Publisher hangs right wing-leaning shingle

Miner named executive editor at Bookspan

Inspired by the rah-rah popularity of Fox News and Bill O’Reilly, the book biz is turning its attention to the right.

A month after two Gotham publishers announced conservative imprints, the owner of the popular Book-of-the-Month Club is launching a club devoted to books with a right-wing bent.

The club is not yet named but will be introduced later this year and will be edited by Brad Miner, former literary editor of the National Review and the author of “The Concise Conservative Encyclopedia.” Miner was also named executive editor at Bookspan, which owns the Book-of-the-Month Club and other clubs.

Bookspan is co-owned by Bertelsmann and AOL Time Warner.

Considering Gotham’s traditionally left-leaning publishing industry and its media darling offspring the shift indicates a broadening market.

“Increasingly, readers are telling us they want to read books with a conservative point of view,” said Markus Wilhelm, Bookspan’s chief.

Wilhelm cited the popularity of books by conservatives O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Bernard Goldberg, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage. He also noted the success of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News.

O’Reilly’s “The No Spin Zone” spent 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list when it was published in 2001, including eight weeks at No. 1. It is currently No. 2 on the paperback bestseller list.

Last month, the Crown Publishing Group (which published Coulter’s bestselling liberal attack “Slander”) and Penguin Putnam, divisions of Random House, announced conservative imprints, which are expected to each publish 15 books annually.

They join the ranks of Regnery Publishing, a conservative press in Washington that publishes between 25 and 30 titles a year. Long the leader in conservative publishing, Regnery could be overshadowed by the clout and bigger budgets of Crown and Penguin.

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