Mirchandani Leads Simon & Schuster UK’s Summit Books

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Revived in the States earlier this year, Simon & Schuster’s imprint Summit Books is coming to the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Ravi Mirchandani. Image: Simon & Schuster

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

Mirchandani: ‘Confidence, Quality, and Impact’
As some of our Publishing Perspectives readers will know, Simon & Schuster in the United States in December announced that it would revive its Summit Books imprint, with the president and CEO of the now-100-year-old company Jonathan Karp naming Judy Clain of Little, Brown the new vice-president and publisher of Summit.

Today (April 17), a parallel move has been made in the United Kingdom, where Simon & Schuster UK, helmed by Ian Chapman, is introducing a UK iteration of Summit Books, in that case with Ravi Mirchandani as its publisher. This comes as S&S celebrates its centenary under new ownership by the investment firm KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts).

Simon & Schuster president and CEO Jonathan Karp in a keynote interview with Publishing Perspectives at London Book Fair 2024. Image: LBF

And it will have echoes for our readers who were with us at London Book Fair in March, when Karp—in his keynote Main Stage interview with Publishing Perspectives—spoke to the point of a rising dynamic of internationalism for the company.

“One of the advantages of not being a gargantuan company,” though a member of the States’ Big Five and the UK’s Big Four, Karp said, “is that we really do talk to each other.”

“We’re in meetings regularly and we’ve got a Zoom meeting where we’ve got Canada and the UK and Australia talking every week now. And it’s really wonderful. I think we’ve worked really hard to make sure that we’re in lockstep and so we’ve very successfully published Britney Spears together and Walter Isaacson together and Sir Patrick Stewart together.

“So I think we’re going to be expanding in many categories, I hope. We’ll be publishing more geopolitics internationally, more business books internationally, more practical nonfiction internationally—the traffic will be going in all directions.”

These successive announcements of a new Summit Books imprint-network among Simon & Schuster’s international installations fits right into the pattern that Karp was discussing.

In this case, Mirchandani will be moving into his new role from Pan Macmillan’s Picador. Like Clain at Little, Brown, his role at Picador is that of editor-in-chief., and it’s a position he has held for 10 years.

A similar international move but one that has flown a bit farther under the wire is that Jane Palfreyman has been tapped by Simon & Schuster Australia’s managing director Dan Ruffino to head up a Summit Books introduction in Australia and New Zealand. Palfreyman is moving from Allen & Unwen, and is expected to begin her work at the New Zealand and Australian Summit on May 6.

Baboneau: ‘Bold and International Fiction and Nonfiction’

In the case of the London appointment for Mirchandani, Simon & Schuster UK’s adult division managing director Suzanne Baboneau is making today’s announcement, referring to when he’s expected to start reporting to her, after some “gardening” between jobs.

Suzanne Baboneau

In her statement issued for today’s news, Baboneau is quoted, saying, “‘Ravi’s first day in publishing was September 3, 1984.  His first day with us will be almost exactly 40 years on, September 3, 2024.

“There’s no one better to launch this prestigious imprint in the UK.,” she says. “From 1976 to 1991, Summit Books in the United States published an extraordinary list of authors of international stature such as Elie Wiesel, Marilyn French, James Baldwin, and Oliver Sacks.

“The new Summit around the world will publish bold and international fiction and nonfiction that will embody diversity and broad-minded thinking. With his wealth of experience, expertise and flair, I know that Ravi will make a truly significant contribution to this exciting vision.”

“I’m delighted to be joining Ian Chapman and Suzanne Baboneau’s adult editorial team at Simon & Schuster, having long admired the confidence, quality and impact of their publishing, and to be bringing the Summit Books imprint to the UK for the first time.”Ravi Mirchandani

And for his part, Mirchandani says, “Working at Pan Macmillan over the last decade has been such a privilege and a pleasure; it’s a wrench to be leaving behind so many valued authors and colleagues. But I’m delighted to be joining Ian Chapman and Suzanne Baboneau’s adult editorial team at Simon & Schuster, having long admired the confidence, quality and impact of their publishing, and to be bringing the Summit Books imprint to the UK for the first time.

“Having published many authors in tandem with Simon & Schuster US publishers over the years,” Mirchandani says, “I very much look forward to becoming an integral part of their international editorial team.”

At Picador in London, Mirchandani’s authors have included Hanya Yanagihara, Douglas Stuart, Patrick Radden Keefe, John Carreyrou, Isabella Tree, and Chetna Maroo.

During his almost-40-year career, at Weidenfeld & Nicolson—an imprint of Hachette’s Orion Publishing Group—he worked with authors including Bernhard Schlink, Steven Millhauser, and Saul Friedlander.

At William Heinemann, some of his authors were Michel Houellebecq, Richard Powers, Tony Judt, Rachel Seiffert, and Thomas Harris.

And at Atlantic Books, Mirchandani’s authors included Aravind Adiga, AD Miller, Kevin Kwan, Kai Bird, and Martin Sherwin.

More from Publishing Perspectives on Simon & Schuster is here, more on international publishing is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s 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.com, 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.