Bonnier Zaffre has announced it is expanding into the US market, starting by directly publishing brand authors Wilbur Smith and Lynda La Plante into North America.
The publishing division, which Bonnier Publishing UK only launched in 2015, issued a statement of intent stating it would continue "building brand name authors" in the US, initially focusing on Smith and La Plante. It has hired a new v.p. of sales, marketing and publicity, Valentina Rice, to help with the expansion.
Rice will report to Mark Smith, c.e.o. Bonnier Zaffre and join the 30 staff based at Bonnier Publishing USA’s New York headquarters at 251 Park Avenue South, while Smith continues to run the business from Bonnier Zaffre’s headquarters in London, UK, reporting into Bonnier Publishing UK c.e.o., Perminder Mann.
Rice was previously vice president of international sales and marketing for Penguin Group (USA) Inc, where she spent 15 years before launching her own business, an e-commerce site for artisanal food helping small-batch producers get national distribution.
Bonnier Zaffre will join Bonnier Publishing USA’s distribution agreement with Simon & Schuster effective immediately.
Smith, c.e.o. of Bonnier Zaffre, called the expansion "a natural next step in the development of Bonnier Zaffre". He added: "We look forward to building on the success our authors have previously enjoyed in this market, and bringing new focus to building brand names in commercial fiction.”
Rice said: "I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the dynamic Bonnier Publishing family, be part of such an exciting expansion, and to work with such beloved authors."
Nigel Stoneman, managing director at La Plante Global, said Smith's proposal to publish the author in the US and Canada made "complete sense" following the success of Good Friday in the UK, Australian, South African and international markets.
La Plante added: "I am delighted that Bonnier Zaffre will be my publisher for the US and Canada. I look forward to working with their brilliant team in New York, starting in March with the publication of the Tennison series of novels, followed by Widows later in 2018."
Bonnier Zaffre revealed it had poached Wilbur Smith from HarperCollins in an eight-figure deal for world all-language rights in June. Before that, St Martins published the author in the US. La Plante moved from Simon & Schuster, where she was published in the US, to Bonnier Zaffre at the end of 2016.