News Corp.'s HarperCollins Acquires Film Books Publisher Newmarket Press (Exclusive)

A new move into entertainment publishing pairs Shooting Scripts series and movie tie-in books with hot pop culture imprint It Books.

HarperCollins Publishers, a division of News Corp., has acquired the rights to the majority of titles published by Newmarket Press, the respected independent publisher of film-related books, including its Shooting Script series and illustrated movie tie-in books.  

Esther Margolis, the founder and publisher of Newmarket Press, is joining It Books, HarperCollins’ entertainment-focused division. She is the executive editor in charge of the newly established Newmarket Press for It Books imprint. The acquisition punctuates the rapid rise of 2-year-old It Books in the world of pop culture and entertainment publishing and signals HarperCollins’ continued commitment to expand its entertainment offerings. 

Cal Morgan, senior vp and publisher of It Books, praised the acquisition. 

“For years, Newmarket Press has been the industry’s leading publisher of film-related books," he said. "Its list of screenplays, making-of books, tie-ins, and other titles on cinema is second to none."

He called Margolis a “highly respected veteran of both the publishing and the film industries,” and said her experience would be “an invaluable asset” for It Books.

For her part, Margolis said joining HarperCollins would allow Newmarket to flourish. 

“The resources of HarperCollins and the It Books team will allow the Newmarket backlist to flourish in all channels and formats while enabling me to add to the list going forward,” she said.

In the three decades since Margolis founded Newmarket in 1981, it has published more than 200 books in the areas of film, theater and performing arts, including official tie-in books for such films as Milk, The MatrixMoulin RougeChicagoSense and Sensibility and Saving Private Ryan. It also published the Newmarket Shooting Script Series, including screenplays for The King’s SpeechThe Hurt Locker, Slumdog MillionaireJunoSidewaysEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and American Beauty.

Newmarket Press’ general nonfiction back catalog will be issued under the William Morrow Trade Paperbacks imprint. It includes such bestsellers as What’s Happening to My Body? by Lynda Madaras and You’ve Earned It, Don’t Lose It by Suze Orman. It also published Gene Hackman's first novel (co-written with Daniel Lenihan), Wake of the Perdido.

Launched in September 2009, It Books has established itself as a major player in pop culture and entertainment publishing. It turned Justin Halpern’s twitter feed  “Sh*t My Dad Says” into a No. 1 New York Times best seller and a CBS TV show. This year alone, It Books released Red by Sammy Hagar, Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald, Being Kendra by Kendra Wilkinson, All My Life by Susan Lucci and Dear Cary by Dyan Cannon. It also just scored a National Book Award nomination for Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie: A Story of Love and Fallout, by Lauren Redniss -- the first graphic novel ever to get a fiction nomination.

Margolis brings a wealth of valuable experience to It Books. She originated Bantam Books’ publicity operation in the 1960’s, later becoming Bantam’s first division head for marketing, publicity and communications worldwide and worked closely with such authors as Jacqueline Susann, Maya Angelou, Louis L’Amour, Gail Sheehy and E.L. Doctorow. In 2008, she won the Poor Richard Award from the New York Center for Independent Publishing, given to a publisher who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of independent publishing.