Pelican Publishing Company was established in 1926. Its history is tied to such names as William Faulkner, whose first trade publication was published by Pelican, and Stuart O. Landry, whose vision kept the company alive from 1926 to 1966. Several years before purchasing Pelican, Dr. and Mrs. Milburn Calhoun developed Bayou Books, a mail-order rare and out-of-print book business. When they moved to New Orleans, Bayou Books was opened as a retail bookstore. In order to meet the growing demand for out-of-print literature, Dr. and Mrs. Calhoun decided to purchase Pelican Publishing Company from Betty and Hodding Carter in 1970.
Pelican is a family-owned business. Dr. Calhoun directed Pelican’s growth and development in his dual role of president and publisher from 1970 until his death in 2012. After his passing, his daughter Kathleen Calhoun Nettleton, who has served as a board member of the Publisher’s Association of the South and on the small press steering committee for the Association of American Publishers, inherited those roles. She shares ownership of the company with her uncle, James Calhoun, who served as executive editor until his retirement in 1990 and is now special projects editor.
With the translation and international distribution of many of its titles, Pelican has enlarged its market of foreign rights sales and purchases. Pelican’s motivational titles by Zig Ziglar (See You at the Top) and Dr. Walter Doyle Staples (Think Like a Winner!) led its entry into markets in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa. Additionally, Pelican continues its acquisition of foreign titles for U.S. publication. One of Pelican's most recognized titles is the holiday classic Cajun Night Before Christmas illustrated by James Rice. The beloved favorite is available in many formats and has spawned musicals, plays, cakes, costumes, and even a holiday light display. Now in its 25th printing, the book is a perennial favorite across the country.
For more information, contact Antoinette de Alteriis, Promotion Director, at (504) 368-1175, ext. 331.