Guilford book publisher is moving to Essex town center this summer

An independent Connecticut book publisher that got its start in the late 1940s is returning to its roots this summer and moving its headquarters to Essex.

Globe Pequot is renovating two office buildings at 64 South Main St. in Essex. The two buildings, which have 7,000 square feet between them, had previously been leased to Morgan Stanley for a decade and before that was the Candlewood gift shop.

Globe Pequot was previously based in Essex between 1967 and 1970 when it moved to the historic Pratt Village Smithy, a redeveloped blacksmith’s shop founded in 1678 by William Pratt.

The company was known as The Pequot Press at the time and moved to Chester in 1970 when the company was purchased by Robert Wilkerson.

Shana Capozza, spokeswoman for Globe Pequot, said the lease for the company’s current headquarters on Goose Lane in Guilford is due to expire later this year and current owner Jed Lyons wants the company to return to its roots .

“He has family who live in the Essex area,” Capozza said.

Lyon lives in Maryland.

Norman Needleman, Essex’s first coach, said the buildings Globe Pequot is moving into are something of a rarity in the community’s town centre.

“These buildings haven’t been occupied in a while,” Needleman said. “But pretty much everything else is filled in.”

Globe Pequot employs 47 people and is expected to hire more workers after the move is complete this summer, she said.

“The number of books we publish each year has doubled over the past 10 years,” Capozza said. The company, which releases 600 new titles a year, has approximately 30,000 previously released titles and annual sales of nearly $30 million.

Being an independent publisher at a time when the publishing industry is consolidating at a rapid pace has its challenges, she said,

“It’s a difficult time,” Capozza said. “A lot of small independent publishers are selling.”

The US Department of Justice is sufficiently concerned about industry consolidation to file an antitrust lawsuit last November challenging Penguin Random House’s proposed acquisition of Simon & Schuster. The deal would reduce the so-called Big Five of American Publishing, which also includes HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan, to four.

Globe Pequot’s primary publishing focus is specialty and regional publishing, she said, and it is now the largest publisher of regional interest books in the country.

The company’s imprints, which is a publisher’s trading name for a specific group of works, include Falcon Guides, Lyons Press, Prometheus Books, Stackpole Books, Gooseberry Patch, Backbeat Books, and Applause Books. Globe Pequot’s imprints also publish non-fiction, fiction, and children’s books.

The book publisher was originally called Pequot Press and was founded in 1947 by Williams Haynes in Stonington.

Haynes owned Stonington Printing Co. and wrote historical treatises which he printed himself. The company’s original niche was publishing Connecticut town histories and genealogies.

Pequot Press grew to become a publisher for New England historical societies and, according to Capozza, helped nearby towns and other local groups meet their publishing needs. During the 1970s, Pequot Press averaged 15 books a year, she said.

After moving to Essex and then Chester, Wilkerson sold the company to the Boston Globe in 1981, Capozza said. Newspaper officials changed the name of its new book publishing subsidiary to Globe Pequot Press.

Over the next five years, the company grew at an average annual rate of 25%, she said. This level of growth caught the interest of McCaw Cellular Communications of Kirkland, Washington. A subsidiary of McCaw purchased Glob Pequot Press from the newspaper in 1988, according to Capozza.

While owned by McCaw, Globe Pequot Press moved once again, this time to Old Saybrook, where the company consolidated its publishing and fulfillment operations into a 30,000 square foot facility. At that time, in the early 1990s, Capozza said Globe Pequot Press published 300 titles a year and employed about 40 people.

Telecommunications giant AT&T bought McCaw in 1994, which later became known as AT&T Wireless Services. Three years after being acquired by the mobile phone company, Globe Pequot Press was sold to a company based in Augusta, Georgia, privately held Morris Communications.

Morris has nationwide stakes in newspaper and magazine businesses, including Gray’s Sporting Journal and Alaska Magazine. Globe Pequot Press moved again in 1999, according to Capozza, this time to Guilford and added a new dedicated warehouse in Tennessee.

Morris Communications sold Globe Pequot Press to Maryland-based Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, which renamed its Connecticut subsidiary to Globe Pequot.

Lyons, the current owner of Globe Pequot, owns Rowman & Littlefield, which is one of the largest independent book publishers in the country, Capozza said. When Rowman & Littlefield bought the Connecticut company, it moved its warehousing operations to Pennsylvania, she said.

Globe Pequot is considered part of Rowman & Littlefield’s trade publications group. Rowman & Littlefield also publishes college textbooks and academic books, according to Capozza.

In addition, Rowman & Littlefield also publishes scholarly books under Lexington Books and educational books for elementary schools under its Sundance-Newbridge imprints in Marlborough, Mass. Globe Pequot’s parent company also owns National Book Network, which is one of the oldest and largest independent distributors in the industry. commercial publishers.

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