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Howard Books promotes Smith to vice president PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christian Retailing   
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 03:01 PM EDT

Smith-McDonaldHoward Books has announced that Jennifer Smith has been promoted to vice president, director of publicity.

Smith came to Howard Books in October 2010, from the company’s New York offices, where she oversaw publicity for Simon & Schuster Audio. Prior to that, she was the director of publicity and marketing for one of Simon & Schuster’s distribution clients.

Before her career in publishing, she spent several years as a news director and producer for national television and radio networks and is a guest lecturer at various colleges and universities, specifically talking about publicity, book publishing and the climate of our marketplace.

Since joining the Howard team, Smith has been an integral part of our growing success and has helped cement Howard Books’ reputation in the marketplace as the foremost publisher of Inspirational/Christian books.

She has been diligent in assuring our books and authors get the attention they deserve across mainstream and Christian media platforms, and has helped our imprint launch more than 30 titles to the New York Times best-seller list, including: EntreLeadership, An Invisible Thread, Kisses from Katie, Illusion, Waking up in Heaven, Angels Walking, Emotions, Where a Man Stands, The Traitor's Wife, Rise of Isis and many more.

In 2013 she led campaigns for some of the company’s most successful titles, including No. 1 NYT best-sellers Happy, Happy, Happy  and Sicology 1. In addition, she has fostered relationships with and spearheaded campaigns for many best-selling authors, including A&E’s Duck Dynasty Family, TLC’s Duggar family, the stars of TLC’s The Little Couple, Wm. Paul Young, Tim Conway, Karen Kingsbury, Charles Stanley, Darryl Strawberry, Jay Sekulow and many others. 

Smith’s ability to navigate media relationships as well as lead her team has proven instrumental in helping to grow the Howard Books division to what it is today.

Harvest House Publishers promotes key personnel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christianne Debysingh   
Monday, 30 March 2015 02:11 PM EDT

HarvestHouseNew-webHarvest House Publishers has announced the promotion of two key managers for the purpose of better utilizing their strengths and creating greater efficiency and productivity within the company.

The first of these changes is the promotion of Don Sage, former manager of financial operations, to senior director of financial operations. In his expanded role, Sage will handle additional corporate-level responsibilities including overseeing the newly renamed Implementation Solutions department. Previously organized as two separate departments—Order Fulfillment and Information Technology—this new name and management structure will properly align these company disciplines with their financial foundation.

Along with this realignment, Stephanie Osborne, former director of information technology and order fulfillment, is being promoted to director/implementation solutions and will report to Sage. Osborne’s increased responsibilities will include the oversight of the Distribution department along with the continued administration of Implementation Solutions.

As these two departments already work so closely together, given the functions of order entry, customer service, and distribution, this team realignment will now provide greater synergies and efficiencies within the company.

“God has gifted Harvest House with incredibly talented individuals in Don Sage and Stephanie Osborne, and I am very pleased to further utilize both of their strengths in exciting new ways,” says Harvest House President Bob Hawkins Jr. “With this realignment, Harvest House will be better positioned to achieve our short and long-range goals and initiatives as we seek to blaze new trails in the years to come.”

Michelle Wright joins Parable Group team PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sally Ross   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 09:00 AM EDT

Parable-Michelle-WrightSan Luis Obispo-based marketing agency The Parable Group has announced that Michelle Wright has been hired as a digital marketing specialist. Wright has a 20-year background in sales and marketing with specialties in project management, publicity, social media and promotions with a strong entertainment focus.

Wright joins The Parable Group most recently from Hughes PR, where she served as marketing/PR specialist for the Cantinas Foundation. Wright also brings industry knowledge from previous roles with Rogers & Cowan, Provident Distribution, Renovation (non-profit) and Reunion Records.

During her years at Provident Distribution, Wright managed retail campaigns for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment faith and family films including The Bible miniseries—the highest grossing, non-theatrical video sale to date through the Christian retail channel and the No. 1 miniseries of all time across Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD.

“I’m excited about the future of our digital marketing solutions and the new technologies, opportunities and relationships that transpire daily. Michelle’s extensive experience complements our distinctive approach to implementing accountable marketing solutions, providing an important opportunity to meet and exceed our clients’ diverse needs,” says Steve Potratz, president of The Parable Group. “We are delighted to welcome this talented new member to our digital team.”

