New Society Publishers Breathes a Sigh of Relief
In a surprise move, New Society Publishers -- a former imprint of D&M -- has been re-acquired by its previous owners and D&M creditors Chris and Judith Plant and Carol Newell of Renewal Partners, New Society Publishers’ spokesperson Sara Reeves announced today. Judith Plant will once again take on the role of Publisher and all distribution channels will remain unchanged. D&M, the company that purchased New Society in 2008, declared itself insolvent in October 2012, and the BC book publishing community has been wondering if New Society could be reclaimed.
A mission-driven company, New Society Publishers has for decades published books that contribute in fundamental ways to building an ecologically sustainable and just society, and has conducted its business in a way that models that vision, bringing to print authors whose work inspires and offers tools for change.
New Society led the book publishing community in Canada through a collaborative arrangement with Friesens, a leading Canadian printer, by committing to print all of its books on 100 percent post-consumer recycled book paper, and making that paper available on the shop floor, thereby making it ready and affordable for others. New Society was also the first publisher to go carbon-neutral and was named BC Publisher of the Year in recognition of this and other achievements. Recently, New Society has introduced a unique component to its thriving ebook program -- New Society’s Guide To Environmentally Responsible Digital Reading.
The “new” New Society will continue to acquire books with an activist focus. For, as publisher Judith Plant says, “Given climate change, ecological limits, the end of cheap energy, and the underlying economic and social collapse here and around the world, the party’s over, as New Society author Richard Heinberg succinctly puts it. We’re at a tipping point, and we need tools, techniques, strategies and inspiration for radical change, now.”
New Society is also embracing other technological challenges facing the publishing industry in the 21st century. Explains Plant, “Of course we sell all of our books as ebooks, and we plan to continue this. But the real challenge as a publisher is adapting to the broader electronic culture. We’re working on proactive ways to harness these technologies to work for our authors in getting their critical messages out to the reading public, in whichever form that public might use.”
“Courage and resiliency are at the core of New Society Publishers’ corporate culture, and this has never been more evident than in the past months,” says Plant, “when our committed, passionate, smart and savvy staff stuck with New Society through uncertainty and constrained working conditions.”
It all gives the distinct impression that if anyone is going to survive this time of turmoil and transition in the industry, this team will.