Ebury announces 'hub'-based structure

News - Publishing Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Announces creation of Smart, Entertainment, Self, and Lifestyle/BBC hubs

Ebury has announced four new publishing "hubs", designed to integrate more closely its publicity and marketing functions. The Penguin Random House division is to appoint a creative and communications director, in a restructure that sees the departures of longstanding staffers Sarah Bennie and Diana Riley, who are to set up their own consultancies (BookBrunch story).

The hubs are Smart, Entertainment, Self, and Lifestyle/BBC. Each hub team will span several imprints and bring together publicists and marketers, working closely with editors.

Joanna Bennett has been promoted to head of campaigns for the Smart hub, while Tessa Henderson has been promoted to head of campaigns for the Entertainment hub. In the Lifestyle/BBC hub, Stephanie Naulls is promoted to head of campaigns, working alongside Claire Scott, Ebury head of publicity and communications. Ebury is to recruit a head of campaigns for the Self hub.

The hubs will be backed by Ebury's new Marketing, Insight & Digital centre, "which will share new digital resources and tools, focusing on search, audience insight and digital advertising, as well as breakout paperback campaigns". It will be led by Caroline Butler, previously head of marketing, who becomes head of marketing, insight and digital strategy. Claire Scott takes on an enhanced. cross-Ebury role.

"The best publishing comes from smaller teams pulling together around shared tastes and categories of books"

Joel Rickett, who took over as Ebury managing director in January 2019, said: "Ebury is a wildly creative, thriving publisher, and we are having another strong year, with TCM sales up 19% thanks to the likes of Mary Berry, The Librarian of Auschwitz, Yotam Ottolenghi, Steve Peters and Marie Kondo, as well as big summer paperbacks from Peter Crouch, James O'Brien and Billy Connolly. But with more than 250 new titles a year, our sheer scale is in some ways our biggest challenge. The best publishing comes from smaller teams pulling together around shared tastes and categories of books, authors and audiences. So the idea behind the hubs is to effectively form four distinct, powerful and autonomous publishing centres, enabling each team deepen its expertise, profile and contacts. The hubs foster creative collaboration between editors, publicists and marketers - who will sit together in our redesigned office space - encouraging them to share ideas and get closer to readers.

"This new setup also recognises that there is more convergence than ever in terms of publicity and marketing - it's all about creating conversations around books and driving demand. The hubs will be under the strategic oversight of a new creative and communications director, joining our leadership team alongside publisher Andrew Goodfellow. We'll also be hiring at least three more publicists and marketers to strengthen the hubs, because this is about investment and growth. The hubs will be backed by our Marketing, Insight & Digital centre, using our scale where it is a real advantage. Ultimately the hubs will give Ebury the foundations to thrive."

The Smart hub, under Ebury deputy publisher Drummond Moir, spans serious non-fiction and smart thinking on WH Allen (Rory Sutherland, James O'Brien, Neil deGrasse Tyson), voice-led narrative on Ebury Press (such as Kate Spicer's recent bestseller Lost Dog), and business on Virgin Books. The Entertainment hub, under Sara Cywinski and Lorna Russell, this year has new books from Harry Redknapp, Peter Crouch, Richard Osman and John Bishop. The Ebury fiction list, led by Gillian Green, will sit alongside the Entertainment hub, with authors including Andy Weir, John Marrs and Katherine Arden.

On the Self hub, spanning the established imprints Vermilion (Susanna Abbott) and Rider (new publisher Olivia Morris), the list includes Marie Kondo, Brene Brown, Tim Ferriss and The Choice by Edith Eger.

The Lifestyle/BBC hub (under Lizzy Gray and Albert DePetrillo) publishes Yotam Ottolenghi, Mary Berry, Rick Stein and other food brands, as well as a range of design-led publishing and the bulk of the BBC Books list. It also includes trend-led imprint Pop Press.

Ebury Enterprises, the partnership publishing arm headed by Carey Smith, will range across the Hubs depending on the best fit for each title.

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