Bruce Nichols Joins HMH as Adult Trade Publisher

Adrian Versteegh

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) announced yesterday that Bruce Nichols has been appointed senior vice president and publisher of adult trade and reference, filling a position left vacant since Rebecca Saletan resigned last December. Nichols, formerly of HarperCollins, will oversee HMH’s entire adult trade group, which includes trade hardcover, cookbooks, reference, and field guides, as well as trade paperback imprint Mariner Books.

“Nichols is widely recognized in the industry for his leadership, innovation and keen editorial judgment, and his ability to find topics and writers that attract national attention,” said Gary Gentel, president of HMH’s trade and reference division, in a press release. “We want to build on our legacy, but also look to the future, and I’m thrilled to have Bruce guide our adult and reference programs.”

At HarperCollins, Nichols spent two years as publisher of the Collins imprint before it was shuttered in a February shakeup. Bestsellers released under his direction there include My Booky Wook by Russell Brand, Alex and Me by Irene Pepperberg, and Bill Russell’s Red and Me. Before that, Nichols worked at the Free Press for fifteen years, where his authors included Richard Clarke and Lee Eisenberg. Despite the prominence of nonfiction and business titles on Nichols’ resumé, Publishers Weekly reports that the balance between fiction and nonfiction at HMH is not expected to change.

“Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s list, from front to back, is distinguished, significant and literary,” said Nichols in a statement. “I am tremendously excited by the chance to work with the talented team there, and with such wonderful authors.”

Nichols—whose grandfather spent four decades at Houghton Mifflin and served as the company’s president from 1963 to 1973—will start work on August 3. He will be based at the publisher’s New York City office.