work for the sheer excitement that books bring into people's lives.
Thank you so much for this honor, thank you to the whole BISG organization for the work you do, to the committee and working group members and chairs, to my many friends on the board, and to everyone here today for giving your time and effort to making our industry better. As members of BISG we are charged and trusted with setting standards for the industry. Let's continue to set a standard of innovation, of growth mindset, of reaching beyond what we are now and creating the future of book publishing. Thank you.
Every year ReaderLink holds their annual meeting in the Chicagoland area and invites their partners to come in for two days of sharing great information and networking. For anyone not familiar, ReaderLink is the group that, among other things, supplies books to some of your favorite retailers like Walmart, Target, the wholesale clubs, grocery chains, and more. ReaderLink also hosts an awards ceremony where it presents awards to it's publishing partners.
This year the awards dinner was hosted by author and television personsonality Anderson Cooper and during the event Sourcebooks was honored to be presented with the Rising Star Award. Publisher and CEO Dominique Raccah accepted the award and gave the following speech:
"Thank you for recognizing our company with this exciting award. All of us at Sourcebooks put an immeasurable value on our business relationship with the staff and management at ReaderLink. There is no question that ReaderLink and the retailers you serve have played a key role in the growth of Sourcebooks during our 27 year history, a simple truth that no doubt applies to every publisher in the room tonight. We are very grateful for the opportunity and the support ReaderLink has given our titles over the years. And nowhere is that more evident than in our news tonight that with the success you’ve helped us create, This is Where it Ends, our brilliant young adult novel is today a #1 New York Times bestseller. 25 weeks on the list. Thank YOU!!! Thank you!! Thank YOU!! Each and every one of you.
Our thanks as well to the many special individuals at Readerlink that have given guidance, advice, feedback and direction to us as our publishing program has grown. John Norris and his team have been instrumental in how we have shaped our children’s publishing program. Our romance line has grown dramatically with the support and insights of Cathy Cadek. Sourcebooks YA and Adult imprints continue to see terrific growth as well and we are grateful for the support of Donna’s wonderful staff. Our thanks as well to the critical ReaderLink teams in California, and Bentonville.
We are well aware of the complexity and thousands of moving parts and people it takes to do what you do at ReaderLink on behalf of your retailers, your suppliers and the millions of readers they serve. We are in awe and excited to be a part of it all with you."
Thank you to everyone at ReaderLink for your partnership, and for honoring our team with the Rising Star Award!
“I think the mystery category could be an interesting space for us. Could you look into that?”
At Sourcebooks, big projects often grow out of small questions. And in this case, the small, seemingly innocuous question—“Could you look into that?”—was directed at me, a fledgling editor with the time and interest to do a deep dive into the well-established, sprawling mystery category to determine whether Sourcebooks might be able to find a foothold in the marketplace.
At other publishing houses, the thought of taking on such a large task might be intimidating. But at Sourcebooks, innovation has always been a prominent theme, especially in the fiction program. From building a new imprint from the ground up under publishing legend Hillel Black’s guidance, to the Jane Austen spinoff craze that rocked the early 2000s, to the establishment of a thriving romance program, Sourcebooks editors have been seeking out new opportunities in adult fiction for nearly two decades, and I was thrilled to have the chance to take on a similar challenge.
I started my investigation with data, analyzing the top twenty mystery imprints in the Big Five, as well as looking at the most successful independent publishers in the space. I broke the entire mystery/suspense/thriller market down into categories, and from there into subcategories. Everything from James Patterson’s gritty thrillers to Joanne Fluke’s delicious cozy mysteries went under the microscope as I worked to identify which types of books were selling well, paying special attention to where debut authors were finding success.
