Hazelden Publishing has inked a deal with the venerable New York publishing house Simon & Schuster to sell and distribute its addiction and self-help books in the United States and Canada.
The agreement, which begins on Jan. 1, is an attempt by the Center City-based Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation to get its print and digital books into the hands of more consumers through such retail outlets as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
“This agreement is focused on North America, but it’s a broader reach with a global publisher and we expect this relationship to grow over time,” said Joe Jaksha, who leads Hazelden Publishing.
Hazelden is the nation’s leading publisher of books on addiction and family recovery but has not been immune to stresses in the broader publishing industry. The division is a small part of the nonprofit’s overall addiction treatment business, representing about 10 percent of total revenue, but financial performance fell short of expectations last year.
Hazelden Publishing earned about $19.3 million in net revenue in 2015, hitting just 85 percent of its sales goal after a 6.4 percent drop in sales, according to financial filings. Sales have rebounded thus far in 2016, Jaksha said.
The partnership with Simon & Schuster is part of a broader strategy to drive growth and promote “greater adoption” of its principles of addiction recovery, he said.
“As we see broader interest in recovery and self-help globally, and as the stigma reduces around seeking help, there’s definitely a global opportunity that we see in the future,” Jaksha said. “Also, Simon & Schuster is strong in the specialty markets, so we see an ability to reach more niche markets.”
Hazelden’s publishing arm launched in 1954, about five years after the organization’s founding as a modest farmhouse retreat for male alcoholics.
The internationally known treatment center now sells both print and e-books, including such best sellers as its “Twenty-Four Hours A Day” meditation book; “Codependent No More,” by Melody Beattie; and “The Gifts of Imperfection;” by Brené Brown. Such consumer-oriented publications represent about a third of the publishing division’s revenue, Jaksha said.
Hazelden Publishing also produces audio and video materials as well as business-to-business training material and tools for behavioral health professionals and educators.