Letter from the Publisher - Fall 2018

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Posted by Steve Piersanti - 17 August, 2018

Dear Reader,

I am excited to report that On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old by Parker Palmer has become Berrett-Koehler’s newest national bestseller. Published just a few weeks ago, it already reached #11 on the Publishers Weekly hardcover nonfiction bestseller list and made it onto the bestseller lists of the American Booksellers Association, Nielsen BookScan, and Amazon.com.

I am also happy to report that switching the US and international trade distribution of our print titles to industry leader Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS)—which occurred in January 2018—has gone tremendously well. We previously distributed our titles through six different distributors, but BK’s growing brand and sales allowed us to move our trade distribution to the distribution arm of the largest trade-book publisher in the world, which offers many advantages to Berrett-Koehler and our authors. Penguin Random House has the largest US sales force and the largest international sales force calling on chain bookstores, independent bookstores, and special sales accounts. And Penguin Random House also has the most advanced supply chain in the world for broad, timely, and efficient distribution of books across all channels.

Last year in announcing this change, I wrote that “we expect to generate both increased sales of BK titles and operational efficiencies” through this shift, and that “we expect that this benefit will be not just for forthcoming BK titles—it will also be for previously published BK titles.” And that is exactly what is already happening, with substantially higher sales of BK titles both in the United States and internationally. It is what we call the “Penguin Random House effect.”  We have the best of all worlds: Berrett-Koehler Publishers remains a leading, independently owned and operated, innovative, author-friendly publisher, but we also offer the advantages of the biggest and best distribution network all over the world to reach markets.

Finally, we are thrilled to announce in this catalog the first new titles in our new BK Professional publishing program: Understanding Government Contract Law by Terrence O’Connor, The Eight Essential People Skills for Project Management by Zachary Wong, and Be a Project Motivator by Ruth Pearce. We inaugurated BK Professional last year when we acquired Management Concepts Press—and its 127 titles on project management, public administration, federal acquisition and contracting, federal financial management, and leadership. Now we are acquiring and publishing new titles in these areas. And soon we will begin expanding BK Professional into other areas, including training and development and healthcare administration.

Berrett-Koehler has actually been publishing professional titles—including titles in several of the areas mentioned above—since its founding in 1992. However, through BK Professional we are devoting greater attention, focus, and resources to professional publishing—which we believe will benefit all BK titles by creating deeper and more extensive BK market connections in many fields.     

We will be happy to respond to your questions about any of the news shared above. We are grateful for the support of our readers, authors, sales partners, service providers, manuscript reviewers, and many other stakeholders.

All the best,

Steven Piersanti

Berrett-Koehler President and Publisher

Topics: Book Publishing, Berrett-Koehler, Steve Piersanti

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