More than a year after Collins publisher Steve Ross and his boss at HarperCollins met with representatives from The Wall Street Journal to discuss the possibility of a partnership, the ink is finally dry. The first book The Journal will publish through Collins, The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street As We Know It: What You Need to Know About the Greatest Financial Crisis of Our Time—And How to Survive It by Dave Kansas, will be out early next year.
Last November, about a month before Rupert Murdoch formally took over The Journal, The Observer reported that the News Corp. chairman was preparing (okay, “mulling”) to initiate a little synergy between his new paper and his old publishing house. At that point, The Journal was publishing all its books with Random House’s Crown division, which Mr. Ross used to run. The contract was about to expire though, and it only made sense that Mr. Murdoch would want to move it over to HarperCollins.
In the press release announcing the agreement, HarperCollins C.E.O. Brian Murray—who was the company’s number two when he took those meetings with Mr. Ross last fall—is quoted as saying that the partnership would generate a “branded list of guides from the editors of the Journal and enduring narratives from The Wall Street Journal reporters.”
We’ll see if this partnership turns out to be more meaningful than the one ostensibly linking that other big New York newspaper with Henry Holt’s Times Books imprint, which back in September acquired former Journal reporter Mike Hudson’s “narrative exposé of the rise and fall of the subprime mortgage industry,” which at the time was basically the only financial crisis book on the market not written by someone from The New York Times.