OR Books and Just World Books are pleased to announce a strategic cooperation agreement that will extend the reach of the two companies and improve their efficiency.

Both publishers share a commitment to timely and high-quality turnaround of manuscripts with a strong focus on current affairs and international issues. They achieve this through publishing exclusively in print-on-demand paperbacks and e-books, and selling direct to the reader via extensive internet promotion. Under the agreement, OR Books will assist JWB in the production, marketing and rights sales of its titles.

OR Books began publishing in the fall of 2009 with its first title Going Rouge: Sarah Palin – An American Nightmare, which became a New York Times bestseller. Since then, it has published books by Gordon Lish, Raja Shehadeh, Micah Sifry, Norman Finkelstein, Laura Flanders and Douglas Rushkoff, among others. It s latest book Tweets from Tahrir was described by the New York Times as “a feat of nearly real-time publishing.” Next month it will release The Global Warming Reader, edited by Bill McKibben. It is run by John Oakes and Colin Robinson, who formed the company in 2009 to exploit the possibilities offered by new digital printing, ebook, and distribution technologies.

Just World Books (JWB) was founded in 2010 by Helena Cobban, a long-time writer and blogger on international affairs who contributed a long-running column to The Christian Science Monitor. The most recent of JWB’s five titles is Food, Farming, and Freedom: Sowing the Arab Spring by Lebanese agronomy specialist and social activist Rami Zurayk. JWB’s other authors include veteran diplomatist Chas W. Freeman, Jr, and Afghan-affairs specialist Joshua Foust.

Cobban notes that the new cooperation agreement allows JWB to mesh its activities with several important aspects of OR’s publishing operations: “OR Books shares with Just World a strong commitment to books of cutting-edge social and political relevance. I think their list is amazing! But we have important complementarities, too, when it comes to how to publish. Independently, we each arrived at the same sort of model for making books work in the 21st century – selling direct, only producing books once they have a customer, and promoting heavily. I value the savvy Colin and John have accumulated during their extensive careers in New York and London and am looking forward to working with them and their team.”

For their part, Oakes and Robinson say they greatly admire the program JWB has published to date and appreciate the value of the range of international contacts Cobban has brought into JWB from her long career in journalism. “The new model of book publishing is going to be far less territorially restricted and more global than the business has been hitherto,” Oakes said. “We have already achieved significant book sales around the world, as well as a robust presence in the foreign rights market, but we think Helena can help us strengthen that. We are very excited about working with her and JWB going forward.”

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