HarperCollins has acquired “the majority of titles” published by Esther Margolis’s Newmarket Press. The publisher’s list comprises over 200 books on film (particularly screenplays and “making of” books that tie in to award-winning movies), theater, and performing arts, as well as over 100 titles on parenting, psychology, health, biography, history, and business as well as some fiction. The only titles not included in the agreement are inactive ones that will revert back to the rightsholders. At one point, HarperCollins had served as Newmarket’s distributor.
Margolis, who started Newmarket in 1981, will join Harper’s It Books as an executive editor. She will focus on entertainment-related books, particularly movie tie-ins and her continuing Shooting Script series, expecting to publish 10 to 15 titles a year, which will be issued under the imprint Newmarket Press for It Books. Newmarket’s four forthcoming fall titles–a tie-in to the Shakespeare movie Anonymous; an illustrated book connected to Steven Spielberg’s Warhorse movie; The Art & Making of Arthur Christmas; and the script for Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar–will all be released by Harper, though Newmarket’s previous distributor Perseus will continue to accept returns on existing titles for the next six months. Margolis also anticipates that Harper will be able to help maximize the ebook potential of her backlist, particularly the illustrated movie tie-ins, where she does control the rights but had not invested in exploiting those titles on color ereading platforms.
Separately, Margolis will continue to administer her separate Newmarket Communications business, which represented certain authors and properties, including ongoing representation for novelist Tom Grace. Newmarket executive editor Keith Hollaman will work with Margolis on a freelance basis during a transition period, and at least some other Newmarket employees have already found jobs with other publishers over the past couple of months.
It Books publisher Cal Morgan says in the announcement, “Esther Margolis is a highly respected veteran of both the publishing and the film industries, with unparalleled relationships with countless studios and filmmakers. Her wealth of knowledge and experience in publishing to this audience will be an invaluable asset to the growing It Books list.”