Holt has reached beyond traditional circles to hire Jill Lamar as their new editor in chief, starting March 14, reporting to division publisher and president Steve Rubin. (Lamar will oversee the Henry Holt imprint; other Holt imprints such as Metropolitan Books and Times Books will continue to be run separately.)
As Rubin said to us, “why just reshuffle the deck again?” He notes, “Jill has been universally respected as the director of Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program since 1999 and was the driving force behind B&N Recommends.” Prior to her 13 years at BN, in the mid-90s Lamar was an editor at BDD Audio, after working in the editorial department at Dell.
Rubin says: “Given this diverse background and the current volatile marketplace, Jill’s often uncanny and savvy knowledge of what makes a book sell will, I believe, be brought to a higher level of fruition as she helps shape the Holt editorial profile, making us a major player in the publishing of literary and commercial books of both fiction and nonfiction. Her warm and engaging personality and her can-do enthusiasm, combined with her publishing smarts, has impressed the publishing, agenting and book buying communities for more than a decade.”
With the hiring of Lamar, Rubin says his reshaping of the Holt editorial staff is complete for now. He still envisions the line as “a very traditional, old-fashioned hardcover publisher” that fills the logical place in Macmillan’s roster and aims very much for the middle of the market. “In terms of fiction I want to go back to the glory days of when we published Sue Grafton and Philip Roth.”