November 1, 2014

Putnam Lays an Egg: BlueHen to Close

By LJ Staff

Penguin Putnam is pulling the plug on its BlueHen Books imprint after only a
year and a half in operation. The small publisher, whose officers Fred Ramey and
Greg Michalson appeared on the cover of LJ‘s September 15
issue
, will close by year’s end. Although Michalson could not reveal the
details, he told LJ that “[Putnam] wanted to go in a different direction
and we wanted to continue the kind of publishing that we did…it wasn’t
entirely a surprise.” BlueHen debuted its first list in the summer of 2001 and
has released 16 titles, with ten additional titles forthcoming. The imprint was
created by former Penguin Publisher Phyllis Grann, who left the company suddenly
last September for a quick jaunt at Random House. Putnam hired Michalson and
Ramey to develop the imprint while they were editing and publishing novels for
Denver-based McMurray and Beck. Michalson remains hopeful and bears no grudges
against Putnam: “What Fred and I hope and expect will happen is that we will
move BlueHen more or less intact and land elsewhere and bring as many of our
authors along with us as we possibly can. There are no hard feelings. Putnam has
agreed with us is that the important thing at the moment is to do what’s best
for the authors, and they’re honoring all the author
contracts.”

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