Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 6/12-6/16

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

What role can comic books play in the classroom?

A new study shows a 13.6% drop in ebook sales in 2016.

Does science fiction prepare us for making a better future?

How have transgender memoirs changed over time?

What opportunities for publishers exist in the EPUB Accessibility updates?

People Round-Up, Mid-June 2017


Wendy Friedman will join Quarto as VP, Director of International Sales this summer. She was previously President/CEO of Parragon Global.

Sanj Kharbanda has joined Beacon Press as Director of Sales and Marketing, having worked previously as VP, Digital Strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Hallie Patterson has joined Abrams as Associate Director of Publicity, Children’s Trade. She was previously Publicity and Marketing Manager for Hachette Books and Black Dog & Leventhal. Alexandra Calamela has also joined the company as Publicist, Adult Trade; she was formerly Publishing Coordinator at Macmillan Audio.

At Media Source, parent company of Library Journal, Judy Goldstein has been hired as SVP, Marketing, moving over from her role as VP, Operations at Pearson. Alex Pereira has joined as Chief Information Officer; he was most recently CEO of Nenito Learning. Mark Flinn joins as VP, Sales and Business Development for information services, having worked previously as President and CEO of Sightline Media Group. In addition, Tracey Fenton is now VP, Events and Professional Development.  She was previously Group Head of Events and Strategic Partnerships at Institutional Investor.

At Chronicle Books, Laura Antonacci has joined as Marketing Director, Children’s. She was previously Senior Marketing Manager for Random House.

At agencies…Dorothy Vincent has joined Trident Media Group as Director of Foreign Rights, moving over from the same position at Janklow & Nesbit. Kathy Schneider joined the Jane Rotrosen Agency as Agent after spending twenty-five years in publishing, most recently as SVP, Associate Publisher at HarperCollins. At Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, Melissa Danaczko has joined as Agent, having previously worked as Senior Editor at Doubleday. At BookEnds Literary, Rachel Brooks has joined as Agent, moving with her client list from the L. Perkins Agency. Nick Chiles has joined Aevitas Creative Management as Agent, having worked as a writer and journalist; he will be based out of Atlanta. Caroline Eisenmann joined Frances Goldin Literary Agency as Associate Agent, having previously worked with ICM.

Katharine McAnarney has joined Little, Brown Children’s as Senior Publicist, moving over from her role as Publicist for Penguin Children’s.

Sarah Haugen has joined Harper Wave as Assistant Editor. She was previously Editorial Assistant at Little, Brown and Company.

At JKS Communications, Sara Wigal has joined as Senior Book Publicist and Ellen Whitfield as Book Publicist. Wigal was previously Associate Publicist at Open Book Publicity and Whitfield worked as a journalist.

Mary Keeley has departed Books & Such Literary Management, where she had been Agent since 2010. Chelsea Lindman has left her job as Agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, where she worked for eight years; she can be reached at [email protected]

Dolores Reilly, Senior Production Director for Penguin Books, will retire July 14 after 36 years.


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Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 6/5-6/9

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Audiobook sales are up significantly for the third year in a row.

What was different about BookExpo this year?

Can Amazon keep up their momentum?

Are open access materials safe from online piracy?

What are the current difficulties in university publishing?

Kidlit at BookExpo: Focusing on Learning and Tough Topics

Programming at this year’s BookExpo fell into 5 tracks: independent bookselling, marketing and engagement, business of publishing, readers and authors, and global insight. While the bulk of the programming seemed to be for readers and authors, particularly on Friday, there was a smattering of panels about business and networking. But really, the big focus of Friday was on readers, authors, and librarians. Given the chance to roam the floor and panels as I might, I wandered where I am always most likely to: to see what the younger readers will be reading later this year.

The Middle Grade Editor’s Buzz was the best place to get the lowdown on what’s going to be big in middle grade this year. The books featured were:

  • Auma’s Long Run, by Eucabeth Odhiambo. Edited by Amy Fitzgerald of Carolrhoda Books
  • The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag. Edited by Amanda Maciel of Graphix Books
  • Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake Burt. Edited by Liz Szabla of Feiwel & Friends
  • The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore. Edited by Nancy Siscoe of Knopf Books for Young Readers
  • The Unicorn Quest: The Whisper in the Stone by Kamilla Benko. Edited by Sarah Shumway of Bloomsbury Children’s Books

The themes were in line with what I’ve been hearing middle grade recently: tough topics. Auma’s Long Run deals with AIDs, a death in the family, and the “realization that adults don’t have all the answers,” said the book’s editor Amy Fitzgerald. And then there’s graphic novel The Witch Boy, about a boy witch in a town where girls are witches and boys are shapeshifters — except for Asher who much prefers witchcraft to shapeshifting. The Stars Beneath Our Feet is about a boy who uses Legos to cope with his brother’s gang-related death. Editor Nancy Siscoe praised the book’s main character, Lolly, for “choosing creativity over violence,” and praised the author, David Barclay Moore for acknowledging that Lolly will have to make that choice over and over again.  The remaining two titles — Greetings From Witness Protection! and The Unicorn Quest: The Whisper in the Stone — both deal with the desire to belong, and struggles with family.

