New ebook seller Zola, which has not yet fully launched to the public with its full list of ebooks for sale, is losing its head of business development, Mary Ann Naples, who will be joining Rodale Books as vice president and publisher in March. Naples will continue on with Zola, however, as a member of its strategic advisory board.
Zola CEO Joe Regal had this to say in a statement:
Very few people have the incredible depth and breadth of experience in both traditional and digital publishing as Mary Ann. Rodale is lucky to have her. While we’ll miss her in the office, we’re thrilled she’ll continue to play a role on Zola’s strategic advisory board, and under Mary Ann’s guidance we look forward to innovating with Rodale in the future.
Zola launched in a limited way in Oct., selling a small amount of exclusive content. It is anticipated that the site will launch with a much larger list of titles from publishers in the near future.
Press release from Rodale Books:
Rodale Inc. Names Mary Ann Naples VP/Publisher, Rodale Books
Position to Further Digital Expertise in Growing Division
Rodale Inc., the world’s leading healthy lifestyle publisher, announced today that Mary Ann Naples has been named VP/Publisher, Rodale Books, effective March 4, 2013.
As VP/Publisher of the Books Group, Naples will oversee North American trade and direct book publishing operations, including editorial, marketing, and distribution channels. She will also collaborate with Rodale’s award-winning brands, including international editions, to expand the scope of the Rodale Books list into new areas. She will report to Maria Rodale, Chairman & CEO, Rodale Inc., and will join the company’s senior management team.
Said CEO Maria Rodale: “Mary Ann’s breadth of experience at the nexus of tech and talent, at traditional publishing houses as well as at groundbreaking start-ups, positions her perfectly to drive the Rodale Books business into the future. Her experience as an editor, agent, and business development professional will move our core categories forward and broaden our list strategically.”
Most recently, Naples was Chief of Business Development for Zola Books, a social e-book retail site dedicated to building connections between authors, readers, booksellers, publishers, and book lovers, where she will continue to hold a position on the start-up’s advisory board. Prior to Zola, Naples was Vice President of Talent and Business Development at OpenSky, a social retail platform named one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company magazine. Mary Ann’s roots in publishing are deep; she was cofounder of The Creative Culture, Inc., a boutique literary agency known for its emphasis on lifestyle books; strong, branded nonfiction; and authors with platforms (including bestsellers such as Joel Fuhrman, MD’s Eat to Live, Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, Danica McKellar’s math series, and Lauren Conrad’s YA books). Before that, Naples was an editor at Simon & Schuster, Hyperion, and Doubleday.
Said Naples: “As publisher, I’ll look to build on Rodale’s incredible assets, as well as create opportunities for growth across new categories and initiatives. My background as an author advocate with a long publishing history, coupled with my branding and start-up experience, will help me forge new paths for Rodale in this fast-shifting digital publishing landscape. I’m honored to join a company whose mission is to inspire its customers and truly make a difference in their lives.”
In the last year, Rodale Books has added Wheat Belly to its collection of New York Times bestselling titles (52 weeks on the list, also a Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller), as well as the companion Wheat Belly Cookbook, which debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestsellers list last month. Rodale is preparing to publish Jessica Alba’s debut book The Honest Life in March and has signed Alicia Silverstone for two more titles, The Kind Mama and The Kind Diet Cookbook—follow-ups to her #1 New York Times bestseller The Kind Diet (also published by Rodale Books).
Naples holds a BA from Cornell and an MA from University of Virginia. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Naples will be based in Rodale’s New York office.
About Rodale Inc.
Rodale is a global lifestyle company with a mission to inspire and enable people to improve their lives and the world around them. Through a broad portfolio of leading media properties, Rodale reaches more than 70 million people around the world through multiple distribution channels, including magazines, books, online, mobile, e-commerce, direct-to-consumer, and video. Rodale publishes some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle magazines, including Men’s Health, Prevention, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Running Times, and Organic Gardening, and is one of the largest independent book publishers in the United States with a collection of bestselling titles including Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite , The Kind Diet, Eat This, Not That! and Flat Belly Diet. The company is also widely regarded as a digital leader in the areas of health and fitness and has launched three digital properties—Fitbie.com and YouTube channels 3V and Tasted. Rodale continues to expand its reach through an ever-growing list of award-winning mobile applications and partnerships and is a leader in direct-response marketing with more than 27 million active customers in its database. To learn more about Rodale, visit www.rodaleinc.com.