July 31, 2018 – New York, NY – ABRAMS, the premier publisher of art and illustrated books, is pleased to announce the acquisition of The Overlook Press, the acclaimed independent publisher founded in 1971 by the celebrated late publisher Peter Mayer. Over the years, The Overlook Press list, which currently includes 1,300 active titles, has established a reputation for both quality and eclecticism, publishing fiction and non-fiction with verve and success across many categories.
“Acquiring The Overlook Press’ nearly 50 years of publishing tasteful, interesting, and literary books and authors is a good strategic fit for us at this point in our evolution,” says Michael Jacobs, President and CEO of ABRAMS. “We recently launched our narrative non-fiction imprint, Abrams Press, and it’s become apparent that having a backlist and some publishing ballast to build upon makes our task both easier and more fun. I’m confident that the assets—books, authors, and the vision that Peter built at The Overlook Press—will give us myriad opportunities to leverage our text-driven growth strategy at ABRAMS. Plus, we’ll begin to publish fiction, drama, and other narrative forms that complement our existing adult and children’s publishing programs, which will be exciting.”
“In 1971, my father and grandfather founded The Overlook Press with a vision for a truly independent publishing house that would put out an eclectic list of vital but overlooked books. Nearly half a century later, my father was deeply gratified and reassured to know that the legacy he had built with so much labor and love would continue under the direction of his trusted colleague and friend Michael Jacobs. I believe that this will be a wonderful new chapter,” says Liese Mayer.
Beginning in August, ABRAMS will handle all aspects of the publishing, marketing, and business operations for The Overlook Press’ books including its forthcoming titles. Several employees from The Overlook Press including longtime Associate Publisher Tracy Carns will join ABRAMS. The sales and distribution of The Overlook Press will be handled by ABRAMS as soon as existing contractual obligations expire.
The Overlook Press currently publishes 40 new titles a year, including fiction—literary, commercial, and in translation—history, biography, film and pop culture, music, popular science, sociology, food, art, and drama. Authors include Charles Portis, Mark Helprin, Robert Littell, Susan Hill, Edward Albee, Neil LaBute, Mervyn Peake, Joseph Roth, and Milton Glaser.
The Overlook Press also publishes the acclaimed Collector’s Wodehouse, comprising 99 P.G. Wodehouse titles in fine editions and Walter R. Brooks’s Freddy the Pig series of beloved children’s books. Overlook imprints also include Ardis, a distinguished list of titles of Russian literature, history, culture, and criticism.