First Second is an imprint of Macmillan. That’s their logo at the top of this post.
We don’t talk about them a whole lot, because the day-to-day interesting bits about First Second (ie, publishing graphic novels) don’t have a lot to do with what’s going on corporately at Macmillan (ie, running a multi-national publishing empire) — their stuff is also interesting, but in a different way.
Macmillan publishes books, which is great! We’re very glad to have a parent company whose #1 concern is publishing books (and not, for example, being a media empire). We’ve been getting some questions lately about what exactly these Macmillan dudes are all about as far as their book publishing program, because Macmillan books tend not to be easily recognizable by the penguin on the spine.
Macmillan has an umbrella corporate structure, which means that ‘Macmillan’ doesn’t really publish any books (unless they’re these people, in which case they aren’t actually part of our company.) Instead of going for a centralized corporate publishing approach, Macmillan instead has a number of imprints that all publish books under their own names. This is to foster independence and creativity under each of the imprints — because their creative decisions are all their own, Macmillan’s umbrella publishing imprints have a greater incentive to succeed all on their own, too. Macmillan has a trade division (of publishers that publish the regular kinds of books that regular people read) and an academic division (of publishers that publish the kinds of books that academics or college students read, ie., mostly textbooks).
We are part of Macmillan’s trade division (in case you couldn’t tell — First Second is not a textbook publisher) and so are a lot of other excellent publishers — including Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Flatiron Books, Henry Holt, Macmillan Audio (for your audio book needs!), Picador, St. Martin’s Press, Tor/Forge, and nine separate children’s imprints who I’m not going to list here. You may have heard of some of these publishers, because they are all pretty great.
Having read this, if you’re now like, ‘First Second publishes such great books — I should check out what Macmillan is publishing!’ you can take a look at their website for upcoming releases: http://us.macmillan.com/.
Macmillan books we loved from last year include: Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park and Fangirl; Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two; Hild, by Nicola Griffith; Lisa Cohen’s All We Know, and the latest volume of Fred Chao’s Johnny Hiro triology.
So if you’ve been curious about our cloaked-in-mystery corporate overlords, we hope this answers all your questions!