Random House and Sugar23 to Launch Co-Branded Imprint, Sugar23 Books


Random House and Sugar23, the management and creative content platform, have jointly announced the establishment of a cobranded publishing imprint, Sugar23 Books. Under the co-venture, book properties will be acquired, developed, and published in partnership with Sugar23 and the portfolio of imprints across the Random House division. This partnership was announced by David Drake, President of Crown, who will be the imprint’s in-house liaison, and Michael Sugar, CEO of Sugar23.

Sugar23 Books will publish culturally relevant works of fiction and nonfiction by provocative and original voices, sharing bold, impactful, and entertaining stories that lend themselves to amplification across different creative forms and platforms. The Sugar23 Books/Random House partnership will offer authors deep editorial and content development expertise, supported by Sugar23’s in-house production, experiential, and branding resources and Random House’s best-in-class dedicated consumer insights, metadata, and integrated publicity and marketing teams. Sugar23 will be actively involved in all aspects of the imprint’s publishing operations, from book acquisitions to the development of brand partnerships and innovative marketing strategies, including immersive live events.

Sugar23 Books will be spearheaded by Sugar23 founder and CEO Michael Sugar and Editorial Director of Books Angela Ledgerwood, who will partner with imprint publishing teams across the Random House division on acquisition and book publication strategy, leveraging Sugar23’s unique set of relationships and resources in the media and entertainment world. Drake will be the imprint’s in-house liaison at Random House and will facilitate coordination between Sugar23 and the group’s imprints, with Kevin Doughten taking on expanded responsibilities in the newly created dual role of Executive Editor, Crown, and Nonfiction Editorial Director, Sugar23 Books.

Said Michael Sugar, “I’ve long admired Random House’s track record of publishing masterful storytellers and amplifying stories that enhance our understanding of ourselves and our world. To be able to exchange knowledge from our different vantage points, and experiment with new models of publishing in service of the books we have together is at the heart of what is sure to be a fruitful partnership.”

Said David Drake, “United by our shared passion for entertaining storytelling that serves a larger purpose, all of us at Random House look forward to collaborating with the dynamic team at Sugar23 to engage readers in creative ways and help today’s most exciting cultural voices find the broadest possible audience for their work.”

Sugar23 previously established an eponymous publishing imprint with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which in 2022 will publish seven books already under contract. All books newly acquired for the Sugar 23 Books imprint will be published with Random House.

Founded in 2017 by Academy Award®–winning manager-producer Michael Sugar, Sugar23 is an emerging management and creative platform that specializes in creating original, premium content across all media;, incubating and investing in brands and companies; and providing strategic advisory for branding, production, and other go-to-market needs for companies across industries and stages. Sugar has shepherded such award- winning projects as “Spotlight,” “The Knick,” “The OA,” “Maniac,” “13 Reasons Why,” and “I Am the Night.” Sugar23’s most recent credits include “Dickinson” on Apple TV+, and the Netflix features “Worth” and “The Laundromat.” Sugar23 currently has a first-look film deal and an overall television deal, both in place with Netflix. 

Angela Ledgerwood is the Editorial Director of the Sugar23 Books imprint that is devoted to amplifying provocative and timely stories from original voices. Since 2015, she’s hosted The Lit Up Podcast—a lively interview series with her favorite writers. She started her career at Interview Magazine and has worked as a features editor at Cosmopolitan Magazine, a monthly book columnist for, a brand strategist, and festival programmer at the Fast Company’s Innovation Festival. Her nonfiction has appeared in Elle, Marie Claire,Condé Nast Traveler, New York Magazine, Fast Company, The Australian,The Australian Financial Review, and more. 


Posted: April 11, 2022