Astra Publishing House Acquires DAW Books

Sheila Gilbert and Betsy Wollheim at the 1995 World SF Convention in Glasgow. Photo by and copyright © Andrew Porter

Astra Publishing House has acquired DAW Books. The deal was announced today in a press release run at Amazing Stories and elsewhere.

DAW, although it has a distribution relationship with Penguin Group and is headquartered in Penguin USA’s offices in New York City, was editorially independent and formerly was closely held by its current publishers, Betsy Wollheim (Donald A. Wollheim’s daughter) and Sheila E. Gilbert.

Leying Jiang, President and CFO of APH said, “We’re so thrilled to have DAW Books and its talented team joining Astra Publishing House. It feels like we are adding another bright star to our growing program. And so this acquisition marks a new milestone to Astra’s journey to a successful future.”

DAW co-publishers Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert said, “We are extremely pleased by Astra’s enthusiasm, and thrilled that we will be the sole SFF imprint of their company (a first for DAW!). We think this is the perfect fit for us, and it’s exciting and refreshing to be an integral part of a new and growing company. It speaks volumes about Astra’s respect for our company that they have included our entire staff. We’re very happy.”

DAW, previously distributed by the Penguin division of Penguin Random House, will be distributed by the Penguin Random House Publisher Services division which distributes all of Astra Publishing House books.

Astra Publishing House, as Shelf Awareness reported in 2020, was formed by combining established and new publishing operations as a subsidiary of Thinkingdom Media Group. With headquarters in Beijing, China, TMG specializes in literary fiction, nonfiction and picture books. TMG is also associated with publishers in Japan, France and Germany. Founded by Chen Mingjun in 2002, Thinkingdom Media Group is the only non-state-owned publishing company to go public in China and has published more than 4,000 titles in that country.

APH’s newly-added DAW Books page outlines the imprint’s history: “Founded in 1971 by veteran paperback editor Donald A. Wollheim, along with his wife, Elsie B. Wollheim, DAW Books was the first publishing company ever devoted exclusively to science fiction and fantasy. Now over 50 years and 2,000 titles later, under the direction of co-publishers Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert, DAW has a well-deserved reputation for discovering and publishing the hottest talents in the industry.”

David Lamb and Susan Reich at Book Advisors brokered the deal for DAW, with Kuo-Yu Liang of Ku Worldwide. Alan J. Kaufman served as DAW’s counsel.

Additions to 2016 Hugo Voter Packet

MidAmeriCon II has added material from Best Editor (Long Form) nominee Sheila Gilbert to the 2016 Hugo Voter Packet that was unintentionally omitted from the original release.

As Gilbert explains:

I am including excerpts from one novel written by each author whose work I published in 2015. I hope that you take a look at these excerpts, perhaps revisiting longtime favorites, or possibly discovering some exciting new novelists who will soon become favorites of yours as well.

There are in total 278 pages of excerpts from —

  • Unbound by Jim C. Hines
  • Impulse by Dave Bara
  • Fields of Wrath by Mickey Zucker Reichert
  • The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca
  • The Crow of Connemara by Stephen Leigh
  • Dragon Thief by S. Andrew Swann
  • Oracle by Michelle West
  • Alien Separation by Gini Koch
  • Faces by E. C. Blake
  • The Twice and Future Caesar by R. M. Meluch
  • Crossways by Jacey Bedford
  • Frozen in Amber by Phyllis Ames
  • A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire
  • An Ancient Peace by Tanya Huff
  • This Gulf of Time and Stars by Julie E. Czerneda