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News | Chelsea Green Publishing hires new editor, plans online content expansion

Posted May 15, 2007

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT — A changing of the editorial guard at the nation’s leading publisher dedicated to the practice and politics of sustainability will usher in a new era of expanded multimedia and online publishing, Chelsea Green Publishing announced today.

John Barstow, Chelsea Green’s editor-in-chief since January 2005, is leaving his post June 1. Shay Totten, who has more than 15 years of experience in magazine, newspaper, and online editing and publishing, will serve as the company’s newly named editorial director.

The shift in title represents Chelsea Green’s desire to provide new ways for authors and readers to connect through emerging and existing multimedia tools such as online video and pod casts, as well as expanded online content through the company’s existing website and blog, said Chelsea Green’s Publisher Margo Baldwin.

“While this is a new direction for Chelsea Green, it does not mean we are lessening our commitment to our many book authors. We are, first and foremost, a book publisher, and will continue to focus our efforts on publishing great books,” said Baldwin. “We are excited about finding new ways to help our authors find readers, and readers find our authors, through new content developed specifically for the Internet.”

In the coming months, Chelsea Green plans to launch a new website, which will host much of the new content, and begin thinking of new ways for each author’s book project to be more than simply a book — but as a way to help organize action around the core idea and purpose of each title.

“People, especially the younger generation, are using the Internet and the burgeoning netroots as a way to organize socially and politically, around progressive politics and Chelsea Green’s authors have a lot to offer in this new medium,” said Baldwin.

During Barstow’s tenure, Chelsea Green grew steadily, increasing its number of new titles by 28 percent, launching its Sciencewriters Books imprint, and publishing more books on the politics of sustainable living while growing its strong backlist of practical guides. Barstow is leaving Chelsea Green to become communications director for the Orton Family Foundation, based in Middlebury, Vermont.

“John will be greatly missed at Chelsea Green; his editorial guidance has been a key reason to the success we have experienced in the past couple of years,” said Baldwin.

Totten’s most recent project was the Vermont Guardian, the state’s first online newspaper, and the Vermont Review of Books, a monthly publication dedicated to Vermont’s independent publishers, booksellers, and authors.

About Chelsea Green

Founded in 1984, Chelsea Green Publishing Company is dedicated to the politics and practice of sustainability. We seek to inspire present and future generations to reduce their ecological impact and to participate in the restoration of local communities, bioregional ecosystems, and a diversity of cultures.

During the past twenty years we have published a wide range of titles from the political New York Times best seller, Don't Think of an Elephant to ecological classics like The Man Who Planted Trees. Our authors are on the cutting edge of politics, energy, agriculture, green building, economics, food politics, gardening, and religion.