Penguin opens its business Portfolio on the global stage
12.04.10 | Graeme Neill

Penguin is to launch a UK version of US business imprint Portfolio, with Dragons’ Den judge James Caan among the authors for the list’s début this autumn.

Portfolio Penguin will launch this autumn in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. In the UK, it will be headed by Joel Rickett, who will continue buying general fiction and non-fiction as editorial director of Viking.

Five titles will be released this year and the list will grow to publish around 20 books a year by 2012.

The imprint will focus on “topical narrative non-fiction” with titles on leadership, careers, finances, sales, marketing and life skills. The publisher said while the majority of titles will be bought and released simultaneously with Portfolio in the US, the UK list will also release British titles and local business books for Asia and Australasia.

The imprint launches in September with Getting More by Stuart Diamond, which was described as a “jargon-free, practical, inspirational guide to negotiating”. Other lead titles include October’s Moneylab: Profiting from the New Frontiers of Psychology and Economics by Kay Yut-Chen and Marina Krakovsky; Get the Job You Really Want by Dragons’ Den star James Caan in January; and The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman in February.

Rickett’s first two titles after moving to Viking were both business books: The Greatest Trade Ever by Gregory Zuckerman and Binge Trading by Seth Freedman. Zuckerman’s book will now be repackaged as a Portfolio paperback.

Rickett said: “Business is now front-page news, and the best business books are picked up by everyone. Readers demand books that really deliver and help them get ahead. We’re delighted to be taking Portfolio titles to the world, collaborating on publicity, marketing, events and digital publishing.”

Other launch titles published this autumn by the imprint include Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein (October), Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink: Why 40% of Your Business is Unprofitable and How To Fix It by Jonathan Byrnes (November), and The Wisdom of Bees: What the Hive Can Teach Business About Leadership, Efficiency and Growth by Michael O’Malley (November).

Penguin has also hired Richard Lennon, a former Dow Jones Consumer Media sales director as Portfolio’s communication manager. He joins on Monday (12th April) and will work on national and global publicity and marketing campaigns.

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