Much news in the beginning of this year: Long anticipated, and widely reported (in some places, more than once), Sarah Crichton is out and Michael Pietsch is in at Little, Brown. In other TWP news, Time Life Books is closing and Neil Levin is heading the new group (down to a dozen or so staffers, including publishing vet Olga Vezeriz), which now reports to Larry Kirshbaum and Maureen Egen.
Meanwhile, Therese Burke has left HarperCollins, where she was President of Sales, to “pursue new challenges and opportunities.” No replacement has been announced. On the other hand, Larry Ashmead, who announced his retirement in September, is not leaving, though he will work a shorter week. And Brian Murray, SVP and MD of the General Books Group, has been named as successor to CEO of HarperCollins ANZ, Barrie Hitchon, who retires in March. . . Carolyn Reidy has been promoted to President of the newly formed S&S Adult Publishing Group, responsible for the editorial, marketing, and business functions for S&S, Scribner, The Free Press, Kaplan, along with Pocket Books’ adult lines. Pocket’s President and Publisher, Judith Curr, now reports to Reidy.
Many changes in children’s publishing: Jeanne Finestone, most recently at McClanahan Publishing, which was recently sold to American Greetings, has been named VP, Marketing for the McGraw-Hill Children’s Publishing division, working with trade, educational, international, and licensing. Deborah Brodie was named Executive Editor of Roaring Brook Press, a new imprint at Millbrook that is headed by Simon Boughton. She was previously at Viking Children’s Books. Meanwhile Judy Korman has left the company. . . David Fickling has taken his imprint from Scholastic UK and headed for Random Childrens, US and UK. Wendy Lamb had been named VP Publishing Director of an eponymous imprint at Random Children’s earlier in the year. She moved from Delacorte. . . Beth Eller was brought in as VP, Marketing at North South to replace Kay Lee Davis, who had been hired to oversee the relaunch of North South and launch of the new imprint, Sea Star. Davis may be reached at KNDavis@aol.com. . . And Katherine Tegen returns to HarperCollins as Editor-at-Large, reporting to Kate Jackson. She had been at Hyperion Children’s previously.
On the distribution side, PGI (parent of Publishers Group West) has announced that Chris McKenney has been named COO. He succeeds Mike Winton, who announced his retirement last spring. McKenney was CEO of Digital Pond. By the way, congrats to Susan Reich, who was recently promoted to President and COO of Avalon, PGI’s publishing arm. Ingram, meanwhile, has named Chris Anderson, President of PRI and Ingram Fulfillment Partners, succeeding YS Chi, who went to Random House late last year. Gary Rautenstrauch was named President of Baker & Taylor, succeeding Craig Richards. He’ll retain his COO title. Finally, CDS (Client Distribution Services) announced they will distribute New Millennium Worldwide, a new multimedia publisher founded by Paul McLaughlin, Michael Viner, and Deborah Raffin, the latter two of Dove Audio fame. CDS is run by Steve Black and Gilbert Perlman. In December the company announced that Peter Dubuisson had joined the company as SVP, Director of Operations. He had been at Borders.
Other news: Candy Lee has been named Vice Chair of Troll Communications. She is succeeded as President by Richard Willis formerly of Bell Sports and Peterson Magazines. . . Susan Massey, Publisher of Rodale Trade Books, has left the company. She may be reached at 908 713 9821. . . Last seen at Broadway Books, where he was Marketing Manager, Hilary Herscher has resurfaced as Director, Business Development for Bertelsmann. In between he went to the INSEAD MBA program in France. . . David Lappin has left S&S where he was Director National Accounts, after nine months. . . Tom Haworth, most recently at Baker & Taylor, has become General Operations Manager for the USA with Two-Can Publishing LLC of England, based in Princeton. . . Rebecca Strong has resigned from Crown, where she was Director of Subsidiary Rights, and has transferred to Harmony Books, where she will be a Senior Editor reporting to Shaye Areheart, Editorial Director, and newly named publisher of Shaye Areheart Books that will concentrate on literary fiction. In another intracorporate move, Katie Hall left Bantam and is now senior editor at Random. . . Simonne Waud, Director of Sales & Marketing for Octopus Groups’ Mitchell Beazley, is leaving the company. And finally welcome home, Jon Karp!
Tom Turvey has left Barnes & Noble, where he was director of eBooks, for ebrary, as VP, Content & Business Development. . . Former agent Laura Nolan will be senior editor of Barnes & Noble Digital, and manage author and agent relationships.
An unlikely place to read about books is a trade magazine called Catalog Success, but in the January issue the well-known direct mail expert Denny Hatch writes about the difficulties of direct marketing books, and admires two catalogs in the area. Both A Common Reader and Daedalus (daedalusbooks.com) are cited for the personal style in which they are written, and for the obvious fact that the books chosen have actually been read.
• More publishing conferences coming our way in the next few months. On Feb. 28 Jupiter is sponsoring “The Business of Books: Publishing in the New Economy” at the Sheraton, with a cast that echoes the eBookWorld event in early December, and deals with the same issues. And Inside.com and PW are sponsoring “Opportunity and Challenge: Getting a Grip on the Future of Publishing,” though there is no agenda for the conference as yet (sponsorship opportunities are, however, still available). If you sign up for both, you get a 25% discount, which brings them in at $1,005. On the other hand, if you want something a little drier, there’s BookTech East on Feb. 12–14 at the Hilton, for a mere $550.
A pedigreed email virus went around a week or so ago, via Louis Baum, until recently editor of The Bookseller, and Kit van Tulleken, the mergers and acquisitions diva. Apparently the email, which was titled “A great Shockwave flash movie,” was traced back to Michael Ovitz and a failed publicity stunt. Still, it caused no damage, and in fact was responsible for many people getting back in contact with each other, according to van Tulleken.
The current uproar over Clinton’s pardon of billionaire financier Marc Rich has led to a curious blackmarket in the only book ever published on the subject: Metal Men: Marc Rich and the 10-Billion-Dollar Scam, by Wall Street Journal Paris correspondent Craig Copetas. In order to get to the heart of the matter — which started as a cover story in Harper’s — Copetas posed as a trader in the commodities market and was able to infiltrate Rich’s inner circle.
Prior to the pardon, the book could sometimes be found listed at $400–$500. Someone claiming to be a Rich (sic!) relative reportedly just offered up to $1400 for a copy, if it could be found. Now HarperCollins is reissuing the book, with a new introduction by the author. Constance Sayre of Market Partners International (yes, the same) sold the book to Tim Duggan for a nice five figure deal. The book is expected to be out ASAP.
• Dan Green has sold historian Carol Berkin’s next book (First Generations, Hill & Wang) for “high five figures,” to Harcourt’s Jane Isay, who snapped it up based on a 3-page letter describing her take on the Electoral College issue as “how the framers at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were really planning a coup d’etat.” Berkin recently achieved fame as a talking head on “Founding Fathers,” “Liberty,” and “New York,” as well as through appearances on NBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc. during the Florida election fiasco, commenting on what the founding fathers would have thought!
Congrats to Tom Dunne, who has clocked thirty years at St. Martin’s, publishing such big name authors as Rosamund Pilcher.