James Spackman, former managing director of Watkins Media [pictured], has left the company to concentrate on agenting and publishing for cycling books.
He will be placed in his role by the owner, US entrepreneur Etan Ilfeld.
Spackman was appointed as Watkins m.d in June 2012, leaving his position as sales and trade marketing director in Hodder to do so.
Speaking at The Bookseller’s Marketing and Publicity Conference yesterday (30th June), Spackman said it was his last day in the job and that he was leaving to concentrate on his interest in cycling books, a project which he has been doing outside his Watkins role. Spackman also intends to develop new publishing opportunities: he recently re-published The Great Boffo, Frank Dickens' classic 1973 kid's book about a bike race, in collaboration with Snowbooks, and has his own imprint called Pursuit.
He said: "I'm hugely excited to be making my hobby (obsession, even) my job. Working on cycling books part time this year has been tremendous fun and surprisingly successful (if you'll forgive the humblebrag) so I'm delighted to be going full time".
Osprey sold Mind, body and spirit publisher Watkins to Ilfeld last October, who also bought imprints Angry Robot and Nourish at the same time for an undisclosed sum.
Ilfeld also owns Watkins Bookshop in London’s Cecil Court and is editor-in-chief of the Watkins Mind Body Spirit magazine.
He told The Bookseller: “Firstly I would like to thank James for all his hard work shepherding the company through some difficult times and acknowledge his role in getting our publishing back on track for both Nourish and Watkins. I had always intended to take over the hands-on running of the business and am grateful to James for working very constructively with me to bring about that transition. Everyone at Watkins wishes him well on his new ventures.”