Thursday, December 20, 2018


Poisoned Pen Press, one of the most respected mystery publishers in the world, is joining forces with top independent publisher Sourcebooks.

“It’s a privilege to integrate Poisoned Pen Press with an independent, innovative publisher that shares our core values and has raised teamwork to not just the way it operates but to an art,” said Barbara Peters, editor in chief of Poisoned Pen Press, and Robert Rosenwald, president and founder of Poisoned Pen Press, in a joint statement. “We know that what started small twenty-one years ago has, like Sourcebooks, continually grown. To enhance the experience of our authors and their readers, as well as of our staff, this is the right time, with a fantastic fit, for Poisoned Pen Press to become the mystery imprint at Sourcebooks. In conversations with our authors, they are equally thrilled to be moving forward this way.”

Sourcebooks will acquire the majority of Poisoned Pen Press titles as part of the deal. The Chicago-based publisher, which recently expanded into the mystery category, will add its own titles to form the Poisoned Pen Press imprint. The Poisoned Pencil young adult mysteries will move to Sourcebooks’s fast-growing Fire imprint, which currently accounts for 50 percent of sales reported by Bookscan in the young adult thriller category.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Poisoned Pen Press’s illustrious name and roster of authors to Sourcebooks,” said Anna Michels, senior editor, Sourcebooks. “Over the past twenty-plus years, Robert and Barbara have curated a list that is unparalleled in terms of editorial excellence and appeal to the mystery reader, and our shared goal is to continue that tradition of publishing superb content while implementing a commercially oriented vision of wider distribution and increased marketing support. Sourcebooks and Poisoned Pen Press coming together really feels like a joining of powerful forces, and I can’t wait to work with Robert and Barbara to create amazing things for all the authors housed under this new imprint.”

Rosenwald founded Poisoned Pen Press two decades ago, inspired by new print-on-demand technology to bring books back into print, but it swiftly evolved into publishing new crime fiction. He named it Poisoned Pen Press in tribute to wife Barbara's legendary mystery bookstore of the same name. The press quickly evolved into an award-winning independent mystery press, publishing about sixty original books annually.

Poisoned Pen Press books have won or been nominated for every major award in the mystery genre. Peters and Rosenwald have been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bouchercon crime and mystery conference (2008), the Poirot Award bestowed by the Malice Domestic board of directors to honor individuals other than writers who have made outstanding contributions to the genre, and the Ellery Queen Award at the 2010 Mystery Writers of America’s annual dinner honoring writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry.

“We are thrilled to welcome Poisoned Pen Press’s extraordinary and diverse range of authors to the Sourcebooks family,” said Dominique Raccah, Sourcebooks publisher and CEO. “I love the way that Barbara and Robert think about mystery, and I look forward to doing what Sourcebooks does best—building big success for Poisoned Pen Press authors with broader sales distribution and innovative marketing. We love to support fellow entrepreneurs, and I can’t wait to work with Barbara, Robert, and our new Sourcebooks staff to expand their amazing impact in the world of mysteries, suspense, thriller, and horror.”

Peters will continue to acquire front list titles as editor in chief of Poisoned Pen Press, while Michels will also acquire new titles and oversee the imprint. Rosenwald will stay on as director of development of the imprint. Most Poisoned Pen Press employees will be retained and continue to work out of their Scottsdale office. The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona, will remain under its current ownership.

About Sourcebooks 
Sourcebooks is a thriving entrepreneurial company that brings extraordinary authors to readers in the most dynamic, data-driven ways. We create books that transcend categories and defy odds and have been honored with hundreds of national bestsellers and awards. We are home to enthusiastic, book-loving employees who are dedicated to connecting books to readers in new and innovative ways. Story by story, book by book, we have touched over 100 million lives. Join us as we change 100 million more. Visit for more information.

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