The big news in the media landscape in Alberta this month is the acquisition of Company’s Coming by Lone Pine Publishing, both of Edmonton. Sources tell me the purchase took place in November 2010 but was not officially announced until February 2011 and in May, the Lone Pine Publishing offices moved to the Company’s Coming offices at 2311 – 96 Street, between the Whitemud Freeway and Anthony Henday Drive. Company’s Coming has been publishing cookbooks in Edmonton for 25 years. They are now up to 100 books and published around the world. I am sure that many people in Alberta have at least one of these Company’s Coming cookbooks in their library.
The acquisition will be an interesting one. According to its Wikipedia listing…
Lone Pine Publishing is an Alberta-based book publisher, best known across Canada and parts of the United States for its gardening books, bird guides and nature guides. Lone Pine Publishing was founded in 1980 when Canadian broadcaster and journalist Grant Kennedy set up the company in Edmonton and published the firm’s first book, entitled The Albertans. Since then, Lone Pine Publishing has published over 600 titles. The company also distributes books for a number of smaller Canadian and U.S. publishers through an extensive network of independent booksellers and other retailers, marketing in all Canadian provinces except Quebec and in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, California and the Great Lakes states. Lone Pine Publishing maintains a head office and central warehouse operations in Edmonton, Canada, and a sales office and warehouse in Auburn, Washington, USA. The company also maintains a warehouse in Lansing, Michigan.
Having worked at Company’s Coming for a short time as the production manager of the book division — until they folded their magazine division, gave the previous production manager of the cookbook division his job back, and me a pink slip — I can see synergies between the production of cookbooks and the production of guidebooks. They both require heavy photography, illustrations, and precise specifications. It’s just the editorial content that will be different.
The transaction seems to have been a smooth and quiet one. Other than the phone conversation I had today while seeking out a Lone Pine author for a chat about her new book, I couldn’t find out much else. Nothing online from a Google search, nothing on the Book Publishers in Alberta’s listing and nothing posted on either publisher’s website except for the announcement that Jean Pare, the founder, retired as of February 28, 2011.
I guess that both Lone Pine and Company’s Coming both hope that no one will notice the difference in publishers which is probably the right approach to take, as far as marketing is concerned. Why fix what is not broken?