SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

September 4, 2013

A passion for publishing

Page Street publisher Will Kiester, who publishes cookbook for local bakery, lands major distribution deal

(Continued)

That record includes 20 years of experience, in which Kiester served as publisher of Murdoch Books in Australia from 2005 to 2007, in addition to working in New York for London-based Quarto Books and for Random House.

Before founding Page Street, he honed many aspects of his publishing approach while working as publisher of Fair Winds Press in Beverly, which he joined in 2007.

“When I got there, Fair Winds was struggling,” Kiester said. “They had a lot of one-color, gifty, impulse-buy books.

“I changed the list to a practical, highly illustrated health and fitness sort of lifestyle list. We added a lot of photos and made the books more practical.”

The strategy paid off, increasing sales at Fair Winds dramatically, turning it from one of the smallest publishers in the group to one of the largest, Kiester said.

Page Street — named for a “bohemian” street in San Francisco where Kiester lived when he was starting out — published its first list of seven titles this spring.

Its fall list, which includes “Baking by Hand,” offers five titles that are mostly cookbooks but include works on fitness, cocktails and dieting.

“The paleo diet is getting big; it’s gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free,” Kiester said. It’s meant to mimic the eating habits of the earliest human beings.

Page Street has reprinted “Paleo Breakfasts and Lunches on the Go,” by Diana Rodgers, four times in the two weeks since its release.

“When all those books land, we’ll have 32,000 copies in print,” Kiester said.

Kiester works with a number of photographers, whose talents he matches with an author’s to come up with between 60 and 100 photos for each book.

With the exception of one hardcover, all Page Street books are paperback originals, which have an accessible price that fits the company’s marketing emphasis.

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