Chicago Publishers: Spotlight on… Sourcebooks

Welcome to Sourcebooks, the largest woman-owned trade book publisher in North America!

Sourcebooks is also the first of the publishers in my Chicago Publisher Spotlights which I have already worked extensively with. In particular I am a big fan of the historical fiction published by Sourcebooks. They have brought many authors to the United States whose works have previously only been available from the United Kingdom, re-released some classics of historical fiction, and published some new great historical fiction. Just because that is my favorite thing they do, though, Sourcebooks is by no means only a publisher of historical fiction.

I have known for a long time that Sourcebooks is one of the larger independent publishers and that they were started by Dominique Raccah, but in researching this post I learned a lot of new and interesting things about Sourcebooks. For instance, Raccah didn’t just start Sourcebooks in 1987, she started it in her upstairs bedroom with $17,000 from her 401k after leaving a career in advertising. Starting with a single title, “Financial Sourcebooks Sources,” Sourcebooks moved first into professional finance titles, followed by business titles. Although they have expanded to many other areas, these finance and business titles continue to be very successful for the publisher.

Around the sections of the blogosphere I frequent, Sourcebooks seems to be best known for historical fiction, romance, Jane Austen sequels, and the still very new young adult imprint, Sourcebooks Fire. Although Sourcebooks Fire was, as far as I know, created from scratch, one of the biggest ways that Sourcebooks grew was actually by acquiring imprints such as Casablanca Press, which became Sourcebooks Casablanca and publishes relationship, sex, and wedding books, as well as romance novels.

Sourcebooks is not content to simply rest on its laurels. Dominique Raccah is always exploring new methods for content distribution and seems to be well-known in the industry as someone who is exploring the cutting-edge of the future of publishing. If she can go from her upstairs bedroom to publishing over 300 titles per year in just about 20 years, I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.

To close, I thought I’d just leave you with a few covers of recent or upcoming Sourcebooks releases I’m really excited about:

I have already reviewed “For the King’s Favor,” and you can look for my review of “The Passionate Brood” during the first week in November. The other two I’ll have to get my hands on at some point.

12 comments to Chicago Publishers: Spotlight on… Sourcebooks

  • Thanks so much for this post on Sourcebooks, Jen. I had no idea of Sourcebooks history, even though it’s one of my favorite sources of historical fiction. I love Sourcebooks and hope to be able to visit their offices next month. How exciting!

  • I love Sourcebooks too and what an eye opening post. I didn’t know the history behind the company…shame on me. They are one of the only companies that I will be working with next year because I love their selections and how professional they are!! I’m reading The Forever Queen right now, loved For the King’s Favor, and will soon be diving into the Passionate Brood. I believe Sourcebooks is solely responsible for the interest in Heyer that has reached a fever pitch this year!!! and was one of the reasons I read my first Heyer book ever!!! Excellent post!

  • That is an incredibly inspirational story. Starting this company from her bedroom with her 401K money? That deserves a fist-pump. I wish her all the success in the world!

  • I adore Sourcebooks. I have all except the newest Georgette Heyer rerelease, which I must read.

  • If I’m not mistaken, Sourcebooks is located in Naperville, is it not? I have a huge fondness for it because of that. Well, that and the fact that they specialize in historical fiction. I love me some hist fic!

  • I love Sourcebooks – they are one of my favorite publishing houses – and I didn’t know any of this! Thank you so much for featuring them! I loved getting to know more about them!

  • CLM

    Here’s another forthcoming Sourcebooks title to add to your “anticipated” list:

    The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley,

    I had to get my library to Interlibrary Loan this from Vancouver so am eager to get my own copy in December.

  • I think Sourcebooks is a very cool publishing House. They have intrigued be for a while now, and think this is true because I know that they are within driving distance for me, granted, a few hours away, but still…

    I am fan of Sourcebooks, especially with the historical fiction aspect. I did not know that they are the publisher for Helen Hollick’s releases, cool. I like that author.

    They have just republished Child of the Northern Spring by Persia Wooley. This book focuses on the Arthurian Legend from a historical perspective. It sounds great, and I cannot wait to read it.

    I should keep my eye more purposefully on Sourcebooks. Thanks for this interesting post.

  • It’s great to read about all the enthusiasm for Sourcebooks. I just signed on with them. I did my research, of course. But it’s fun to see what other people are saying in a forum like this. My impression is that they just love books and that’s refreshing! My book, BREAKING THE CODE – A DAUGHTER’S JOURNEY INTO HER FATHER’S SECRET WAR is a memoir. Very excited; this will be my first published book.

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