Digital commercial fiction publisher Hera Books has been acquired by Canelo for an undisclosed fee, with Hera's co-founder and m.d. Lindsey Mooney stepping down from the firm to pursue other opportunities.
Keshini Naidoo will remain as Hera’s publishing director, while the press becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Canelo. Iain Millar will become Hera’s m.d., in addition to his responsibilities in that role at Canelo. All staff are expected to be retained and there will be no immediate or major changes to roles, The Bookseller has been told.
The acquisition of the publisher is billed as part of Canelo's wider strategy to achieve its "multi-million growth" plans. Canelo said the move was a natural strategic and operational fit, creating "fresh opportunities to build stronger readerships and a broader retailer offer".
Mooney said: "It’s been an incredible few years launching and running Hera, and I’m so proud of the books and company we have built. With Hera reaching a sustainable place, it felt like the right time to try some new things, and I’m delighted that Hera has such a firm foundation for the future. Canelo has been exceptionally supportive of us and I know that Hera will go from strength to strength with their support and Keshini’s editorial nous. They will remain good friends. I will be cheering it and our brilliant authors on."
The two companies have worked together since Hera was founded in 2018, with Canelo providing publishing services and support. Hera's list includes Alex Kane, Kiley Dunbar, Victoria Walters and Charly Cox, among others.
Millar said: "We were thrilled to work with this fantastic team as it launched and then took off. This next phase should mean both Hera and Canelo have even more impact. I’d particularly like to pay tribute to Lindsey, whose role in forging a thriving business cannot be underestimated, and to Keshini, who we are delighted to welcome to Canelo. They’ve put everything into building Hera, and with the author list they’ve put together, it’s no wonder the company is flourishing. We can’t wait to help continue that journey."
Naidoo added: "Building Hera alongside one of my oldest friends has been one of my biggest life achievements, and I could not be prouder of everything we have accomplished as a team. Despite the many challenges, we have created a dynamic publishing house with fantastic authors and market-led titles, offering a breadth of page-turning, quality fiction. I’m so excited to see how Hera will soar to even greater heights under Canelo’s aegis, whilst still retaining our core values of being ‘unashamedly commercial and always inclusive'."