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Sunday 24 May 2015

Jane Curry Publishing New Name: Ventura Press

Jane Curry Publishing - or JCP - is very dear to my heart.

They believed in me, and published my first book, 'The Australian Ageing Generation Handbook'. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity they gave me, the platform they provided, the enabling and realisation of several dreams coming true for me - seeing my book in print, and having my mother's story honoured in such that will last forever. Words - I should have a million of them here. But I only really have two: thank you.

Jane Curry, the woman in charge of JCP, and a wonderful human being (see pic below) - helped me transform into the person I always wanted to be, and fulfil a dream I could not let go of: to become an author.

Jane Curry, Australian Financial Review Magazine, photographed by Louise Kennerley
And now, JCP has transformed itself into another fabulous entity, closing the chapter of one book, and writing a whole other new tome (see what I did there!): they are becoming Ventura Press.

Yes, in August 2015, and after 12 years of successful publishing, JCP will be rebranding as Ventura Press. This also creates a new trade sales and distribution partnership with Simon & Schuster Australia.

They write in a blog post: 

After 12 years of successful publishing, we are delighted to announce JCP will be rebranding as Ventura Press from 1 August 2015.
The strategic decision to rebrand celebrates a new trade sales and distribution partnership with Simon & Schuster Australia, which will ensure the continued growth of our company across Australia and New Zealand.
The first title to be published under Ventura will be Six Degrees by award-winning author Honey Brown, one of Australia’s best contemporary fiction writers.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for JCP under the new name of Ventura Press to join forces with the trade strength of Simon & Schuster,” said Jane Curry, managing director of Jane Curry Publishing. “Ventura will continue to publish our signature brand of strong Australian non-fiction, health and high-end fiction titles to complement the excellent Simon & Schuster list.”
Dan Ruffino, managing director of Simon & Schuster Australia, said he is thrilled to welcome Jane Curry, one of Australia’s most well respected independent publishers, to the company.
“The experience that Jane and her team bring coupled with her passion and innovative approach both complements and enhances the values we have here,” he said. “We are looking forward to growing the sales and presence of Jane’s books across Australia New Zealand from 1 August.”
Simon & Schuster Australia will take over from current distributors NewSouth Books. The current Jane Curry Publishing frontlist and backlist will be rebranded Ventura Press as titles are reprinted.
Jane Curry told Josie's Juice: "Professionally and personally it is the final piece of the jigsaw. I have built the list over many years but needed to align myself with one of the major publishers to provide the growth we need to take us to the next level. It is an excellent alliance, and I am thrilled."

Jane Curry at her Sydney office

In their newsletter, they write:

As this is the last newsletter as JCP before we relaunch as Ventura, it is a good opportunity to pause and reflect on our first twelve years of independent publishing.

I left my good friends at Macmillan in late 2002 where I had been publisher for five years to establish my own company. My time as Managing Director of Weldon /Lansdowne Publishing and Macquarie Dictionary had instilled in me a love of the corner office, not for the location but for the chance to influence all the variables of a business. Product mix, marketing, financials, budgets, sales, and above all managing people – I enjoyed each and every aspect of being MD and wanted that back.

So to regain the MD’s chair, I had the option of waiting for a reshuffle of the local MDs and putting my name in the ring, going back to England, or setting up on my own here in Sydney.

And I chose the latter. And twelve years later I am delighted that I did. With the friendship and professionalism of Elspeth Menzies, my editorial colleague at Macmillan, we set up JCP in Paddington’s Fiveways and I started publishing under my own name.

I am delighted to say that the first author I signed is still in print– the wonderful Dorothy McRae MacMahon’s Rituals for Life Love and Loss which I acquired via Fiona Inglis at Curtis Brown. It was a moment I will not forget.

Then came Jonathan Chancellor’s (of SMH Title Deeds fame) Sydney Hot Property Guide – which gave us our first Good Weekend cover and was launched a glittering event at Elizabeth Bay House where all of Sydney society gathered. The book had 20 full-page colour advertisements which we sold to leading real estate agents – all wanting to keep in the author’s good books – so thanks to Sydney’s property obsession we had a war chest in our first year.

Petrea King’s You Me and the Rainbow followed, then Daniel Petre’s Father Time. Then in 2008, The Australian Autism Handbook was published which remains to this day the book on Autism most recommended by Australian paediatricians.

We have braved the GFC, the closure of Borders and A&R, the e book revolution and the advance of Amazon. And we have emerged stronger as we have recalibrated the business to face these headwinds.

Our new Ventura with Simon and Schuster is the next phase in our growth. We have the books and the authors and Simon & Schuster have the market strength to allow our sales to reflect the quality of our list.

No longer named after the founder, Ventura now proudly stands on its merits and the last twelve years have been well spent.

Jane Curry

As for my future in books, I am thrilled to announce I will be writing again, this time with the newly rebranded Ventura Press, and I am truly excited. I can't say much right now but I am looking forward to working with an exceptional team, an invigorated company who has partnered with equally inspiring people. Stay tuned.

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