Later that day there was a panel celebrating  graphic non-fiction books for children. Rocco Staino kicked off the panel by celebrating some of his favorite illustrators and photographers in children’s nonfiction. He was followed by illustrator Roxie Munro, who “gamifies” content in her books to encourage children to learn. Munro likes this technique in children’s books because “you trick the child into learning” with search and find, mazes, guessing games, puzzles, and other activities. Munro’s visuals are not only beautiful and fun, they help children learn concepts more deeply. Munro noted that readers retain 10-20% of written or spoken information, but 65% of visual information.

Christopher Lloyd from What on Earth Books, a series of graphically-driven books that teach children a concept through visual timelines, spoke about the magic of the truth, saying that since the world is still so new to children, often the truth can be more amazing than fiction. That’s the principle he operates under while publishing his graphics-heavy timelines, hoping that the images in his books “easily allow children to learn through their interests.”

Children’s books are always going to be an important part in the industry, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. Books that subtly help educate kids books are a perennial favorite, since parents still dictate many of the books that end up in their kid’s hands, and yet kids still pick out a lot of books for themselves. And whether they’re picking up puzzle books that teach them about Shakespeare or a graphic novel about a boy witch defying the norms of his world, BookExpo 2017 reinforced that kids are always eager to learn about their world in many ways.

Book Expo 2017: Adult Editor’s Buzz Panel

New York was a vast improvement over Chicago; despite some wide aisles there was energy in the hall and lines for autographing were as long as ever, though hard to say exactly who was doing the waiting. But what struck me most was the standing room-only attendance at the Adult Editors’ Book Buzz, which has continued to grow in importance with each year. Booksellers attend in droves and the correlation between the titles that are previewed and the ultimate success of these books in the marketplace has become bankable.

This year’s entries were very impressive, with some of the hottest editors in the business presenting books that have already received astoundingly strong endorsements from a wide range of authors and booksellers. Some commented on the fact that all the books were fiction this year, but, as fiction has always dominated, that did not seem too significant. But it was disappointing to note that all 6 of the entries came from “big 5” houses. There is strong publishing being done at Norton, Grove, HMH, not to mention the hundreds of smaller literary presses such as Melville House, Other Press, and Bellevue and the Buzz Panel offers a unique opportunity to showcase some of those publishers’ books. I do not know the process for selection but think it is incumbent upon the organizers to offer a broader assortment of publishers in the future. It’s worth noting that the Library Buzz panel featured publishing colleagues from a far wider range.

Consumer Data at BookExpo 2017

BookExpo has been morphing into a conference for several years, with more programming taking place during the convention.  Along with a full day of events hosted by the Audio Publishers Association (APA), this year had a three-day schedule of panels focused on marketing, rights, bookselling, and, of course, books and authors.

The kickoff panel, “Consumer Centric Data: The New Currency of Publishing,” on May 31 included ReedPop’s Lance Fensterman, Nielsen’s Jo Henry, Kristen McLean from NPD, APA’s Michele Cobb, Bookpub’s Annie Stone and OverDrive’s David BurleighPublishing Perspective’s Porter Anderson* was the very able moderator.

Jo Henry talked about stats in the UK, which mirror the US though readership among children is dropping more quickly there than in the US – 9% since 2012.  In the US, readership among children under age 13 is increasing – a good sign, said McLean.  Board books have shown particular strength, and are up 7% year over year.

Perhaps the most surprising stats came from Michele Cobb and David Burleigh, who discussed the rise of audiobooks.  Burleigh said audiobook lending is up 27% since 2014. This year, according to Cobb, 71% of audiobook readers say they are listening at home, and 56% of those are “doing nothing but listening,” – a surprise to the survey’s creators.  A small but growing percentage are using their Amazon Echo and Google Home for this.  The biggest categories are mystery/thriller/suspense, followed by science fiction and romance.  Children don’t listen to audiobooks much – yet.  But according to the APA’s Cobb, a child can listen to an audiobook two years above his or her grade reading level.

Bookpub’s Annie Stone was also asked about whether her company would move into audiobooks.  With 10 million worldwide subscribers (a million of those in the UK), her answer was, not surprising:  “We’re looking into it.”

To see Publishing Perspective’s more detailed write up, click here.  

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 5/29-6/2

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

BookExpo looks to reinvent itself.

Eliminating the NEA and NEH would affect rural Americans the most.

Despite a tough market, indie bookstores continue to perform well.

Are print sales the ultimate sign of industry health?

Who are Amazon bookstores designed for?

