Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ten Speed Press Acquired

I'm back today after being knocked out of commission by a stomach virus. And the first thing I saw when I opened my e-mail was the Publishers Lunch newsletter, with an article about the recent acquisition of our competitor, Ten Speed Press, by Random House. Publishers Weekly also has a report on the sale here, which has apparently been brewing for some time.

Ten Speed is by no means a one-trick pony, although I think it's safe to assume that What Color Is Your Parachute? is, in the words of a former publishing exec, "the horse they all ride," having sold 10 million copies.

This is significant in that I believe Ten Speed to have been the final independent career publisher (the jury is still out as to whether we are still considered independent--it depends on your definition). We saw what happened when Adams Media was acquired by F+W: It grew by leaps and bounds from the infusion of capital. But today it's a whole different game. Nobody has any capital. Odds are, RH is hoping to drain a little of the Parachute action to rejuvenate itself (not that I'm comparing it to Voldemort, or anything).

So, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Meanwhile, I made the best of a sick day yesterday by watching the Becoming Jane DVD I got for Christmas. Beautiful movie--if you are an Austen fan, you must see it. I cried so hard that my fever went back up again. But it was worth it!

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