News | Penguin Random House | Naperville/New York, 05/12/2023

Sourcebooks Buys Nonfiction Publisher Callisto Media

Sourcebooks has acquired the publishing assets of Callisto Media, a U.S. nonfiction publisher. Both publishers rely heavily on data and are among the fastest-growing publishing companies in the US. Founded in 2011, Callisto combines the power of big data and technology to produce high-quality nonfiction. Sourcebooks has been majority-owned by Penguin Random House U.S. since the beginning of the year.

U.S. publisher Sourcebooks is acquiring the publishing assets of U.S. nonfiction publisher Callisto Media. The acquisition is being financed by Penguin Random House U.S. Sourcebooks is one of the fastest-growing publishers in the country and, according to its own figures, achieved growth of 61 percent in the first quarter of this year alone. For Penguin Random House, which first invested in Sourcebooks in 2019 and has held a majority stake since the beginning of the year, Sourcebooks’ data-centric approach and ability to respond quickly to book market trends makes it the ideal company to oversee Callisto’s publishing program. Sourcebooks will oversee the management of Callisto’s publishing assets, while Callisto titles will continue to be distributed by Simon & Schuster Distribution Services. 

Sourcebooks Publisher and CEO Dominique Raccah 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, she added, “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 U.S. 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 Sourcebooks believes 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.”

Nihar Malaviya, Interim 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.”