This month, the announcement of the millennium comes from Penguin Putnam, which has hired retired Commanding General Gilbert S. Harper of the US Army as VP for warehousing and fulfillment. Responsibilities in his previous life included “designing the Army’s next generation distribution architecture.” Industry watchers like the image of the soldier reporting to our own General Grann. . . Other PP news: Marcia Burch, Penguin Director of Marketing has left the company after 30 years. (She may be reached at 718 768 1331). She has been replaced by Random’s Director of National Accounts Marketing Group, John Fagan. Moving up from Associate Director of Marketing and reporting to Fagan is Christine Caruso, now Director of Communications.
Steve Murphy, EVP and MD of Disney Worldwide Publishing, has resigned to become President and COO of Rodale, succeeding Robert Teufel, who has retired. The company will buy Murphy a house in Emmaus, PA., where Rodale is located. Other Disney departures include Lauren Wohl, heading for Winslow Press as VP Marketing. Meanwhile Karen Kelly, formerly of Rodale, where she headed Daybreak, a health and spirituality imprint, and Warner, has gone to Careerbay.com.
The myriad departures at S&S include Phil Duva, SVP Operations, for WRC Media, where he will be EVP and COO, and Seth Gershel, from S&S Audio. He will be replaced by Gilles Dana, Publisher of New Media, who will be Acting Publisher. Meanwhile, David Lappin joins S&S as VP Director of National Accounts. He was RH’s SVP Executive Director of Sales. Executive Editor Emily Heckman has left Pocket Books. Carisa Hays, late of BDD and iVillage, will join The Free Press as VP Director of Publicity. . . In the continuing saga of cookbook editors on the move, Maria Guarnaschelli has left Scribner. And Annik LaFarge, VP & Associate Publisher of the S&S trade division, also leaves for Steven Brill’s Contentville.com as Director of their e-book division. She will join two other book industry veterans, Susan Dalsimer, ex Miramax/Talk books publisher who is consulting for the soon-to-launch site, and John Conti, as reported last month. . . .
Sterling announces the hiring of Steve Magnuson as VP Editorial. He was most recently Director of Publishing for Harmony and Three Rivers Press. Reporting to him will be Frances Gilbert, children’s book Acquisitions Editor, lately of Scholastic Canada where she ran the Arrow book club, before becoming book fairs Product Development Manager. Robin Strashun has also joined the company as Director of Marketing. She was Director of Marketing for special markets for Crown, Fodor’s and Random Reference. Charles Nurnberg also announces a co-publishing deal with children’s book packager Pinwheel.
After an extended search, OUP has promoted one of its own, Laura Brown, VP and Director of Trade Publishing, to the position of President, replacing Ed Barry, who has retired. In other university press news, Charles Grench, Editor-in-Chief at Yale U. Press, went to U. of North Carolina Press after Lewis Bateman left there for Cambridge U. Press. And Liz Hartman has left Columbia University Press and will go to OUP in charge of marketing, replacing Mary Ellen Curley, who went back to HarperCollins earlier this year.
Linda Cunningham was named VP Publishing for Questia Media Inc., a web-based research service for students and scholars. She was formerly SVP Publishing Dir. of HarperResource and HarperAudio.
Leaving RH is Bill Barry, formerly SVP Corporate Development, for IDG Books, where he will be president and COO based in NYC. In cookbookland, Little Brown’s Jennifer Josephy has been put in charge of the cookbook program — and more — at Broadway/Doubleday. Trigg Robinson McLeod, formerly VP Director of Publicity for Broadway, has joined PGW as Director of Marketing, reporting to Mark Ouimet, SVP Sales & Marketing.
David Chalfant has left IMG. . . Mary Wowk has left Anness Publishing to pursue other interests. (She may be reached at 212 877 8801.) Paul Beason has left St. Martin’s to join Workman as Export Sales Manager.
Nat Sobel swiftly moved Tom Kelly’s option novel from Knopf to FSG’s Paul Elie in a two-book deal after Sonny Mehta neglected to exercise his option in a timely manner. (Knopf had published Payback.) Both books are “thriller-ish.” The first, titled Inwood (from that section of NY where it’s set), is about the Teamsters, and the second will have to do with constructing the Empire State Building.
Elaine Koster has been busy lately. Along with her six fig. deal with Martha Levin, Hyperion’s VP Publisher, for a special agent about the FBI by Candice Delong, she has sold two other titles, both involving former colleagues: Joe Pittman, now a Sr. Ed. at NAL whom Koster originally hired, wrote Tilting At Windmills, a novel described as a “male weepie,” whose English language rights were sold to Judith Curr at PB for “good money.” And Deb Brody (whom Koster had also hired at NAL, and who is now at Holt) bought Taming the Hunger Within by Marcia Herrin, who is in charge of the Eating Disorder Program at Dartmouth. She was featured in a People cover article on eating disorders written by Nancy Matsumoto, who will be her co-writer on this book. . . .
Lois Wallace has sold a biography of Ben Franklin in Paris by Stacy Schiff to Henry Holt for a rumored $400m+. . . S&S has acquired the rights to the next two James Lee Burke novels from Phil Spitzer, where Pat Mulcahy’s services as editor will be retained separately. Burke has now moved with Mulcahy for all 11 of his books, starting at LB with Black Cherry Blues to this his eleventh novel, Purple Cane Road. Mulcahy was most recently Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday.
Yes, Mrs. Goleman, a psychologist for the past 20 years and doubtless an inspiration for her hubby Daniel’s mega bestsellers growing out of Emotional Intelligence, has sold her own book. Actually Eileen Cope at Lowenstein Associates sold it after Frankfurt last year to Harmony, and it’s been raking in the foreign rights sales ever since, according to Rights Director Rebecca Strong. Based on the original proposal alone they have contracted for over $300,000 in foreign rights income (6+ countries) with deals in Spain, France, and Japan among others still to come, and publication not scheduled till 2001.
The first annual New Yorker Book Awards, a kind of literary People’s Choice Awards, were celebrated at the New York Public Library’s third-floor reading room on Valentine’s Day. As announced, Annie Proulx took the Fiction Award for Close Range; Edward Said the non-fiction award for his memoir Out of Place; poetry went to Louise Gluck; Best Debut to Jumpa Lahiri; and lifetime achievement (presumably for his literary accomplishments) to proud new father Saul Bellow. After the surprisingly brief formalities, guests including a range of authors (AM Homes, Junot Diaz, Donald Antrim), publishers (Jack Romanos, Kathryn Court, Dick and Jeannette Seaver), agents (Lynn Nesbit, Sloan Harris, Nicole Aragi) and other literary types, descended to the Celeste Bartos Forum. The once elegant room had been transformed into a louche postmodern cabaret space (perhaps Tina Brown’s decorator is still on retainer), where a multi-course meal was passed around by waiters while attendees awaited a performance by Rufus Wainwright.
For the third year, the National Arts Club hosted the announcement of the LA Times Book Awards finalists. Steve Wasserman, Book Editor for the Times, named the finalists after a splendid tribute to book publishers and writers everywhere. Finalists for the award for fiction include Amit Chaudhuri’s Freedom Song: Three Novels; Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog; Kent Haruf’s Plainsong; Ja Hing’s Waiting; and Annie Proulx’s Close Range: Wyoming Stories. Among other awards to be given is the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Dava Sobel, Stuart Applebaum, and Bill Straun were spotted at the event, not to mention Frank McCourt and Arthur Schlessinger Jr. The awards will be presented on April 29 in LA.
Welcome to Greta Maneker, born to Marion (Features Editor of NY Magazine, ex-S&S) and Liv Grey on Dec. 13.