Fast-growing Sourcebooks is launching a new education division that will incorporate and extend existing publications and programs for college students and the college-bound with a number of new initiatives. Initial staffing for the division will include six new positions in sales, marketing and information systems, continuing to draw on existing staff in editorial and publicity. The first new hires are: Technical architect Deb Kimminau, responsible for leading the design and development of new digital initiatives, which include MyMaxScore; programmer analyst Kavita Khanna, responsible for updating and implementing new technical requirements for the MyMaxScore adaptive learning software; and education sales manager Phil Hartman, who will manage new and existing relationships with state education departments, school districts, high school educators, guidance counselors, as well as colleges and universities. Most recently he was with Warehouse Direct Education Products & Services. The new division also receives regular consultation from a team of 12 educator advisors which includes Edward Fiske, Harlan Cohen, Gary Gruber, Christie Garton, and Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz.
CEO Dominique Raccah says, “Our mission is to help students find the right college, support the application and admissions process (including test prep) and successfully transition into college. What we’re looking to create together is revolutionary improvements that make a significant difference in the lives of our users: students, parents, and educators.”
Current product lines include the Fiske Guides (and app), MyMaxScore.com test prep platform, and The Naked Roommate First Year Experience Program. In a letter to agents and publishers, Raccah celebrated that the company’s “sales through July/August of this year are up 25 percent,” with a 7.5 percent gain in units as tracked by Nielsen BookScan.
In separate news, Sourcebooks will also offer its children’s titles through Scholastic‘s ereading app, which launches later this fall. (Among the first Sourcebook titles that will be available are Francesca Simon’s HORRID HENRY series, DREAM BIG, LITTLE PIG by Kristi Yamaguchi, and I LOVE YOU MORE by Laura Duksta.) Scholastic’s venture focuses on their “proprietary distribution channels” reached through Scholastic Book Clubs, which is the division behind the new platform. The company says it’s “specially designed to captivate kids while helping them become better readers” and will offer a broad line of picture books, elementary series, middle grade chapter books and YA novels.
In other personnel news, Thorsten Ohm will become ceo of Germany’s VDM Publishing Group, taking over from owner. The company says on its website it releases 50,000 print-on-demand titles a month.
In award news, Edna O’Brien has won Ireland’s Frank O’Connor prize for her short-story collection SAINTS AND SINNERS. Judge Thomas McCarthy called her “the Solzhenitsyn of Irish life – the one who kept speaking when everyone else stopped talking about being an Irish woman.”