March 15, 2019
Scholastic Harry Potter editor launching an independent publishing company
by Finola McDonald
We all know J.K Rowling (a.k.a Mother Potter) to be the source of all things Hogwarts and Harry, and rightfully so. But what about the man behind the scenes responsible for putting Potter on the map?
Emma Kantor reports for Publishers Weekly that Arthur A. Levine, the editor who brought Harry Potter to the U.S, is leaving Scholastic to start his own independent publishing house with senior editor, Nick Thomas.
While the name of the house is still under wraps, we do know Levine plans to focus on diversity representation in the literary community. This means forthcoming titles from minority groups including indigenous people, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Levine told Publishers Weekly:
“I’ve had a wonderful run at Scholastic and will greatly miss working here. There are such strengths and so many gifted individuals. But I’m excited to found a company led by a mission to make books reflecting the greatest diversity and the highest standards of artistic excellence.”
His plans include a tentative launch date for his first 20 U.S titles in Fall 2020 along with five of what he dubs “the world’s best books in translation.”
So, what I’m really saying is that as if you thought this man couldn’t get any better, he just did.
And, besides being obviously exciting, this is important. In a time when we are so media driven and technologically stuck, we need all the help we can get when remembering our print roots. With such a big name in publishing branching out like this, an example is set. The rapidly changing way in which we consume/approach books is rejuvenated. This is a powerful reminder that the craft attached to publishing is still very alive in our world and it’s not going anywhere any time soon.
2020 is going to be the year of literary magic, and I think you know who to thank for that. Congratulations, Arthur! We wish you nothing but the best.
Finola McDonald is an intern at Melville House.