For Beginners, a publisher specializing in illustrated nonfiction, is switching its distribution from Random House Publisher Services to Red Wheel/Weiser effective today, April 1.
For Beginners has 50 titles in print with plans to release five new titles during 2014-15 through Red Wheel/Weiser. For Beginners is a line of heavily illustrated nonfiction books that provide detailed information on a wide range of complex subjects that include Marxism, Foucault, the history of opera, Paul Robeson, postmodernism, philosophy, Dante, Malcolm X and many other topics.
Dawn Reshen-Doty, publisher and founding partner of For Beginners, is also president of Benay Enterprises, a full service business management firm that oversees the back office operations of a number of small presses, among them, Disinformation, which is also distributed by Red Wheel/Weiser. RW/W’s president Michael Kerber approached Reshen-Doty about making the switch.
“RWW is expanding their distribution and they offered us a much more hands-on operation,” she said. “We can be involved in sales, attend more shows; a lot of things not possible for a small publisher with a big distributor like Random House. It’s a good fit for us,” Reshen-Doty said
Kerber told PW that RW/W will now have eight distribution clients with For Beginners. “We’ve always looked to offer distribution to like-minded lists and we’re looking for new clients in the range of $200,000 to $2 million in revenue,” Kerber said .Red Wheel/Weiser is based in Newburyport, Mass. and uses Books International in Dulles, Va. for warehousing and fulfillment.
For Beginners was originally a line of graphic nonfiction books published by Writers and Readers, a noted indie press launched by the late Glen Thompson in the 1970s. In 2007 the assets of Writers & Readers, including For Beginners, W&R’s most popular line of books, were acquired by a consortium of investors that include Benay Enterprises and Steerforth Press, which provided access to distribution by Random House Publisher Services. Once W&R’s assets were acquired, the company was renamed For Beginners.
“RWW is just more accessible for a small publisher,” Reshen-Doty said. “We’ll have a booth presence at BEA we didn’t have before; we’re going to work hand and hand with Michael to develop books where’s there’s that potential and RW/W will help with advances and joint ventures. This will help us get to the next level.”