In her new role, Wright will serve on the digital marketing team under Laura Clark and champion online display, video, mobile, social media and email campaigns for a variety of Christian organizations and ministries. The Parable Group enjoyed marked growth in their digital marketing services and is forecasting tremendous continued growth for that channel in 2015.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to join The Parable Group marketing team,” Wright said. “After interfacing with the company in several different capacities over the years, I have gained the utmost respect for the leadership and mission of the team. I look forward to contributing to the expanding landscape of marketing faith-based entertainment products.”

David C Cook appoints interim executive publisher PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lisa Beech   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 12:00 PM EDT

Verne-KenneyDavid C Cook has announced that Verne Kenney has been hired as its executive publisher. Kenney will assume the responsibilities that Dan Rich held as head of David C Cook Trade Books and Media until a long-term chief publishing officer is hired.

“Dan and his team have built a solid and sustainable Trade Book and Media unit over the last nine years,” said Chief Executive Officer Cris Doornbos. “With Dan’s pending retirement at the end of May 2015, along with the dramatic changes and challenges in Christian publishing overall, I see this as a window of opportunity to intentionally re-visit our publishing strategy and develop a long-term strategic model. Once we determine the best ‘go forward strategy,’ we will resume our search for a new chief publishing officer.”

Kenney is a trusted and respected colleague within the Christian publishing industry. While at Zondervan, Kenney led the team that collaborated with Randy Frazee and Max Lucado’s “The Story” campaign, which has been adopted by thousands of churches worldwide. Concurrently with his role as executive vice president of sales for Zondervan, Kenney also was appointed trade book publisher and head of marketing, leading those teams on an interim basis. In addition, he ran the Spanish Vida publishing business, turning it profitable and increasing its reach significantly in subsequent years. 

“I’m so pleased to be joining the David C Cook team,” Kenney said. “It’s great to be with a company driven by a mission to serve the local church in a global way. Cook is uniquely positioned as a global leader in serving the church with engaging, biblically-based content and I look forward to working with them to advance their mission.”

In this unique role that reports directly to Doornbos, Kenney will develop and document a proposed ‘Go Forward Strategic Plan’ with the Trade Books and Media team. Additionally, he will be responsible for co-creating a future focused set of new activities, processes and business models for Trade Books.

“For over 20 years I have enjoyed knowing and working together with Verne,” Doornbos said. “He has the experience and the objective assertiveness I’m looking for, with a history of successful strategic planning and a way of thinking ‘outside the book’ that I truly respect.”

Kenney will oversee all day-to-day operations of the Trade Book and Media unit beginning March 23, from acquisition and development of new book projects, to developing and implementing sales and marketing strategies. Kenney’s expertise has proven that he is successful at creating the strategies necessary to deliver impactful books to the market place.

Eerdmans Publishing appoints senior acquisitions editor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ingrid Wolf   
Monday, 16 March 2015 12:05 PM EDT

Lil-CopanWm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company has announced the hiring of Lil Copan as senior acquisitions editor—General Trade.

Copan brings two decades of experience to Eerdmans. She has worked in acquisitions for several religious publishing houses—Abingdon Press, Ave Maria Press, and Paraclete Press, among others. Among her areas of expertise are trade line development, project

management, author and platform cultivation, substantive editing, and cross-platform content development.

Copan has worked with an impressive array of bestselling authors including Madeline L’Engle and Lauren Winner. She acquired Frederick Buechner’s Faces of Jesus for Paraclete in 2004 and was credited by Jana Riess in a 2011 Publishers Weekly interview for having “brilliantly suggested” the concept for her book Flunking Sainthood.

“Very few publishers manage to balance respect for authors, excellence in content, and a sense of responsibility to their readers,” Copan says. “Eerdmans has continued to invite readers and generate new ideas, introducing valued voices of faith over the last century-plus. Presenting diverse voices and faithful work with Eerdmans is an opportunity to sow seasoned skills, experience, and sensibility in the fertile ground of faith-based publishing.”

“We at Eerdmans have always had a strong interest in the relevance of ideas to the church broadly and to culture generally,” says Eerdmans Editor in Chief Jon Pott. “It is wonderful now to bolster that interest with so distinguished and creative an editor as Lil Copan has been. It is also warming, may I say, to welcome to the Eerdmans team someone whom several of us have long counted a friend and kindred spirit.”

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