9 January 2023

ILP Expands its
Non-Fiction Portfolio

  • ILP has acquired the publishing copyrights to the extensive catalog of American naturalist, ornithologist, illustrator, and educator Roger Tory Peterson.
  • ILP also acquired the literary catalog of New Yorker financial journalist and author John Brooks and the copyrights of German-American professor of art history H.W. Janson.

International Literary Properties (ILP), the global company that invests in, acquires, and manages literary estates is honored to announce three significant investments in the non-fiction space. The company has recently closed a deal with the estate of American naturalist, ornithologist, illustrator, and educator Roger Tory Peterson (1908–1996), and acquired the literary catalog of New Yorker financial journalist and author John Brooks (1920–1993) as well as the copyrights created byGerman-American professor of art history H.W. Janson (1913–1982).

ILP now holds exclusive publishing copyrights to Peterson’s published, unpublished, and out-of-print books, including artwork, maps, and photographs. ILP looks forward to working closely with the Peterson family to grow and invest in the legacy of Roger Tory Peterson and to elevate his work on the natural world, especially in a time of increasing social responsibility to preserve wilderness areas and biodiversity.

Scott Hoffman, CEO of ILP, says, “We’re extremely pleased to add the Peterson, Janson, and Brooks catalogs to ILP’s diverse portfolio of intellectual property. Peterson and Janson are iconic names in serious non-fiction. Brooks’ insightful writing style and keen observations about the business world have made his stories modern classics. We look forward to preserving these three important literary legacies and introducing their works to new generations of readers.”

Roger Tory Peterson was named the best-known ornithologist of the 20th century by the New York Times. His signature contribution to the arc of the American Conservation Movement was the modern field guide. Writer and critic William Zinsser once observed, his Field Guide to the Birds, as “the single most revolutionary development in American birding.” The first field guide sold out in two weeks. It has since gone through numerous revisions, and Peterson’s field guides have sold over eight million copies, becoming New York Times bestsellers. There are now more than 50 guides in the series and Peterson’s books have been translated into at least 12 languages.

Peterson is one of the founding inspirations for the 20th-century environmental movement. He either wrote or edited nearly 50 books about animals, plants, or nature and he contributed prefaces, introductions, and commentary to dozens more. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award, for his cultural contributions.

John Brooks was a financial journalist and longtime contributor to The New Yorker magazine, where he worked for many years as a staff writer specializing in business and finance, including numerous interviews with business luminaries during his long tenure. Brooks wrote with a wry tone that enlivened the critical minutia of business stories making the themes he wrote about still broadly relevant today. He was the author of ten non-fiction books on business and finance, including The Go-Go Years: The Drama and Crashing Finale of Wall Street’s Bullish 60s and Once in Golcanda: A True Drama of Wall Street, 1920–1938. Today, Brooks is best known for Business Adventures, which in 2014, Bill Gates called the “best book on business ever.”

Brooks is also the author of three novels and was well known for his work for authors’ rights. He was the president of the Authors Guild from 1975 to 1979, vice president of PEN America from 1962 to 1966, vice president of the Society of American Historians in 1984 and was a trustee of the New York Public Library from 1978 to 1994. ILP has acquired Brooks’ full literary portfolio and will put an initial focus on bringing out-of-print works back into print as well as collecting Brooks’ other works in book form. 

H.W. Janson was a German American professor of art history. He is best known for his History of Art textbook, a significant contribution to the discipline of art history, specifically to the teaching of art history. His other book still in print is Janson’s Basic History of Western Art. History of Art, first published in 1962, has since sold more than four million copies in fifteen languages and is now in its eighth edition—it has become the standard by which current art history textbooks are now measured.

ILP has invested in all of Janson’s IP and copyrights, which include contributions to updated editions of Janson’s work from his wife Dora Jane Janson and son Anthony F. Janson. ILP is excited to revitalize and restore the lost historic works of Janson and share his teachings with a wider audience.

Peterson, Brooks and Janson join ILP’s growing international portfolio of culturally significant writers which also includes Langston Hughes, Georges Simenon and Georgette Heyer.