Pulsifer leaves Arcadia

Pulsifer leaves Arcadia

The founder of Arcadia Books, Gary Pulsifer, has been dismissed from his position as publisher of the company.

Piers Russell-Cobb’s MediaFund bought the company in January 2013 after it slipped into administration, rehired Pulsifer to lead it and has been increasing digital and physical sales over the last year.

However, on Friday (18th July) Pulsifer sent an email to friends explaining he’d been dismissed by the company. He said: “Today I was dismissed by the current management of Arcadia Books. I was offered ongoing freelance remuneration until 8 August, but have chosen to leave now.”

After founding Arcadia in 1996, Pulsifer said it was “naturally a sad day for me” but added it was “one I have seen coming.” He added: “I am sorry that I will not see through to publication books on the autumn 2014 and 2015 lists. (As many of you will be aware, the editorial programme as it now stands going into 2016 is largely of my creation.) I've enjoyed working with each and every one of you.”

Pulsifer told The Bookseller he had received around 200 emails from authors and well wishers responding to his departure since Friday. “The reason I was given for my dismissal was that the company could not afford to employ me any longer…But I think it is being part of a small company, there is only room for one big chief and it was not going to be me,” he said. “I have seen it coming, I wasn’t surprised. I think the company business model is going to be to employ freelancers to do the work but that doesn’t build up good staff relations.” He added: “I am really sad about this, not least because the company has been going in the right direction, sales are going up,” he said.

However, he added that he was thinking about “possibly resurrecting Pulsifer Press” – a small imprint he once ran.

Piers Russell-Cobb told The Bookseller that Pulsifer’s contract ran out on 8th August and he decided not to renew it. “We have a full programme of authors for 2014-15 and we need to concentrate on publishing these authors the best way we can,” he said. Russell-Cobb added that there was currently nothing to announce on who was to replace Pulsifer in the role of publisher.

In January 2013, MediaFund, established in 1991 which aids media mergers and  acquisitions, rescued Aracadia Books from administration and 90% of its author list.