Plume was founded in 1970 as the trade paperback imprint of New American Library. In its early history, Plume focused primarily on nonfiction titles, publishing approximately 35 titles per year. In the early 1980s, as trade paperbacks were rapidly becoming the format of choice among a large segment of book buyers, Plume began expanding its reach, eventually becoming recognized as one of the pre-eminent trade paperback imprints. The 1980s saw Plume make its mark with a number of major bestsellers, including Toni Morrison's Tar Baby, Erica Jong's Fanny, Russell Baker's Growing Up, and Gloria Steinem's Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, among others. By the 1990s, Plume was publishing 100-120 titles a year, and its backlist currently encompasses approximately 700 titles.
Throughout its history, Plume has been dedicated to giving an opportunity to voices previously neglected by mainstream publishing. The pioneering program in multicultural literature, which began with Toni Morrison and Jamaica Kincaid, has expanded to include ground-breaking works by Latino, African-American, and Asian-American authors. Plume publishes such notable writers as Julia Alvarez, Bernice McFadden (Sugar), Gish Jen, and August Wilson (Fences), among many others. Plume was also a pioneer in gay publishing, with such classics as Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story and Andrew Holleran's Dancer from the Dance, which built the foundation for an exceptional gay and lesbian publishing program that is still going strong with Judy Shepard’s The Meaning of Matthew and the forthcoming paperback publication of Dan Savage and Terry Miller’s ground-breaking It Gets Better.
Plume's acclaimed fiction list boasts many bestselling and prize-winning authors, including Dorothy Allison (Bastard out of Carolina), Kelley Armstrong (Waking the Witch), David Benioff (City of Thieves), Elizabeth Brundage (The Doctor’s Wife), Tracy Chevalier (Remarkable Creatures), Jennifer Chiaverini (The Quilter’s Legacy), Lev Grossman (The Magician), Sarah Jio (Blackberry Winter), Tom Knox (The Genesis Secret), Joyce Carol Oates (We Were the Mulvaneys), Marisa de los Santos (Love Walked In), Natasha Solomon (The House at Tyneford) and Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You).
Quality nonfiction is another area in which Plume takes special pride, publishing Eckert Tolle (A New Earth), Jill Bolte Taylor (My Stroke of Insight), Daniel Levitin (This is Your Brain on Music), Danica McKellar Hot X Algebra Exposed!), Dave Pelzer (A Man Named Dave) and Dominique Browning (Slow Love).
Plume's dynamic backlist is nothing if not diverse, including Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged) and numerous other titles by this major twentieth-century writer and thinker, George Orwell (Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four), Stephen King ( volumes 1-4 of The Dark Tower series) and Anne Rice (writing as A.N. Roquelaure, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy). With Todd Wilbur's Top Secret Recipes series, to Putting Food By and Total Juicing, the cookbook list offers both the traditional and the practical. The business and personal finance list is likewise a mix of the classic and the cutting-edge, featuring everything from Jason Kelley's Neatest Little Guide to Investing to John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hit Man to Liz Weston’s The Ten Commandments of Money. The diet and health category leads with Geneen Roth (Feeding the Hungry Heart) Dr. David Burns (The Feeling Good Handbook) Dr. Andrew Weil (You Can’t Afford to Get Sick) and Mira Kirshenbaum’s Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay. And Leonard Maltin's bestselling annual Video and Movie Guide is and indispensable reference for every movie fan.
While Plume publishes bestselling reprints in trade paperback, it also has a dynamic and bestselling original publishing program, with recent bestsellers in nonfiction as varied as Jillian Lauren’s Some Girls, James Wesley Rowle’s How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, and Crack’d.com’s You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. Plume’s original fiction program is equally as varied and dynamic with fine novels by authors including Jennifer Niven (Velva Jean Learns to Drive and Velva Jean Learns to Fly) Beth Powning (The Sea Captain’s Wife) Jillian Lauren (Pretty) and Sarah Jio (The Violet’s of March) and Natasha Solomon’s The House at Tyneford.
Plume's long-term commitment to writers and readers is stronger than ever. The publishing program continues to be vigorous and exciting—the best new trade paperback and eBooks in each of these categories will be added to Plume's distinguished list.
Clare Ferraro joined Penguin Group (USA) in 1997 and is the President of Plume as well as the Viking Press and Hudson Street Press. Before then she held a succession of editorial, publicity, and management positions over nineteen years at the Ballantine Publishing Group, including Publisher, Editor-and-Chief and Publicity Director.
Kathryn Court was named Publisher of Plume in 2004, adding to her duties as President and Publisher of Penguin Books and Senior Editor at Viking. Court joined Penguin Group (USA) in 1977 and over the course of her career has worked with many bestselling and award winning authors including J.M Coetzee--who won the Nobel Prize in 2003, John Le Carré, Janice Y.K. Lee ,Donna Leon, Robin Oliveira, Linda Olsson, Vicki Robin, C.J. Sansom, Amy Tan, Jim Trelease, William Trevor and Jacqueline Yallop.
Before becoming Editorial Director of Plume in 2011; Philip Budnick was a key member of the Penguin sales team for 17 years. Formerly National Account Sales Manager for BGI, he played an important part in the success of numerous titles from Viking, Dutton, Gotham, Portfolio and Sentinel. Budnick started his career working for Booksellers in Cleveland. He joined Penguin Group USA in 1994 as a Field Representative for the Midwest Region and subsequently twice named “Penguin Rep of the Year”. In 1999 Mr. Budnick was promoted to National Account Sales Manager.
For any media inquires please contact Elizabeth Keenan, Director of Publicity, elizabeth.keenan[at]us.penguingroup.com
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award
2000: Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Nobel Prize for Literature
1993: Toni Morrison, U.S.
1978: Isaac Bashevis Singer, U.S.
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
1988: Beloved by Toni Morrison
1956: Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction
1969: The Armies of the Night by Norman Mailer
The Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
1983: Growing Up by Russell Baker
The Booker Prize
1995: Ghost Road by Pat Barker