UPDATE: Random House Publishing Group head Gina Centrello just announced Susan Kamil’s and other promotions. See memo below:
EXCLUSIVE: Susan Kamil, who has been editor-in-chief of the Random House imprint as well as the Dial Press imprints, will be elevated to publisher of both imprints by Random House Publishing Group head Gina Centrello. The post had been vacant and Centrello had handled the publisher duties. I’m told Random House will make it official sometime today and she starts that job later this week.
Kamil will continue as editor-in-chief of Random House and Dial, where she has edited such recent successes as The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, as well as Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists, Helen Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic novel series. She also oversees two successful imprints. Random House just scored a rave New York Times review this morning for Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story.
Kamil’s ascension shows that even in the fast-changing business of book publishing, taste and loyalty are the best survival skills. In her early career, Kamil became known as No. 2 to Joni Evans and was executive editor when Evans ran “Little” Random House. A shakeup left Joni Evans out and Harry Evans in (no relation), and the two women were given their own imprint Turtle Bay Books at “big” Random House before the plug was pulled on it abruptly in February 1993. A few months later, Kamil was presented the chance to come out from Evans’ shadow when she landed at Bantam Doubleday Dell and started the Dial Press imprint. There, she developed a reputation for picking and nurturing memoirs and fiction titles. In 1998, Bertelsmann bought Random House from Si Newhouse’s Advance Publications, and Kamil’s Dial Press became part of the Random House Publishing Group. She later became editor-in-chief at Random House while continuing to steer Dial.
Here is the just-released internal e-mail from Gina Centrello, President and Publisher:
TO EVERYONE AT RANDOM HOUSE, INC.
During these past seven months, the Random House Publishing Group’s efforts have resulted in some of the most successful hardcover, paperback, and e-book publishing of 2010: Lee Child’s #1 bestselling 61 HOURS; Justin Cronin’s word-of-mouth sensation THE PASSAGE; and Lisa See’s SHANGHAI GIRLS trade paperback were among our 68 to-date New York Times bestsellers, as were THE IMPERFECTIONISTS by Tom Rachman and THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET by David Mitchell, following their front-page New York Times Book Review coverage. With our great publishing momentum, this is a welcome time to announce new opportunities for several of our highest-achieving colleagues.
I am delighted to announce the promotion of SUSAN KAMIL, Senior Vice President, Random House Editor-in-Chief, to the additional position of Publisher of the Random House and Dial Press imprints, reporting to me.
Few in our industry match Susan’s skill of identifying and editing literary titles that can cross over into national bestsellerdom. To name just a few recent examples: THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, with over two million copies in print, MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND by Helen Simonson, and THE IMPERFECTIONISTS. Susan will continue to edit a select number of books a year, including the internationally bestselling SHOPAHOLIC series and the stand-alone novels of Sophie Kinsella. Working closely with her colleagues as Editor-in-Chief, Susan is a gracious manager and a peerless advocate for our group with authors, agents, booksellers and reviewers. She has contributed a clear editorial vision to the shaping of the Random House list and has been an energetic force in supporting all of the books we publish. In her new role, Susan will be a motivating decision maker on all aspects of the publishing process. The Random House and Dial Press editorial staff will report to Susan.
KATE MEDINA, Executive Vice President, continues reporting to me. Her list of extraordinary Random House authors includes E.L. Doctorow, John Irving, Jon Meacham, Tom Brokaw and Anna Quindlen, among others. Susan will join Kate, Libby McGuire, Jane von Mehren, Cindy Spiegel, Julie Grau and Tom Perry as part of RHPG’s senior leadership team.
I am also delighted to announce that TOM PERRY, Executive Vice President, Deputy Publisher, will join Susan at the Random House imprint. Tom’s clear-headed contributions to our overall publishing strategies, his skill in coordinating the many moving parts which are crucial to successful publishing, his insights on acquisition, and his deep commitment to Random House make him ideal to partner with Susan in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the imprint. While I am sorry he’ll be giving up his current RHPG group-wide role working directly with me, his return to focusing on the Little Random imprint, spending full time on publishing the Random House titles, will be vital to the ongoing success of the RH publishing program.
In addition to Tom’s role as Deputy Publisher of the RH imprint, I am appointing Tom Publisher of The Modern Library, our esteemed line of classics, reporting to me in this capacity. I am certain that with his broad, deep Random House publicity and marketing know-how and his years of collaboration with our editorial, sales, production, art, and cross-divisional departments, he will bring a fresh and knowledgeable print and digital vision to The Modern Library.
With Tom’s appointment, THERESA ZORO and SANYU DILLON will now report to me. Theresa and Sanyu are driving forces in our Group and their additional responsibilities are an acknowledgement of how invaluable they are to us. We will maintain our centralized marketing and support structure, which in close coordination with Sales—especially Group Sales Director Cynthia Lasky— will ensure that our marketing and sales efforts are unified and will provide the best support possible for each of our publishers.
It gives me great pleasure to announce Theresa’s promotion to Senior Vice President, Director of Publicity for the entire Random House Publishing Group. In her new role, she will lead our integrated publicity departments, working closely with each publisher and with me in setting strategic goals and priorities across all of the Group’s imprints. SALLY MARVIN maintains her central leadership role as Vice President, Director of Publicity for the Random House, Spiegel & Grau, the Dial Press, Modern Library, and Random House Trade Paperback imprints, continuing to plan and oversee the execution of publicity campaigns for those imprints. SUSAN CORCORAN has been promoted to Vice President, Director of Publicity for Ballantine Bantam Dell. In her new role, she will assume managing the day-to-day responsibilities of the publicity department closely with Theresa and will continue to develop and execute campaigns for the Ballantine Bantam Dell group.
Sanyu continues her exceptional efforts in setting and executing the Group-wide marketing strategy, working together with each of our imprints as Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing. Moving forward, Grant Neumann, Senior Director, Random House Copy Department, and Kelle Ruden, Coordinating Director, will newly report to her in their current responsibilities.
The changes announced today will ensure our current publishing success continues for the long term. It is a joy to give these expanded roles and responsibilities to colleagues as talented and as dedicated as Susan, Tom, Theresa, Sanyu, and Susan. Please join me in congratulating them.