ROCKPORT – Rockport-based Down East Books announced Friday that it has been acquired by Rowman & Littlefield, an independent publisher based in Washington, D.C.

The publishers have worked together for six years, according to a statement. In addition to the books division, Rowman & Littlefield acquired Shooting Sportsman Press, Fly Rod & Reel, and Countrysport Press from Down East Enterprise. The Maine company will retain ownership and operation of Down East magazine.

Down East Books’ longtime editor, Michael Steere, assumed duties as editorial director of the division after the acquisition was finalized April 1. He and Down East Books’ Maine sales representatives will stay in Rockport, according to the release.

All of the publisher’s 2013 titles are on schedule for publication, the company said.