People Round-Up, Early June 2017


At Hachette, Michael Barrs will join as Marketing Director starting May 30. He was most recently Marketing Director for Dey Street Books. Betsy Hulsebosch, currently Marketing Director, will be dedicating her role to the Black Dog & Leventhal list. At Little, Brown, Philip Marino has joined as Senior Editor, moving over from his previous position as Associate Editor and Marketing Director for Liveright.

Christie Henry has been named Director of Princeton University Press, effective early September, and succeeds Peter Dougherty, who is retiring in December. She has been Editorial Director for the sciences, social sciences, and reference at the University of Chicago Press since 1993.

At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dinah Stevenson, Publisher of Clarion Books, is transitioning to Editor-at-Large. A new publisher will not be named, and Cat Onder, SVP of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s, will continue to oversee the imprint. In addition, Kate Mills is retiring from her position as Vice President of Contracts on June 1 after thirty-five years with the company; she can be reached at [email protected]. Mary Cullinane, EVP and Chief Content Officer, will also depart in late July.

At Workman, Cheryl Clayton has joined as Senior Manager of Digital Operations, having worked previously as Metadata Operations Manager at W. W. Norton. Olivia Swomley is now Associate Editor for Children’s; she was previously Editorial Assistant at HarperCollins. Elissa Santos, who had been with Workman part-time, joins the production department full-time as Typesetter. Kayla Burson, previously Sales Coordinator, Special Markets at Penguin Random House, is now Assistant Manager of Mail Order, Specialty Wholesale, and Online Retail. In addition, Zelina Bennett has joined as Digital Marketing Coordinator.

At Grand Central Life & Style, Leah Miller has joined as Senior Editor. She was most recently Senior Editor at Rodale.

Ben Hyman joins Bloomsbury USA on June 5 as Senior Editor for Nonfiction in the adult trade division; he was previously Associate Editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Megan Jayne Dobson is now Associate Publisher at W Publishing. She was previously Director of Sales, Mass Market at HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

Noelle Ebner has joined the Carson-Dellosa Publishing Group as VP of Sales. She was previously Director of Sales at Scholastic.

At agencies…Tanusri Prasanna has joined Foundry Literary + Media as Literary Agent, moving over from Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency. Rica Allannic, former Clarkson Potter Executive Editor, will join the David Black Agency as Literary Agent in September.

At Scholastic, Matthew Poulter has joined as Marketing Manager for Education Marketing; he was Membership and Marketing Director at the Children’s Book Council. Shara Zaval has joined as Marketing Manager for Picture Books, having worked previously as US Publicity and Marketing Manager at Faber & Faber. Vanessa Han has joined as Designer at Klutz, moving over from the same position at Penguin Random House.

Victoria Chao has joined Chronicle Books as Design Studio Manager; she had been Marketing Consultant for Square. Michelle Park also joined as Visual Content Coordinator, moving over from her previous position as Marketing and Creative Designer for Saint Frank Coffee.

Samuel M. Caggiula is now US Group Publicity Director at Casemate Group. Most recently, he was Account Director, Publicity and Advertising for YourTango.

Chip Rolley has joined PEN America as Director of the PEN World Voices Festival and will also serve as Senior Director of Literary Programs. He was most recently Artistic Director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Beth Lieberman, formerly of NAL, Warner Books, Kensington Publishing, and Lieberman Editorial, has joined the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) Press as Executive Editor.

Emma Komlos-Hrobsky joins Tin House Books as Associate Editor. She was previously Editor at Tin House magazine.

Hannah Engler has joined Doubleday as Marketing Assistant.

John Leahy, Cengage EVP and Chief Financial Officer, will step down at the end of the year.

At Simon & Schuster, Dave Upchurch, Senior VP and Group Controller, will retire on July 7 after twenty-seven years with the company. Deepak Daswani will succeed him, beginning June 5. Daswani was most recently VP of Technical Accounting at Viacom.

At Open Road Integrated Media, Laura J. Burns has left her position as Executive Editor and can be reached at [email protected]. Julie Blattberg has left her position as VP of Strategic Operations and Chief of Staff; she can be reached at [email protected].

Matti Shem-Tov will succeed Kurt Sanford as CEO of ProQuest in the third quarter of 2017. Shem-Tov has been President of ProQuest subsidiary Ex Libris.


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International Bestsellers, May 2017

Every month, Publishing Trends runs fiction international bestsellers lists from four territories–France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. This month, our four regular territories are joined by two more: Japan and Sweden. Those books that have been published in English are listed with their official English-language title. All others are translated as literally as possible from the original. Where applicable, the US publisher is listed after the local publisher, separated by a “/”. The lists are taken from major newspapers or national retailers, which are noted at the bottom of each list.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 5/22-5/26

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Will Amazon Charts change the industry?

How can publishers best work with freelancers?

Are books best sold via algorithm?

What are some alternatives to permanent brick-and-mortar stores?

Are publishers beginning to behave like movie studios?