Gray promoted to Souvenir Press publisher

Gray promoted to Souvenir Press publisher

Rebecca Gray, associate publisher at Profile and Serpent’s Tail, has been promoted to publisher of Souvenir Press with immediate effect with aims to develop it into a “dynamic” lifestyle imprint.

Souvenir Press was founded by Ernest Hecht who ran it as an independent company for 67 years until his death in February 2018.  In November, it was announced that Profile Books had taken over its publishing operations

Gray, who began her publishing career at Little, Brown, has worked at Profile for 12 years. Her authors across the Profile and Serpent’s Tail lists include Karen Joy Fowler, whose novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves has sold over 800,000 copies, the publisher said, as well as authors such as Lucy Mangan and Carmen Maria Machado. Gray revealed she would look out for a range of lifestyle proposals as well as “mining the backlist.”

“I’m thrilled to develop Souvenir into a creative, dynamic lifestyle imprint,” she said. “I mean lifestyle in the broadest sense, from personal development to popular science and books on health and wellness… I want to make a space for books about life too – memoirs or narratives following the how we live now theme.

“Self-improvement can mean tackling a single skill, finding the inspiration to make a change, or just feeling confident that there are people out there like you. I’m excited to start looking for these things as well as mining the backlist for gems, alongside the editor we’re about to recruit and the brilliant colleagues I already have the pleasure of working with.”

Andrew Franklin, m.d. of Profile Books, said: “Souvenir has a backlist of extraordinary riches, thanks to Ernest Hecht whose creation it was. Rebecca is not so much a star, as a supernova. So with her at the helm I know Souvenir will go from strength to strength and sit brilliantly alongside Profile and Serpent’s Tail, adding a thoughtful and commercial list to the company.”

A new editor for Souvenir Press will be appointed soon with the role advertised online.

Hecht founded Souvenir Press in the bedroom of his parents’ home in 1951. Since then the eclectic list has grown to feature around 500 active titles with particular emphasis on psychology, personal development, health and wellness. 

Profile Books confirmed in November that it would run Souvenir Press’ lists under the same name, maintaining their “individual character” with a new editor to be appointed in early 2019. Souvenir had three employees who helped to wind up the estate - one retired, one was made redundant and another worked with Profile temporarily to ease the transition before moving on to a junior role at Andrew Nurnberg Associates.