The publishing assets of Callisto Media, a leading nonfiction publisher, have been sold in a Sourcebooks-led, Penguin Random House-funded acquisition. As one of the country’s fastest-growing independent publishers with 61% growth in the first quarter of 2023, Sourcebooks’ expertise in demand-driven publishing makes it the ideal organization to oversee the Callisto publishing program and create the most impactful, data-centric, profitable future for consumer-led books.
Driven by insights, Sourcebooks will oversee the management of Callisto’s publishing assets, while Callisto’s titles will continue to be distributed by Simon & Schuster Distribution Services.
Dominique Raccah, Publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks, said, “We are excited to continue to build the future of the Callisto publishing program with our partners at Penguin Random House. For four years, Sourcebooks and Penguin Random House have mutually enjoyed an unconventional, highly collaborative partnership, and this deal is another manifestation of our work together. This acquisition brings together two of the most data-driven publishers in the industry to create a consumer-led organization that brings readers books that will change their lives in so many ways. This partnership also allows for an even greater level of innovation that will make an impactful difference for authors. We see data as an enormous creative power.”
Founded in 2011 by CEO Benjamin Wayne, Callisto combines the power of big data, technology and lean economics to deliver high-quality, high-value products that help consumers to genuinely improve their lives. Since its founding, the company has taken a data-driven approach to publishing and grown into a top-15 publisher based on sales in the US market, with a robust backlist of titles. Callisto’s proprietary algorithms leverage consumer data to determine the content consumers demand and where that demand is not currently met. Callisto’s expansive nonfiction publishing list includes workbooks, cooking, health & wellness, relationships & personal growth—content that can travel globally.
Benjamin Wayne, CEO of Callisto Media, said, “Callisto has been one of the fastest growing publishing companies in history and has reached over 50 million customers. The idea that we could determine through data what customers are really looking for and let them drive the books we create has served us incredibly well the past ten years. I’m excited for Callisto to take the next step in its evolution as part of Sourcebooks and Penguin Random House, to continue delivering the kind of content that serves the underserved and helps them transform their lives.”
This inventive model is a continuation of Sourcebooks and Penguin Random House’s collaborative partnership, which was further strengthened earlier this year with Penguin Random House further investing in Sourcebooks and taking the majority position with no changes in Sourcebooks’ leadership, management, publishing autonomy, or entrepreneurial culture, and the running of the organization—including all employees.
Nihar Malaviya, CEO of Penguin Random House, said, “Sourcebooks and Callisto have been two of the fastest growing publishers in the US, driven by their data-informed understanding of readers and their market-oriented publishing. Penguin Random House is thrilled to support in bringing these two dynamic publishers together under Dominique Raccah’s exceptional leadership. Sourcebooks is known for their innovation and agility, and with this step, we look forward to furthering our unique and successful partnership with them.”