Local book publisher sold

Local book publisher sold

Kristen Hanlon
Hunter House Publishers

A local book publisher has been acquired by a bigger East Coast house. Turner Publishing Company of Nashville, Tennessee, has bought the assets of Park Street-based Hunter House Publishers.

The publisher was founded in 1978 in Southern California and has been located on Park Street in Alameda since 1991.

Hunter House has produced over 300 titles, mostly of the self-help genre, in its 36-year history; it has been releasing about a dozen books a year. Turner Publishing, which has released over 1,000 books in genres including fiction, memoir, cooking, and public affairs since 1984, will maintain the Hunter House name as an imprint and acquire 225 Hunter House titles, including 10 that are under contract but not yet released.

Turner, one of the nation's larger and fastest-growing independent publishers, also owns titles published by Cumberland House Press, nonprofit business book publisher Fieldstone Alliance and the assets of the book division of Ancestry.com.

“Turner had been interested in us for a while," Hunter House publisher Kiran Rana said. "I was initially not interested, but when they approached us again in February, I said, 'make me an offer' and they did.”

The publishing world has been going through some difficult transitions, which Rana discussed in a profile of Hunter House that appeared on The Alamedan in February 2013. Major changes have included the advent of the Internet and the rise and fall of chain bookstores.

“I believe my authors are going to find a good home at Turner,” Rana said. “They are growing fast, they are under good leadership, and have a good vision. They are keeping up with the technology and marketing strategies this new era demands.”

A few of Hunter House's seven employees will continue to work during the transition for Turner on a freelance basis. “Two others, including myself, are retiring from publishing to work on other things that interest us,” Rana said, while the rest will be looking for new jobs.

Rana said he will be devoting himself to teaching Sufism, and writing. He recently started a small Sufi center out of his home in Alameda, and is involved in the Sufi music community here and in Santa Cruz.

“I’ve also been taking a writing workshop for the past year, and I enjoy it greatly - I’m just beginning to become acquainted with myself as a writer,” said Rana, who is married to a poet.

“I’m not sure yet whether what I’m writing is intended for publication, or just for inflicting on my friends and family,” he chuckled. “But I love language, I love words, and I love play, and these are all things that are expressed when I write.”