Benjamin Lee, VP, Associate Publisher of Paperbacks
For more than two decades, G.P. Putnam’s Sons has led the publishing industry with more hardcover New York Times bestsellers than any other imprint. With its rich history of publishing established franchises and new talent, as well as award winners, with an unrivaled bestselling track record, Putnam continues to be one of the most respected and prestigious imprints in the industry.
Putnam’s illustrious roster of bestselling fiction authors includes Megan Abbott, Cristina Alger, Ace Atkins, Chloe Benjamin, C.J. Box, Jamie Brenner, Eleanor Brown, Tom Clancy, Robin Cook, Robert Crais, Clive Cussler, Jeffery Deaver, Frederick Forsyth, Karen Joy Fowler, Sue Grafton, W.E.B. Griffin, Robert Jones, Jr., Jan Karon, Alma Katsu, John Kenney, Philip Kerr, Frances Liardet, Mike Lupica, Delia Owens, Robert B. Parker, Nick Petrie, Kiley Reid, Steven Rowley, John Sandford, Jill Santopolo, Lisa Scottoline, M.O. Walsh, Stuart Woods, Randy Wayne White, Sarah Winman, and David Yoon.
Among its distinguished nonfiction authors are Michele Borba, Kate Winkler Dawson, Cathy Guisewite, Spencer Johnson, Hoda Kotb, Laurence Leamer, Bobby Orr, Dolly Parton, and Eve Rodsky.
History of Putnam
In 1838 George Palmer Putnam, who began his career at a small New York bookstore, moved to London to establish the first American publishing branch of Wiley and Putnam in England. Ten years later, Putnam returned to the United States and the company became known as “George P. Putnam.” In 1849, Putnam published the revised works of his close friend, American author and historian Washington Irving. One year later, the house published Susan Warner’s The Wide, Wide World, which became known as America’s first bestseller, selling forty thousand copies in the first few months, and eventually more than one million over its life. Over the next century and a half, Putnam published works by President Theodore Roosevelt (who worked for a year at the house before turning to politics), William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Norman Mailer’s Deer Park, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather.
In 2013 G.P. Putnam’s Sons celebrated its 175th year of publishing, culminating in an official “G.P. Putnam’s Sons Day” declared by the New York City mayor’s office on May 28, 2013. The history of Putnam is nearly as long as that of our country – and also as varied. The world is very different than it was in 1838, and the imprint is too, though many core values live on – an attendance to quality, honoring our authors, service to our readers, and of course a yen to create bestsellers. Putnam continues to hold industry dominance with an average of 30 to 35 New York Times bestsellers per year, applying aggressive marketing and sales acumen as it publishes established brands and new discoveries.
Meet the Team
Ivan Held, President
Ivan Held is President of Putnam, Dutton, and Berkley. He currently oversees business, editorial, and publishing strategies for Putnam and Berkley.
Ivan started his career as a bookseller in Washington, DC, before moving to the publicity department at Random House, where he worked with authors ranging from Norman Mailer to General Colin Powell. In the late 1990s he was named VP/Associate Publisher and Marketing Director for the Viking imprint of Penguin. Before returning to Penguin in 2005, he founded the Random House Trade Paperbacks imprint at Random House.
Sally Kim, SVP, Publisher
Sally Kim is SVP, Publisher of Putnam. In addition to overseeing the imprint’s editorial, marketing, and publicity departments, she acquires and edits her own list of quality fiction with commercial appeal, including New York Times bestsellers by Megan Abbott (The Turnout), Robert Jones, Jr. (The Prophets, a finalist for the National Book Award), Kiley Reid (Such a Fun Age), Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists), Cristina Alger (Girls Like Us), and John Kenney (Love Poems for Married People). Recent publications include novels by Karen Joy Fowler, Sarah Winman, Alma Katsu, Steven Rowley, M.O. Walsh, Nickolas Butler, and Kate Russo.
Prior to Putnam, Sally was Editorial Director at Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, and worked at HarperCollins, the Crown Publishing Group, and St. Martin’s Press, after getting her start at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency more than 25 years ago. She’s acquired celebrated debuts by Gillian Flynn, Lisa Unger, Courtney Maum, Jami Attenberg, Ann Leary, and Holly Goddard Jones; as well as the award winners The Bright Forever by Lee Martin (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize); Truth in Advertising by John Kenney (winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor); and The Incarnations by Susan Barker (finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Fiction and a New York Times Notable Book). In 2022, Poets & Writers honored her with The Editor’s Award.
Benjamin Lee, Senior Vice President, Associate Publisher, Paperbacks & Backlist
Ben Lee joined Dutton, Putnam, and Berkley as Vice President, Associate Publisher of paperbacks in March 2015. He oversees the paperback conversion program for all of Dutton and Putnam’s books. Prior to joining Dutton, Putnam, and Berkley, Ben was most recently VP, Associate Publisher of Atria Books at Simon & Schuster, overseeing campaigns for many New York Times bestselling authors including Brad Thor, Jennifer Weiner, Vince Flynn, Theresa Caputo, Rachael Ray and Buddy Valastro.
Prior to that at Simon, he sold the warehouse clubs and later handled Target, Readerlink, B&T, Ingram and the CBA. He started his publishing career at Random House, where he worked in sales with the warehouse clubs as well as in marketing with the Information Group.
