How to Be a Bigger, Better Book Publisher
He and I came to an interesting finance agreement, which entailed me buying the business with all its debt and keeping the equity for myself. The way I was able to accomplish this was to divvy the debt. One-third is senior debt secured with the bank, one-third is subordinated debt out of a company called Chicago Prairie Capital, and one-third is considered seller paper from Lee. The terms are structured to service the debt and still invest and grow business.
… on acquisitions and cornering the market
The Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) imprint continues a publishing history that began in 1785. As J.B Lippincott, the company published the first textbook for nurses in 1878 and launched the American Journal of Nursing in 1900. Today, students and practitioners worldwide continue to look to LWW for information in medicine, nursing and the health
Among the imprint’s titles are “Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy,” “Brunner and Suddarth’s Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing,” “Stedman’s Medical Dictionary,” and “Memmler’s The Human Body in Health and Disease.”
Did LWW focus on a specific branch of publishing in an effort to grow in terms of revenue, distribution and number of authors published? Did acquisitions play a part in this?
Wohl: J.B. Lippincott had a long history in general publishing, and moved into educational publishing in the 1950s. This expanded to include medical and nursing education. In 1978 the company was sold to Harper & Row, and in 1990 Wolters Kluwer (WK) purchased all of the health, medical and nursing assets.
WK then merged Lippincott with Raven Publishers to form Lippincott-Raven, acquired numerous other medical imprints, including the medical titles of Little & Brown, and in 1998, acquired Williams & Wilkins. [That year], all of WK’s medical and health publishing assets were merged into one company, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. In 2000, LWW acquired Springhouse, substantially expanding its nursing publishing assets.