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WRJ-Based Chelsea Green Publishing Opens Office in London

  • Employees of Chelsea Green Publishing gather for an editorial meeting on March, 29, 2018 in White River Junction, Vt. The publishing house is in the process of opening an office in London. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Kye Cochran, of West Hartford, Vt., buys a number of books for her son's birthday at Chelsea Green Publishing's office on White River Junction, Vt., on March, 29, 2018. Helping her is Elizabeth Babcock in customer service. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • During an editorial meeting Chelsea Green Publishing's Gretchen Kruesi, left, director of digital development, Joni Praded senior editor, Margo Baldwin senior president, and Fern Marshall senior editor discuss upcoming projects on March, 29, 2018 in White River Junction, Vt. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Chelsea Green Publishing's logo sits on a bookcase in their offices in White River Junction, Vt., on March 29, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Business Writer
Sunday, April 01, 2018

White River Junction — Chelsea Green Publishing hears London calling.

The White River Junction publisher of books on sustainable living, the environment and progressive politics has opened a London office and hired a former executive from the old-line British publishing firm Faber & Faber to oversee it.

Matt Haslum, who was once marketing director at Faber & Faber and who has been running his own digital creative agency for the past eight years, has been hired by Chelsea Green as managing director and tasked with establishing Chelsea Green’s brand, titles and authors in the U.K.

“Our U.K. sales have been growing really fast and I feel there is an opportunity to pick up authors who are writing in food, farming, green and sustainable living. Most U.K. publishers are not covering this area,” said Margo Baldwin, president and publisher of Chelsea Green, in an interview.

The move is unusual — most U.S. publishers have been in retrenchment mode for several years and several have closed their European offices — but Baldwin said Chelsea Green has been experiencing “steady growth” and she sees an opening to establish a beachhead in the U.K. with the company’s particular niche of books focusing on practical aspects of the green movement.

Baldwin described connecting with Haslum as “serendipity.” She and her husband, Ian Baldwin, who co-founded Chelsea Green in 1984, first met Haslum during the London Book Fair last year. Initially, Margo Baldwin said, they thought about bringing someone on board as a consultant but soon realized that would not be enough.

“I realized that in order to really grow the company I needed someone there full time running it,” Baldwin said.

She expects to hire a second person in London to focus on the editorial side and directly recruit and work with writers as Haslum manages distribution and marketing of the titles.

Baldwin explained that Haslum’s digital marketing expertise will be critical in advancing Chelsea Green’s “community of readers and customers” in the U.K. market.

For a time Chelsea Green had a Burlington office, where the company’s marketing operation was based, but Baldwin said it was closed “a couple years ago” because “it became clear it was not good to have all the marketing people somewhere else.”

Chelsea Green — the company takes it names from the town of Chelsea, where the Baldwins started the company before relocating it to White River Junction in 1997 — has more than 400 titles in print and publishes between 25 to 30 titles annually. The publisher’s roster of titles includes New York Times best sellers include George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant!, Naomi Wolf’s The End of America, and Sandor Katz’s The Art of Fermentation.

Chelsea Green employs about 25 people, including 17 who work at the company’s office in White River Junction. In 2012, the Baldwins converted Chelsea Green in an employee-owned company in which employees control 78 percent of the privately held stock.

John Lippman can be reached at jlippman@vnews.com.