Founded in 1996 by venture capitalist Frank Pearl, the Perseus Book Group “is an independent company committed to enabling independent publishers to reach their potential whether those publishers are Perseus-owned, joint ventures or owned by third parties,” according to a company statement.
Perseus imprints include Avalon Travel, Basic Books, Vanguard Press, Westview Press, DaCapo, Weinstein books and, since 2007, Publishers Group West (PGW), and it handles distribution for roughly 300 publishers. In 2005, Perseus acquired Client Distribution Services to strengthen its distribution.
With Constellation, Perseus offers a complete set of digital services for independent publishers aiming at enabling and supporting digital publishing, distribution and monitoring of digital sales and marketing.
Key Company Developments in 2012 & 2013
Perseus does not release any financial information other than the total annual revenues. However, with 2012 results, it continued to show significant growth, with revenues up to 425 million USD (up from 350 million USD in 2011 and 300 million USD in 2010), and predicts further organic growth for 2013.
Fiscal year 2012, which ended in June 30, 2012, “beat expectations” according to CEO David Steinberger. Perseus’s digital platform Constellation could add over 100 new clients.
Ownership, Mergers & Acquisition, Internal Organization:
In 2013, Perseus announced the launch of a new division, Legato, headed by Mark Suchomel, former president of Independent Publishers Group (IPG). Based in Chicago, Legato aims to build a client list of 30 to 40 new publishers.
Frank Pearl, Perseus’ founder, died in May 2012. Chairman is now John Schwieters.
In 2011, Perseus launched a cooperation with British group Faber and Faber, branded FaberFactory, in order to extend their services to the UK.
Perseus operates its own digital distribution platform, Constellation and created Faber Factory for the digital market in the U.K.
In 2011, Perseus extended their distribution service to agents and authors under the brand of Argo Navis, aimed at the expanding self-publishing market. Investments and innovation focused on social media platforms to optimize title discoverability and improve metadata.
Bestselling Authors & Titles:
In fiscal year 2012, Perseus had 28 New York Times bestsellers (14 at Perseus Distribution, 13 at PGW and one at Consortium).
Key Points for Analysis & Conclusions:
Perseus and e-book aggregator and distributor Constellation are positioned for the U.S. and international markets as a sales platform for independent publishers as well as authors and agents.
Perseus was named “Publisher of the Year” by Publishers Weekly in 2007
Perseus announced to reduce its 2010 list by about 100 titles due to sluggish consumer sales and inventory cutbacks. It also laid off roughly 20 staff members