Scholastic’s publisher for fiction and picture books, Sam Smith, is leaving the firm to join Macmillan Children’s Books (MCB).
Smith will take up the role of publisher for fiction, non-fiction and picture books on 6th January, reporting to publisher Belinda Ioni Rasmussen. Her appointment follows the departure of Venetia Gosling in July.
At Scholastic, Smith has responsibility for the overall publishing strategy for successful front list and backlist children’s brands including Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and Liz Pichon’s Tom Gates. She was also responsible for Julia Donaldson’s and Axel Scheffler’s backlist publishing, including Stick Man, and for managing the UK success of The Wonky Donkey. Before Scholastic, Smith was at Little, Brown, where she established Atom Books as a market leading children’s imprint.
Smith said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining Belinda and the team at Macmillan Children’s Books. I’ve long been a fan of their list, both in terms of the thoughtful, engaging publishing and the editorial excellence behind it, and can’t wait to be part of this dynamic next chapter.”
She will become a member of the MCB management team alongside Stephanie Barton, MCB publisher for preschool, brands and classics, and Kingfisher publisher Russell McLean. Two Hoots publisher Suzanne Carnell continues to report to Stephanie Barton.
Rasmussen said: “Over the last five years MCB has grown by almost 50% as the company has broadened its focus to include licensing, gifting and novelty, and has taken a strongly market-led approach. Sam’s appointment signals our growth ambitions across the children’s market segments. I am delighted to welcome Sam to MCB and to the Pan Mac family. She brings bucketloads of positive energy, a growth mindset and invaluable author brand experience. I‘m looking forward enormously to working closely with Sam to flesh out and realise our exciting plans.”
Pan Mac m.d. Anthony Forbes Watson added: “Sam joins Belinda’s strikingly talented team at a time when her business has gained real momentum. Sam’s international outlook and can-do attitude are just what the doctor ordered.”