Prometheus Books, set up by the late Paul Kurtz, is a flag-bearer for atheist and secular publishing. Check out their many cracking titles, some of which you are sure to have read. SIN’s John Loftus has had several books published by them, and I think Stephen Law, also of SIN, had his Believing Bullshit published by Prometheus, too.
So it’s really good news that they have partnered, for distribution, with the behemoth Random House. Secular philosophy will surely get to more bookshelves than ever before. Hemant Mehta reports this, as well as giving an interview with them:
Hemant: Will you get wider distribution?
Jill: We expect to. Our books are sold through most major booksellers in the US and worldwide, but there are some holes that have historically been tough to fill. For example, there are accounts that have been tough to crack because we may only have one or two perfect books for them in a year. Buyers may not meet with a supplier than only has one or two products to pitch. That limited our effectiveness. But now, as part of the RHPS client roster, we hopefully can have that opportunity to be sold directly to such an account.
Hemant: What does Random House offer Prometheus that it couldn’t get on its own?
Jill: As a very self-contained independent press, we’ve managed to achieve incredible growth over the last 40 plus years. Our books are sold all over the world and can often be found on the New Release displays at national US chains. However, a company our size can never match the resources of the world’s largest general-interest trade-book publisher. Their Publisher Services sales team has as many people as our entire company. They come to the marketplace equipped with the leverage of enormous sales successes. They have different bargaining power with big players like Amazon than we do alone. They can execute a one-day laydown at retail. We also get access to a brain trust of experienced publishing professionals. That kind of routine knowledge-sharing is very valuable, especially to a publisher that’s based in Amherst, NY and not Manhattan. And we’ve learned already that they are not just some moneyed machine but a group of extremely passionate book people. They are very excited about the books we publish, and that’s extremely gratifying.
Here is what Prometheus Books themselves posted:
(Amherst, NY)—Prometheus Books announced today a multiyear sales and distribution partnership with Random House Publisher Services (RHPS), a division of Random House, Inc. Prometheus, a leading independent publisher of a wide breadth of categories, including science, critical thinking, history, psychology, true crime, mystery, and science fiction/fantasy, will begin its partnership with RHPS, effective April 1, 2013.
Prometheus’s spring launch will include a diverse mix of about forty titles, ranging from popular science to philosophy to crime fiction. RHPS will provide exclusive sales and distribution for all physical and digital titles in the United States and internationally.
“Prometheus Books has been self-distributed for our entire existence, nearly forty-four years,” says Jonathan Kurtz, Prometheus Books president. “Over the years distributors have expressed interest in representing our line, but we knew we’d only make that change if the partner could truly offer us significantly more than we’ve achieved on our own. Aligning our press with the services and resources of the world’s largest general-interest trade-book publisher is the kind of move forward we simply cannot pass up. We are invigorated by the possibilities this relationship opens to us.”
Jeff Abraham, president of RHPS, says, “We have been in conversations with Prometheus for some time now as we have admired how they’ve expanded upon their truly smart and engaging lists, season over season. Their successes over the last four decades and continued growth potential across numerous genres marry well with our expertise and deep customer relationships in both the print and digital markets. We will be a committed sales and distribution partner with Prometheus.”
Over its lifetime, Prometheus Books has produced numerous bestsellers, including God: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor J. Stenger; What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite by David DiSalvo; George H. Smith’s Atheism: The Case Against God; Cracking Cases by Henry C. Lee; Why I Am Not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq; Neil deGrasse Tyson’s The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist; and, through its Pyr imprint, The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. Other high-profile titles include Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice;50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True; and, under its new Seventh Street Books™ imprint, The Bookseller: The First Hugo Marston Novel.