Finally, I had to put together a plan for Sourcebooks’s entry into the mystery category. I compared the data I had to Sourcebooks’s strengths, looking for places where we could capitalize on our existing knowledge and skills to reach readers in new ways. Women-oriented mysteries were a clear opportunity for us—as a well-known romance and women’s fiction publisher, I suspected we might also find success with books featuring female sleuths that tackle issues of importance to women readers. Since we also have a strong historical fiction program, historical mysteries in the tradition of Jacqueline Winspear and Susan Elia MacNeal were an area I was eager to explore. Our well-established mass market romance program and strong presence in the library market could lend itself to development in the mass market cozy mystery space, and our passion for book club fiction and fantastic storytelling led me to wonder if we might not want to publish books in the vein of Tana French, Lori Roy, and Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger.
All of this research and planning went into a 108-slide PowerPoint presentation, which I shared with our publisher and senior staff to propose the development of a mystery program at Sourcebooks. A year and a half later, we are releasing debut author Radha Vatsal’s A Front Page Affair, the first book in an exciting historical mystery series set in World War I New York City that has received outstanding trade reviews, is a Library Journal debut of the month, and represents the beginning of what I hope will be an important evolution in the Sourcebooks fiction program.
One of the very best things about being an editor at Sourcebooks is the huge number of opportunities we get to take advantage of in terms of flexibility and our publisher’s enthusiasm for innovation and willingness to let us experiment. Editors armed with nothing more than passion, a keen editorial eye, and a small question (“Could you look into that?”) have established imprints that now house some of the most beloved and respected authors in their categories. And, of course, in the end, everything we’re able to do as editors comes from the wonderful authors we work with. A frequent refrain at Sourcebooks is “We publish authors, not books,” which points to our belief that one of our jobs as a publisher is to support our authors in editorial work, marketing, publicity, and sales, in hopes that we’ll still be working together five, ten, fifteen years down the road. As we embark on this new adventure, I’m so thrilled to be welcoming our new mystery authors to the Sourcebooks family and can’t wait to see the success we’ll create together.
We were all saddened to hear of the passing of Hillel Black, our executive editor here at Sourcebooks for nearly 10 years.
Hillel’s impact on the company that Sourcebooks became cannot be understated. It was Hill’s deep love for authors that helped form a cornerstone for the sort of publishing company we sought to create. As the former publisher of Macmillan and editor-in-chief at William Morrow, he joined what was then a small publishing house trafficking entirely in nonfiction. Simply put, Hillel Black put us on the map.
Indeed, Hillel is the reason we have both the Sourcebooks Landmark fiction imprint and a New York City office. Soon after he joined us in the year 2000, Hill was here in Naperville to visit and took Dominique out for dinner. I received a call at home that night from Dominique: “I think I just committed us to starting a fiction program,” she sheepishly told me. To be frank, it was a huge risk.
But Hillel would get it done, famously asking Dominique over sushi what kind of novels she’d like to publish. “Writers like Michael Malone,” she said. Hill being Hill located one of Michael’s old books, found the agent in the acknowledgments, and soon thereafter Sourcebooks Landmark was publishing Michael’s first new novel in more than a decade, placing it on the New York Times bestsellers list. As we’ve recently reported, Sourcebooks Landmark had its best year ever in 2015, and 2016 is off to a rollicking start. Hillel got it all off the ground and would be delighted.
Hillel’s care for books and authors was unparalleled, and his drive to find the next big book was never-ending. He was a mentor to me and to many others here. Several of us have been commiserating today about his phrases of wisdom that have become vocabulary around here – a “publishing prophet” is just one way of explaining his impact. Go for it, ask a long-timer, they’ll have a Hillel story to tell you.
Most importantly, though, Hillel was a dear, dear friend. His was a kind and genuine soul. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
VP Editorial Director
At left, Hillel and Alfred Blumrosen, author of Slave Nation, enjoy a drink and lively conversation at Sourcebooks' 20th birthday party. At right, Hillel celebrates his retirement with Todd Stocke, Tom Murphy, and Deb Werksman. Below, Hillel and Dominique cut the cake and drink champagne to commemorate his 10 wonderful years with Sourcebooks.
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