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19.12.10 | Katie Allen
Reader’s Digest UK has hired a new trade books editor as the company looks to make a £60m turnover next year and acquire new publishing businesses.
Speaking publicly for the first time since joining earlier this year after the publisher went into administration, c.e.o. David Titmuss predicted a turnover of “north of £60m” for 2011, although he declined to split out publishing.
The trade book division will “grow exponentially next year” including new imprints and Titmuss has preliminarily hired five editorial staff. Trade books editor Penny Craig, previously a publishing manager at Carlton, said she is tasked with “expanding the list in key areas—health, cookery, homes, but also long-term looking at...[adjacent] new areas”.
Trade marketing manager for magazines and books Simon Nicoll said: “The impact of administration has affected spring, so the list is lighter than normal. In 2011, we aim to have at least parity to what we’ve done this year.” Craig will oversee a 25% increase in commissioned titles next week. But Titmuss added: “It’s not so much quantity but the extent to which the public and trade know about [the books]. Reader’s Digest comes with a providence and pedigree. There is a demand for the books.”
He is looking to hire an m.d. plus further staff, and is “actively looking to acquire companies...[I’m] particularly interested in those publishers who have niche markets or target markets in mind.”
RDUK went into administration in February after its divorce from its US parent, but was saved by a £13m management buyout lead by m.d. Chris Spratling, who subsequently left the company.
Titmuss joined six months ago, with responsibility for book publishing and the magazine, which will continue to be released 12 times a year. He has previously worked turning around collapsed businesses. He described his role at RDUK as permanent although he refused to discuss how much of a stake he holds in the business.