03 October

HarperCollins Focus acquires Cider Mill Press Book Publishers

(October 3, 2022) Nashville, Tenn. — HarperCollins Focus today announced its acquisition of Cider Mill Press Book Publishers, an independent publisher of quality, high-design, gift books. Cider Mill Press specializes in cookbooks, elegant wine and spirits projects, humor books, and children’s classics, supporting Focus’ overall objective to expand its growing gift and children’s product offering. Cider Mill Press and Applesauce Press, the company’s children’s brand, will become imprints within the HarperCollins Focus portfolio.

As part of the acquisition’s close, Cider Mill’s founder, John Whalen Jr. will continue working with the company in a consultancy role.  Whalen Jr. is a 39-year publishing veteran who launched the company in 2005 after working for publishing houses such as Simon and Schuster, MacMillan, Running Press and the Perseus Publishing Group throughout his career. His son, John Whalen III, will join HarperCollins Focus as v-p, publisher of both Cider Mill Press and Applesauce Press imprints. Prior to the acquisition, Whalen III was responsible for all operational oversight, including production, purchasing, international and domestic import logistics, and digital optimization, cultivating sales relationships, and expanding its editorial reach into new markets. Whalen has been with the company full-time since 2018. 

John Whalen III, VP Publisher, Cider Mill Press and Applesauce Press

Whalen, Jr. said, “This is a great moment in Cider Mill’s history. This acquisition will help support the company’s outstanding growth and expedite its expansion into new distribution channels. Finding a partner that would understand the unique and creative nature of Cider Mill’s in-house publishing program, support the existing team that has been instrumental in its success, while providing a level of publishing talent, expertise, and established systems that the company could leverage for continued success was paramount. Within minutes of meeting with their team, both John III and I knew they would be the perfect partner. Naturally, I am incredibly grateful to turn the publishing reins over to my son, John, as he’s been an instrumental part of the Cider Mill Press history since its founding.”

Laura Michew, SVP Publisher, HarperCollins Focus Children’s and Gift Books

Laura Minchew, senior v-p, group publisher for HarperCollins Focus Children’s and Gift books will oversee the Cider Mill publishing operation within HarperCollins. “We are thrilled to welcome Cider Mill Press to HarperCollins Focus,” commented Minchew.  “Cider Mill is known for creative product development, high quality production, and excellent service that customers appreciate. John Whalen Jr. created a remarkable publishing program for Cider Mill.  John Whalen III’s passion and in-depth knowledge of the imprint’s products will allow us to continue their unique approach to proprietary and custom product development.  Their gift books, cookbooks, and creative children’s books, like the New York Times bestselling edition of The Night Before Christmas, are an excellent addition to the HarperCollins Focus growing content line.”

Current distribution and fulfillment agreements for Cider Mill Press will remain in place for a six-month period, including Simon and Schuster. Booksellers’ orders will continue business as usual, until further notice.

Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips Investment Bank acted as exclusive financial advisor to Cider Mill Press Book Publishers.

About HarperCollins Focus:

HarperCollins Focus, LLC owns and operates a collection of publishing imprints, based in Nashville, TN. The company works with a broad network of booksellers, appealing to readers with content that uplifts through celebration, culinary entertainment, community, family, optimism, humor, advice, and motivation. Current publishing imprints include Blink, Harper Celebrate, HarperCollins Leadership, Harper Horizon, Harper Muse, Harper Select, Cider Mill Press, and Applesauce Press. HarperCollins Focus is a HarperCollins Publishers company, which is a subsidiary of News Corp (Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV). For more information go to www.harpercollinsfocus.com.

Media Contact:  Casey Harrell  Vice President, Corporate Communications
[email protected]