Mark Bittman

Big news out of Hoboken and D.C. today as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Wiley announce that HMH has acquired several assets from Wiley, namely it's culinary program, Webster's New World Reference and CliffsNotes:

Quoth the press release: “This strategic acquisition reflects HMH’s continued commitment to consumer publishing, and represents an exciting growth opportunity within the culinary market. Even as digital sales increase, the print cookbook segment shows particular strength, both at HMH and within the market in general,” said Gary Gentel, President of HMH’s Trade & Reference division. “The combination of Wiley’s culinary, reference, and CliffsNotes lines with our existing business will significantly strengthen HMH’s market position in both the culinary and reference categories.”

Also heading HMH-ward is Wiley VP and publisher Natalie Chapman, who will head up HMH's culinary program (reporting to General Interest Group Senior Vice President and Publisher Bruce Nichols) as well as a number of Wiley editorial, marketing, publicity, and production staff.

In another development related to the move, HMH Senior Executive Editor Rux Martin will launch Rux Martin Books.

Longform journalism site Byliner has sold over 100,000 of its “Byliner Originals” since launching the program in April, says CEO John Tayman in the newest issue of Nieman Reports. The issue, which is focused entirely on writing and book publishing, also contains other interesting info about e-singles.

(PRESS RELEASE) SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 7, 2011—Amy Tan's new story Rules for Virgins - the first fiction she has published in six years -  marks the debut of Byliner Fiction, the digital publisher that, since its launch last spring, has published a series of bestselling nonfiction Byliner Originals from Jon Krakauer, Ann Patchett, Taylor Branch, William Vollmann, Mark Bittman, and other distinguished and breakthrough authors.

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