Due to its monumental publishing program, with greater than 300 imprints globally and a backlist going again practically a century, the writer leads the literary world on seemingly each axis, from the highest-brow fiction to pulpy industrial authors. It publishes Nobel Prize winners like Kazuo Ishiguro and Alice Munro; Pulitzer Prize winners like Colson Whitehead, Anne Tyler and Jon Meacham; and prose deities who formed Twentieth-century American literature, together with Cormac McCarthy, John Cheever, Eudora Welty, Saul Bellow, William Faulkner, John Updike and Joan Didion. It publishes blockbuster authors like Dan Brown, E L James, John Grisham and Danielle Metal. It publishes mega-best-selling youngsters’s and younger grownup authors like Dr. Seuss and John Inexperienced. It publishes the Obamas, whose memoirs Penguin Random Home acquired with a record-breaking $65 million advance.
A canny ‘demotion’
When the coronavirus hit, Ms. McIntosh left her Manhattan dwelling, a just lately acquired residence in the Dakota, for a second property in Orient, on the extremity of the North Fork of Lengthy Island. She has ridden out the pandemic there together with her husband, the thriller writer Chris Pavone; their teenage twin boys; and a Labradoodle named Wally.
Mr. Pavone is revealed by Crown, a Penguin Random Home imprint. The couple say they observe a strict separation of “church and state” on the subject of his profession: Her solely involvement is studying early drafts and passing alongside encouragement. Most days, he cooks dinner for his or her household, and enjoys their family division of labor — their sons see a father who’s round for homework assist and a mom who’s a C.E.O.
To unwind, he advised me, Ms. McIntosh “bakes maniacally” on the weekends. As Covid-19 started to unfold, she purchased 100 kilos of flour, which she steadily transformed into bread, cookies, pies and truffles, although she took a hiatus after breaking her hand in a paddle-boarding accident this summer time.
In some methods, Ms. McIntosh’s ascent has been typical — a gradual climb up the company ladder. However she additionally stands out as somebody who at each flip has rejected typical considering, and who has had an uncanny diploma of foresight about technological change.
The daughter of an arts administrator and a banker, she grew up in St. Paul, Minn., and Pittsburgh, and studied tremendous arts at Harvard, hoping at first to develop into a curator. She took the Radcliffe Publishing Course as a substitute, resulting in a toehold within the trade as a brief assistant to an editor at HarperCollins, then to a everlasting place at Norton.
By 1994, Ms. McIntosh noticed that the web would irreversibly remodel publishing, and that 12 months she bought a job within the new-media division at Bantam Doubleday Dell, a division of Bertelsmann. Her work concerned creating proposals to transform texts to CD-ROM and creating and managing the corporate’s first web site. Ultimately, she was put in control of on-line gross sales — a small fraction of the enterprise, however one she suspected would develop. Her first activity was to arrange an account for Amazon, when nobody actually knew what it was, a bookstore or a distributor.