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Team

The Fisher Company team is comprised of book publishing and management professionals.

 

Howard W. Fisher

Managing Director

Howard is the founder and a Managing Director of The Fisher Company. He has experience in creating, developing, acquiring, and selling successful publishing companies both as an executive and advisor.

The Fisher Company was established in 2002 to provide strategic advice to corporate and entrepreneurial publishers with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. The company has brokered more than 25 publishing transactions, and has been an advisor for due diligence, and value calculation on more than 50. The company has worked with more than 100 publishers in an advisory or consulting capacity.

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More than 30 years’ experience as a book publisher has provided the opportunity to be involved with all aspects of publishing. Howard has had success operating five publishing companies. He has co-founded, built and sold two successful trade book publishing companies, HPBooks to Knight-Ridder Newspapers, and Fisher Books to Perseus Publishing. Additionally, he was responsible for the trade launch of business books for Pfeiffer & Company, and the educational publisher Good Year Books.

Howard has been responsible for sales and marketing efforts of more than 1,000 non-fiction titles, including ten bestsellers with sales of more than 1 million copies each. He is also the co-author of a New York Times #1 bestseller with sales exceeding six million copies. Howard formed The Fisher Company to provide expertise and help for growing publishing companies.

Fisher holds a Bachelor of Science with Distinction, Finance, San Jose State University, and graduate studies in the MBA program at the University of Arizona.

He is a former President of the 3,000-member Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). For three years Howard served as Forum Chairperson for the New York University Center for Publishing’s Management Forum for Independent Publishers. He has presented to IBPA, Publishers Association of the West (PubWest), Publishers of the South, Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable, Colorado Independent Publishers Association, Acumen software’s Acutech event, and many others.

Desmond Higgins

Managing Director

Des is a senior book publishing executive with extensive international experience in both trade and educational publishing.

Over the last 35 years in the publishing industry he has been responsible for book publishers in Australia, Belgium, France, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

He has worked for publishers including Macmillan, Thomson-Reuters, Hachette, and Bonnier. While CEO of Bonnier Publishing UK he oversaw a group of publishers with annual sales of more than $100 million with 250 employees.

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Since 2009 Des has specialized in advising both buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions in the media sector who are looking to find new owners or additional investment.

He is a key advisor to overseas buyers of publishing companies who are seeking to grow by acquisition in Europe.

Des provides an enviable range of high-level contacts in the larger media groups throughout the USA, UK, China, Singapore, Japan, and Europe who are actively seeking to make acquisitions of suitable publishers both print and digital.

He is a graduate of the University of Durham in Great Britain. Des is married with three adult children and is based in Ascot, Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Thomas Woll

Director

Thomas Woll has more than forty years of experience in the areas of trade, direct response, professional and college publishing, most at senior management levels. He has, uniquely, been directly responsible for companies as small as start-ups and divisions as large as $80 million.

Woll’s background spans all areas of trade and professional book publishing, including editorial development and planning; new product search and acquisition; sales and marketing (including setting up distribution and sales terms); rights; production and manufacturing; budgeting and strategic planning. He also is expert in the front-end of direct response publishing: new product testing and acquisition; editorial planning and acquisition; production and manufacturing; digital strategy; and digital business models.

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His experience includes twenty years of practical, hands on publishing and twenty years as a leading consultant to the publishing industry. His experience ranges from President of Cross River Publishing Consultants to Vice President & General Manager, Professional & Trade Division, John Wiley & Sons (the division consisted of five product lines: business, general interest, computer, psychology, and hospitality titles); Vice President & Publisher, Book Division, Rodale Press, Inc.; Publisher, Storey Communications / Garden Way Publishing; Vice President & Publisher, Beaufort Books, Inc. (U.S. subsidiary of Stoddart/General Publishing Co., Toronto); and Vice President & General Manager, Vanguard Press, Inc.

Woll has also served on such industry panels as the Association of American Publishers, Executive Council; Association of American Publishers, Chairman, Smaller Publishers Group; and Publisher’s Marketing Association, Board of Directors.

In addition, he has lectured frequently at industry events sponsored by Folio; Publisher’s Marketing Association; Publishers of the West; Publishers of the South; Association of American Publishers, and more.

Woll has both an MA in English and an MBA in management. He was an adjunct professor, for fourteen years, teaching at the Masters level at New York University, NY, NY and is currently an adjunct at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC. Woll’s book Publishing for Profit: Successful Bottom Line Management for Book Publishers (5th Edition, 2014, Chicago Review Press) is used extensively throughout publishing and has been translated into nine languages around the world, and has been called the bible of the industry by the Associated Press.

Douglas Pfeiffer

Senior Advisor

Douglas is a book publishing executive with a trade book and magazine publishing experience spanning forty years.

He has worked for Kodansha Publishing (Tokyo), American West Publishing Company, Rono Graphic Communications, Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company, and most recently he was the Publishing Director of Ingram Content Group’s book publishing laboratory, Graphic Arts Books for five years. His experience included senior management positions as well as editorial acquisitions, sales and marketing. He helped guide the acquisition of the assets of three publishers to expand the companies where he worked.

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Pfeiffer has a BS in Business Marketing from San Jose State University and an MBA from Michigan State University.

He is an active member of the Publisher’s Association of the West (PubWest). He served seven years on the board of directors including two years as president. In 2015 he was inducted into the PubWest Hall of Fame. He is a frequent guest lecturer for the graduate studies program connected to Ooligan Press at Portland State University.

J. McCrary

Senior Advisor

With more than 30 years’ experience in trade publishing and four in academic publishing, J. McCrary understands the scope of the extraordinary changes affecting the publishing industry.

Her responsibilities have covered the entire spectrum of publishing, from managing field and special sales representatives, foreign and domestic subsidiary rights, key account management, supervising warehouse operations, distribution, and print production, and managing marketing and publicity. As a senior sales director, she was responsible for meeting and exceeding an eight-figure sales budget. J. also knows and understands the editorial side of the business with experience as an editor and as a publisher.

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Co-founder of Community Services Press, J. wrote two books on saving and money management for children and young adults. A silver Benjamin Franklin Award winner, My Savings Book & Journal has been adopted by dozens of banks across the U.S. and has sold more than 40,000 copies.

J. was employed by the Arizona Geological Survey, HPBooks, Price Stern Sloan, Fisher Books, The Perseus Books Group, and Fox Chapel Press. A consultant since 2008, she has worked with educational and trade publishers as a management and sales consultant, and with authors as their editor and ghostwriter.

She has presented seminars at major publishing conferences, including the Management Forum for Independent Publishers at New York University, the Publishers Marketing Association Publishing University, and the Colorado Independent Publishers Association College.

J. understands the particular demands made on entrepreneurs, as well; she owned and managed two small businesses, one in Tucson and one in Pennsylvania.