Meredith’s steady pullback from the book publishing business now appears to be Wiley’s gain: the book publisher has just announced a five-year licensing agreement starting March 1, 2009 that gives Wiley the rights to publish books using all of Meredith’s brand names, including Better Homes and Gardens, as well as marks including Family Circle, American Patchwork and Quilting, and Diabetic Living. Wiley will also take over as the exclusive distributor of Meredith’s backlist of about 200 titles, in all channels worldwide.
According to Meredith’s version of the press release, they will “continue to create book content” from their offices in Des Moines and “retain all approval and content rights. Wiley will be responsible for book layout and design, printing, sales and marketing, distribution, and inventory management. Wiley will pay Meredith royalties based on net sales. The agreement will not have a material effect on Meredith’s financial results.”
Wiley will start publishing their first Better Homes and Gardens books in spring 2009, and they expect to issue about 20 titles a year. Wiley’s vp and publisher Natalie Chapman will oversee the culinary books, and vp and publisher Cindy Kitchel will oversee the crafts, home decor and do-it-yourself books.