Doug Whiteman is the founder and sole proprietor of The Whiteman Agency, which he launched in 2015.
Doug spent 31 years in the publishing industry, most notably as President of Penguin Books for Young Readers, a position he held for over 11 years. He worked closely with many luminaries in children’s publishing, including Tomie DePaola, Eric Carle, Jan Brett, Brian Jacques, Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Judy Blume, Sara Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, and many, many more. Starting with a $35 million children’s division at Putnam in 1994, Doug was overseeing a $220 million children’s publishing group by 2008 comprised of over a dozen imprints and featuring an unparalleled number of Caldecott, Newbery and Prinz award winners during that time.
Throughout his career in publishing Doug held other senior management and executive positions, with a strong focus on children’s publishing. Beginning as a sales representative for Putnam in late 1982, he worked his way up to Vice President of Sales & Marketing by 1989, where he oversaw the entire trade and mass merchandise sales divisions for both adult and children’s books. In 1994 he became President of the Putnam & Grosset Group, which was Putnam’s children’s publishing division at that time. In 2008 he was promoted to Executive Vice President of Business Operations for Penguin Group, a position in which he oversaw manufacturing, warehousing, digital workflows for content creation, and various strategic initiatives for Penguin and its parent company, Pearson. Doug’s long and varied publishing experience has given him the knowledge to work to the best advantage of his clients.
In early 2014, Doug joined Acelero Learning, an early childhood education company based in New York, as its President and Chief Administrative Officer. In his three years there, Acelero Learning experienced phenomenal growth and saw its revenues increase by over 60%. Doug led a substantial transformation of Acelero’s support services and technical systems, and helped the company launch a new business model that allowed it to deliver programming to many thousands of needy children and families who otherwise would not have been served.
While at Acelero Learning, Doug began his literary agency with one foundational client, Tomie dePaola. Through his work with Tomie, Doug realized that children’s publishing is still the world he knows best, and is most effective in. In 2016 he commenced an expansion of his client base, and in spring 2017 made the agency his full-time occupation.
Doug has served on a number of publishing-related boards and councils through the years. He was a founding trustee and Vice Chair of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and served for over ten years in this capacity; he was a long-time member of the Children’s Book Council, and served as its president for a term; he was on the managing committee of the Publishers Lunch Club for a number of years, and also served as its president; and finally, he served as board chair for Acelero Learning Head Start in Monmouth and Middlesex Counties of New Jersey for over seven years, a role that ultimately saw him transition to president of the company.
In addition to his activities as a volunteer, Doug taught the Capstone thesis course in NYU’s Masters in Publishing Program, part of the university’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Many of the graduates of this program are already in senior positions throughout the publishing industry.
Doug was born and raised in Kansas, and despite being many miles away from New York City, he settled on publishing as his targeted career when he was in his early teens. At the age of 16, he was operating as the buyer and assistant manager of an independent bookstore in Kansas City, which expanded to three retail locations during his six years there.
Doug graduated from the University of Kansas in 1982, and immediately moved to Colorado to take up his responsibilities as a sales rep for Putnam Publishing Group. He married his wife, Susan, in 1985, and in 1986 they moved to New Jersey in order to pursue New York-based publishing careers. Together they have raised many dogs, birds and rabbits through the years, and have a son, Aaron, who was born in 1990.
Today Doug and Susan call the Adirondacks home, although Park Slope, Brooklyn is a part-time base of operations when Doug is seeing New York publishers.