Christian Retailing

Worthy Publishing launches Inspired, acquires Ideals Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 04:18 PM America/New_York

Former Abingdon Press executive Pamela Clements to lead new impulse and inspirational book imprint

WorthyPublishingWorthy Publishing has named Pamela Clements vice president and associate publisher of the company’s newly launched imprint, Inspired. The 3-year-old company also has acquired major children’s brand Ideals and, with the transaction, access to licenses for VeggieTales with DreamWorks Animation and the Berenstain Bears with Warner Bros.

The Inspired imprint will offer impulse-read, felt-need, inspirational, self-help and devotional titles from such authors as Laura Story, Stu Epperson, Margaret Feinberg and Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott.

“Pamela’s wide experience with author acquisition, product development, brand management, creative marketing and promotion make her the ideal person to launch a new imprint,” said Byron Williamson, president and CEO of Worthy Publishing Group. “She led the Abingdon team that won an unprecedented 15 Christian Retailing’s Best Awards—presented at the 2014 CBA convention—and was named publisher of the year by the AWSA [Advanced Writers and Speakers Association].”

Clements said she was “thrilled” to join the Worthy team.

“I love the mission and the books that they have been publishing, particularly the opportunity to build a creative new imprint,” she said. “It’s exciting to be a part of a growth-oriented company committed to reaching out to readers with life-changing content.”

Most recently associated publisher  overseeing Christian Living and fiction with Abingdon Press, an imprint of The United Methodist Publishing House, Clements lost her post in late summer to the “reassessing and realigning” of Abingdon’s Christian Living and fiction programs, which were said to result because of the “rate of change and shifting structure in our industry and the resulting challenges faced by all religion publishers,” Abingdon President and Publisher Neil M. Alexander said.

Inspired recently shipped its first titles, including Hope for the Caregiver by Peter Rosenberger, which was featured this month on NBC’s Today Show during the Kathie Lee and Hoda hour.

Worthy’s acquisition of the Ideals children’s book brand and product lines was announced Oct. 10. A 50-year-old children’s category-leader with offices in Nashville, Ideals was owned by Danbury, Connecticut-based Guideposts, which was founded by Norman Vincent Peale and publishes Guideposts and Ideals magazines. Ideals publishes 25 to 30 books each year, including picture books, board books, and novelty and sound books.

The Ideals Christmas picture book The Sparkle Box won the 2014 Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Christian Book Award for children’s books. Holiday board books from Ideals regularly rank at the top of Nielsen BookScan charts each year.

“My roots in children’s books are more than two decades deep, having launched WordKids, Tommy Nelson and now WorthyKids,” said Byron Williamson, president and publisher at Worthy. “I got my start in children’s publishing with the conception and development of the International Children’s Bible (ICB). Worthy is excited to welcome the Ideals team into the Worthy family, effective immediately.”

Connecting the Ideals brand with WorthyKids brings about the return of former associate Dale Wilstermann. Formerly with Worthy before moving to Guideposts/Ideals, Wilstermann will serve as vice president of sales at Ideals/WorthyKids. Peggy Schaefer, a children’s specialist serving as vice president and associate publisher, will continue to lead the product-development team. —Christine D. Johnson