Crown Publisher and Editor of Michelle Obama’s Memoir Is Leaving

As half of a significant shake-up at Penguin Random House, which not too long ago merged two of its largest publishing divisions — Crown Publishing Group and Random House — Molly Stern, Crown’s senior vice chairman and writer, can be leaving the corporate.

Ms. Stern’s departure got here on the heels of one of her biggest publishing successes: She was the editor for Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming,” which offered greater than two million copies in simply 15 days after its preliminary launch, making it the best-selling e-book of 2018. In her acknowledgments, Mrs. Obama wrote that Ms. Stern’s “enthusiasm, energy, and passion instantly drew me to her. Molly kept me buoyed by her unwavering faith in my vision for this book.”

Ms. Stern is broadly regarded throughout the publishing world for having a watch for each best-selling industrial fiction and award-winning literary fiction and nonfiction. Under her course at Crown, the corporate revealed blockbusters like Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl,” Andy Weir’s “The Martian” and Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One,” in addition to acclaimed nonfiction by best-selling authors resembling Susan Cain, Erik Larson and Matthew Desmond, who received the Pulitzer Prize for “Evicted.” Ms. Stern, who realized the book-selling energy of social media very early, requested Sarah Jessica Parker to begin an imprint at Hogarth, which is a component of Crown.

Following the introduced exit of Maya Mavjee, Crown’s president and writer, who will depart the corporate on the finish of the yr, Ms. Stern is probably the most outstanding government to depart because of this of the reorganization.

David Drake, Crown’s government vice chairman and deputy writer, will exchange Ms. Stern. Mr. Drake helped to supervise the worldwide publication technique for Ms. Obama’s “Becoming,” together with one other Crown government, Tina Constable.

Gillian Blake, the editor in chief at Henry Holt, can be becoming a member of Crown as the corporate’s senior vice chairman and editor in chief of Crown Trade. At Holt, Blake edited such titles as Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Sixth Extinction” and Tina Brown’s “The Vanity Fair Diaries,” in addition to many of Bill O’Reilly’s books. She additionally tapped TV host and producer Andy Cohen to begin his personal imprint, Andy Cohen Books, on the firm.

The modifications at Crown replicate a broader cyclical shift within the publishing business as greater corporations like Penguin Random House and Hachette attempt to streamline their overlapping imprints after main development spurts and acquisitions.

Many of the nation’s largest publishing homes have added imprints and acquired smaller publishing corporations in an effort to remain aggressive by getting bigger, which provides them extra leverage in setting phrases with massive retailers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. In 2014, News Corporation purchased the romance writer Harlequin for $415 million, and two years in the past, Hachette Book Group struck a deal to acquire Perseus, an independent publishing house, acquiring imprints like Basic Books, Nation Books and PublicAffairs.

In 2013, Penguin and Random House merged into a sprawling company, by far the largest of “the big five” publishing houses, which also include Simon & Schuster and Macmillan, Hachette and HarperCollins. The company operates around 275 imprints worldwide, and its sales total around 4 billion annually.

Some companies are trying to streamline their operations by combining imprints and publishing lines, or sometimes eliminating imprints all together. Last month, Hachette Book Group announced that Hachette Books would move into the Perseus division, and that Hachette Books’ publisher, Mauro DiPreta, would be leaving the company.

When Penguin Random House announced the merger of Crown and Random House in October, many authors and agents wondered what would become of each division’s many imprints, which include Hogarth, Tim Duggan Books, Broadway Books, Ballantine Bantam Dell, Delacorte Press and Spiegel & Grau.

In a company memo, Madeline McIntosh, the chief executive of Penguin Random House U.S., assured employees that Crown and Random House “will retain their distinct editorial identities.”

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