May 29, 2019

New PRH publishing program hops on lifestyle train, set for 2020


With the recent attention Jenny Odell’s How To Do Nothing is receiving, it’s no surprise readers are looking for more guidance and lifestyle books that blur the lines of psychology, self-help, and technology. But according to Calvin Reid at Publishers Weekly, “big 5” publisher Penguin Random House isn’t exactly hoping to blur the line, but to create totally new imprints to help keep the trend of “lifestyle books” alive and varied.

PRH imprints Viking, Penguin Books, and Pamela Dorman Books are collaborating departmentally “to create a new publishing program across all three imprints that will specialize in inspiration, lifestyle, healthy living, and personal development,” says Reid. The editorial, publicity and marketing teams of these three imprints will work together for the Viking Life, Penguin Life, and Pamela Dorman Books Life, imprints, set to launch in January 2020.

Reid spoke with the three top executives at each imprint, and each discussed their enthusiasm for the new program:

Viking publisher Brian Tart said the new program “will help Viking maximize the success of lifestyle and wellness books,” while Penguin Books publisher Kathryn Court said the program reflects the expansion of Penguin’s reach to books “that help people understand their lives.” Dorman Books publisher Pamela Dorman said she was excited to “dive more deeply” into a book program focused on publishing works of “spirituality and inspiration, or a book of serious psychology, or a book about life changes, especially in the lives of women.”

Starting out with four books upon launch, the program hopes to climb up to about 15 titles a year.



Alex Primiani is the associate director of publicity at Melville House.