WindRiver Purchases Mapletree

LDS publisher Windriver Publishing has purchased another LDS publisher, Mapletree Publishing, according to a message posted on the websites of both companies. The merger consolidates two smaller publishers active in the LDS market, and borders on creating a new medium-sized publisher.

According to WindRiver Publisher, E. Keith “JB” Howick, Jr., Mapletree Publishing has 16 titles in print, and 5 under contract, while WindRiver has 30 titles in print and 3 under contract. He expects new titles published to stay the same or dip slightly, before rising in subsequent years.

Mapletree’s employees are not transferring from its Mesa, Arizona headquarters to WindRiver’s offices in Silverton, Idaho, but since Mapletree used mainly contractors, this means just the owner and one employee are leaving the industry.

Howick says that Mapletree has developed a name for books on home schooling, child development and family values, and that its future position, as an imprint (i.e., brand, the name on the spine of books) of WindRiver, will focus on those non-fiction areas. Fiction titles will eventually be transferred to WindRiver, and future fiction submissions should go there.

Analysis:

Howick, one of the more progressive and informed publishers in the LDS market (he has even commented here on occasion, unlike others in the industry), has done a credible job building WindRiver, and I think this acquisition improves its position in the market. Certainly adding 50% more titles makes it easier to get LDS bookstores to carry its titles.

But unlike at the top of the market, I don’t have the worry that combining these two companies will have a negative effect on the market. The number of titles involved is relatively small (perhaps 1% of the market), and because both companies are small, even if titles are eliminated, the effect isn’t very large.

Instead, this merger creates a single larger, and probably stronger, company from two smaller companies. Good strong companies are, I think, always a boon to the market.

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14 thoughts on “WindRiver Purchases Mapletree”

  1. Something doesn’t track here then. JB told me yesterday that WindRiver had 30 books in print, but SpringCreek has 60+ books in print!

    Seems like he wasn’t including SpringCreek — so I wonder if that deal is final or not.

  2. LDS Publisher mentioned in the comments that she received word of the deal via an e-mail announcement. But if that is the case then WindRiver suddenly has a pretty decent back catalog. And if their catalog can help them gain a bit more of a foothold in LDS bookstores, then that’d be great, esp. if they can remain successful and keep putting out historical fiction and mystery/suspense/thriller titles. It’d be nice if authors in those categories had a strong option other than Covenant.

  3. I just talked to JB at WindRiver, and he claims that the LDS Publisher report is NOT CORRECT. WindRiver has NOT purchased Spring Creek, nor have they had ANY discussions whatsoever about such a transaction.

    Apparently LDS Publisher has obtained incorrect information somehow.

  4. Thanks for the clarification, Kent — and especially for doing the reporting.

  5. Indeed. Isn’t that a violation of the code or something? Watch out, Kent. If you keep on being responsible like this, you might get kicked out of the Internet clubhouse…

  6. If anyone thought there was any doubt, I got an email from Tammy @ Spring Creek today confirming that Spring Creek has NOT been sold and saying that they are surviving.

    Which is, of course, what everyone is trying to do in this economy.

  7. Jonathan Langford: “Isn’t that a violation of the code or something?”

    Probably. Facts not only get in the way of a good story, they also get in the way of saying whatever the h*** you want to say–which is kind of what blogging is all about.

    “you might get kicked out of the Internet clubhouse”¦”

    I dunno, wasn’t there something earlier this year about a blogger being asked a question in a Presidential press conference?

    If that’s what happens to those that get “kicked out of the Internet clubhouse,” I suppose I could hang my head in shame and …

  8. Kent, thank you for bringing my error to my attention. I contacted Chad Daybell and got a reply straight from the source. I’m posting a retraction on Monday.

    I feel really bad about this. I rarely post these things without checking my facts. And I did check my facts originally, I just remembered them wrong when I wrote the post.

    I have learned my lesson and will take more care in the future.

    LDSP

  9. I think you run a professional ship, LDS Publisher. What’s great is that both you and Kent have good contacts in the industry and a) there’s coverage of this sort of things b) it’s based on reporting and c) when something isn’t correct, it gets corrected.

    I’d much rather have someone get something wrong once in awhile than have complete silence regarding the Mormon market.

  10. Absolutely. I really value you guys who bring this information to our attention that I, at least, would have no way of knowing about otherwise. Thanks.

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