In the UK: Marcus Leaver Announces Gemini Books Group

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The former chief of Quarto and Welbeck, Marcus Leaver announces the formation of a new publisher, the Gemini Books Group.

Marcus Leaver

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘More Detail in Q1’
In a short announcement from the UK today (December 4), Marcus Leaver has told the news media that he’s forming the Gemini Books Group, a company designed to build a publishing house aimed at the United Kingdom and North American market, “through the acquisition of established companies and by incubating start-up businesses in scalable areas of the market.”

Leaver is the former president of Sterling Publishing; the former CEO of the Quarto Group; and the co-founder in 2019 of the Welbeck Publishing Group.

The fast-growing Welbeck, which was sold to Hachette UK bit over a year ago, at the end of November 2022, and was reported at the time by Lauren Brown at The Bookseller to expected to surpass £25 million (US$31.5 million) in revenue for the year.

The focus of the house is to be on nonfiction gift books and children’s books. This initial announcement reports that acquisitions to date include Imagine That; Palazzo Editions; Ad Lib Publishers; Mardle Books; and Pimpernel Press.

Jon Rippon

While Leaver will serve as group publisher, London’s Jon Rippon, the founder of Rippon Publishing Management and co-owner and chief at Palazzo Editions is to become the group finance director at Gemini, Leaver says.

In a quote on today’s news, Leaver says, “I look forward to working with Jon to build a publishing business where we can focus completely on making and selling great books.

“We have long-term funding from both sides of the Atlantic that will enable us to build the group patiently, working with our extensive network of partners around the world.

“These initial acquisitions are an excellent springboard for us and I’m pleased Jon is staying with the company in a new guise.”

In another message, this one on social media. Leaver adds, “After a year ‘in the garden,’ I’m pleased to announce the launch of Gemini Books Group. It will be good to be back in the publishing game.”

Asked today by Publishing Perspectives what the time line may be for getting Gemini’s output onto the market, Leaver said, “Nothing to reveal yet. More detail in Q1 2024.”

Leaver is the chair of Think Media Group, the CEO of which, Ian McAuliffe, writes on social media today that Gemini Books Group is “a hugely exciting project that offers all Think’s clients a fantastic route to market for their books.”

More from Publishing Perspectives on mergers and acquisitions is here, more on Welbeck Publishing Group is here, more on Quarto is here, and more on the UK market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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