Ashley Pattison McClay, Associate Publisher, Director of Marketing
Ashley Pattison McClay is Associate Publisher, Director of Marketing for Putnam. She has been with Putnam since 2015, and with Penguin Random House since 2010. Prior to that she worked at Henry Holt & Company. Since joining Putnam, Ashley has overseen marketing campaigns for franchise bestsellers including John Sandford, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, C.J. Box, Clive Cussler, Stuart Woods, and Lisa Scottoline, as well as for novels such as The Immortalists and Where the Crawdads Sing. Previously, she managed campaigns for award-winning and bestselling books by Karen Joy Fowler, Lev Grossman, Jonathan Tropper, and Hilary Mantel.
Alexis Welby, VP, Director of Publicity
Alexis Welby joined Putnam in 2011, and in addition to managing the imprint’s publicity team, she has overseen the campaigns for Cristina Alger, Chloe Benjamin, A. Scott Berg, Sue Grafton, Robert Jones, Jr., Jan Karon, Hoda Kotb, Jenny Lawson, Bobby Orr, Delia Owens, Dolly Parton, Kiley Reid, Burt Reynolds, and Lisa Scottoline, among others. After beginning her career at St. Martin’s Press, she was Associate Director of Publicity at Simon & Schuster where she worked for 11 years with authors including Mark Bittman, Taylor Branch, James Lee Burke, David Carr, President Jimmy Carter, Mary Higgins Clark, Chris Cleave, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Stephen Hunter, David Maraniss, Susan Orlean, Pearl Jam, Paul Simon and Martin Cruz Smith.
Mark Tavani, VP, Executive Editor
Mark Tavani edits commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction. He works with authors Max Barry, C.J. Box, Rory Carroll, Robert Crais, Jeffery Deaver, Karen Dionne, Frederick Forsyth, Lisa Gardner, John McMahon, Fabian Nicieza, Lisa Scottoline, Chris Wilson, Josh Winning, and David Yoon, among others. He has edited numerous New York Times bestsellers, an Edgar Award winner, a winner of the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sportswriting, and a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in history.
Michelle Howry, Executive Editor
Michelle Howry joined Putnam in 2018 and publishes an eclectic list of nonfiction – from the #1 New York Times bestseller I Really Needed This Today by Hoda Kotb; to the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Fair Play by Eve Rodsky; to the national bestseller Capote’s Women by Laurence Leamer; to true-crime historian and podcaster Kate Winkler Dawson’s acclaimed American Sherlock and Dr. Marisa Franco’s New York Times bestseller Platonic.
She acquires both expert-led prescriptive titles in categories like diet, health, wellness, self-help, personal finance, psychology, mindfulness, and parenting, as well as compelling narrative nonfiction titles in history, culture, popular science, nature, and memoir.
Tara Singh Carlson, Executive Editor
Tara Singh Carlson joined Putnam in 2014 from Viking, Penguin. Her focus is on women’s fiction that hits that sweet spot between commercial and literary, including historical fiction and contemporary women’s stories that are either wildly entertaining or filled with heart. She loves strong female characters that inspire.
She has edited New York Times bestsellers The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison, The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo, and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, as well as the Today Show Read With Jenna pick The Family. She was the first editor to have two books selected by the Reese Witherspoon Book Club. She has worked with celebrated and bestselling authors Lizzy Dent, Eve Chase, Kim Fay, Jennie Fields, Bryn Greenwood, L.S. Hilton, Craig Johnson, Lauren Kate, Maggie Knox, Naomi Krupitsky, Frances Liardet, Annabel Monaghan, Beth Morrey, Nuala O’Connor, Delia Owens, Theresa Rebeck, Richard Roper, Jill Santopolo, Shanthi Sekaran, Natasha Solomons, and Sara Weinman, among others.
Kate Dresser, Senior Editor
Kate Dresser joined Putnam in 2021, focusing on upmarket commercial fiction, especially romantic fiction for a mainstream reader. Always looking for the surprising and the clever in women’s fiction, in particular, Kate loves stories with a strong sense of place, female characters who save themselves from disaster, and tight narrative timelines.
She edits Sophie Cousens, Jenny Bayliss, Sarah Hogle, Maureen Kilmer and is particularly excited about forthcoming novels by Philip Ellis and Isa Arsen in 2023. Prior to Putnam, Kate worked at Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster, where over a dozen years she acquired and edited a wide ranging list of romance, women’s fiction, historical fiction, psychological suspense, and commercial nonfiction.
Gabriella Mongelli, Editor
Gabriella Mongelli joined Putnam in 2018 and acquires literary and upmarket fiction and select nonfiction. She’s drawn to projects that feature layered, ambitious storytelling, fresh perspectives that spark conversation, and have a lot of heart. From deeply braided family sagas and coming-of-self narratives to clever retellings and book club reads, she is interested is work that is highly transporting and has a literary sensibility with a big, captivating hook.
Authors she has published include Bobby Finger, Falon Ballard, Lauren McBrayer, Jamie Brenner, Olga Grushin, Lillie Vale, and Sean Desmond. She is also the editor for New York Times bestselling authors Eleanor Brown, Sharon Kay Penman, and Stuart Woods. Forthcoming projects include The One by Julia Argy, Wanderlust by Elle Everhart, and Those We Thought We Knew by David Joy. After graduating from Vassar College, she began her career in editorial at Little, Brown & Company before joining Putnam, where she assisted Sally Kim with authors such as Kiley Reid, Megan Abbott, Robert Jones, Jr., Sarah Winman, and Steven Rowley, among others.