A relatively quiet month, personnel-wise: Peter Bernstein has taken a new position as Editor-in-Chief of the University Alliance for Life-Long Learning, an online venture of Oxford, Stanford, Princeton, and Yale Universities to develop distance learning courses. He had been working on an author website, AuthorByAuthor. . . . VP and Managing Director Scott Lubeck has left Westview (a division of Perseus) to become CTO of the Harvard Business School Publishing, reporting to CEO Linda Doyle. And Holly Hodder has been promoted to Westview’s Editorial Director
. . . . Kathy Gilligan has left McGraw Hill, where she had been subsidiary rights director for Professional Books
. . . . David Lappin, recently Director National Accounts at S&S, has joined ex-Henson publisher Jane Leventhal in Jack Hoeft’s new venture, which he will announce shortly. . . . As reported elsewhere, Kent Carroll has left Carroll & Graf, where he was publisher and editor-in-chief.
John Conti, most recently at Contentville, has joined a B2B startup called RealRead, a sampling service which gives publishers the ability to let online book buyers see what they need before they buy, as VP of Sales. The Japanese company is “well-funded,” with the US as the base of operations. . . . With its announcement of a new e-book initiative, HarperCollins promoted Chris North VP and General Manager, Electronic Publishing, reporting to David Steinberger. Sean Abbott will be senior editor of E-Books, and Leo Hollis will be Editorial Director of E-Books for HarperCollins U.K. . . . Rightscom, a UK consultancy business specializing in the rights management issues associated with the delivery of Intellectual Property in an online environment, announced that it has merged with Mark Bide & Associates.
Carlisle Agency’s Larry Chilnick sold the biography of astronaut Alan Shephard to Crown’s Emily Luce in a five figure deal. The author, Neal Thompson, is the military affairs reporter for the Baltimore Sun. Chilnick also sold The Sober Gourmet, by Elizabeth Scott, to Harvard Common Press’ Pam Honig. The book is a “healthful lifestyle” book that will include recipes for recovering alcoholics. . . . Jim Hornfischer of The Literary Group International, who agented Flags of Our Fathers, played author this month when his book, The Last Stand of the Tin Cup Soldiers (also about WWII), was sold in a preempt. His colleague Frank Weimann, president of the agency, handled the deal, but the lucky bidder was unknown at press time.
Scott Manning reports that clients Paul and Julie Lerner, authors of Lerner’s Consumer Guide to Health Care (which they published via their own imprint, Lerner Communications) are doing a five-part series on the Today Show. Paul used to be at Morrow, where he was Harvey Ginzburg’s assistant. Though they are not looking for a trade publisher for this title, they “wouldn’t rule anything out.” Check out www.lernerhealth.com.
Maria Campbell celebrates her first year scouting for Warner Bros. with five projects that the studio has snapped up, including Bryan Burrough’s “Hunting Hackers” article, Stephen Carter’s The Emperor of Ocean Park, and Joe Kanon’s new thriller The Good German, which was also taken by the scout’s publishing clients Karl Blessing (Germany) and Little, Brown UK. (Both had published him previously.) Campbell has just reupped for another year with the movie company.
• The Licensing Letter reports in its Annual Business Survey of retail sales of Licensed Merchandise 1992–2000 that the past year experienced a 1% dropoff from the previous year, which was unusually high due to the extraordinary sales of Star Wars properties (pace DK). Publishing was up 4%, however, and the Music category is the big winner, with a 23% increase in sales, because of “slick marketing and squeaky clean personas of a growing number of teen and tween-targeted bands.” Next is Celebrities/Estates, though most of that increase is attributable to Martha Stewart’s program with Kmart, which has surpassed the jackpot $1 billion mark. In general, though, it seems retailers are wary of going after hot licenses, until they start taking off.
• There’s the aforementioned Martha, and Rosie, and of course, Oprah, but no longer will there be Mary Higgins Clark’s Mystery Magazine, which Family Circle was publishing increasingly sporadically over the past four years under Editor Kathryne Sagan’s aegis.
• We await with bated breath the announcement of the 100 Great Jewish Books of the Modern era, which are to be announced this spring. In September the National Yiddish Book Center convened a panel of scholars, critics, and writers (including the LA Times’ Kenneth Turran, and scholars from England, Jerusalem, and the US to debate the list. Criteria include literary merit, Jewish authorship, and treatment of Jewish experience or sensibility. For further information contact Nancy Sherman at the National Yiddish Book Center, (800) 535-3595 x 111 or email@example.com.
• Pat Holt confounded regular readers in a recent newsletter by mentioning that coverage of Amazon “borders on the hysterical.” She went on to critique the Washington Post story, saying “The Post story goes on and on, slicing and dicing Amazon.com as the Best New Fall Guy of the year. Every time something positive comes up — for example, nobody says Amazon ISN’T paying its bills; in fact, the data show that Amazon is paying its bills FASTER than before — the Post charges in with something negative.” Meanwhile The London Sunday Telegraph picked up the Post’s article, with its own headline, “Is Amazon up a Creek?” But the March 1 edition of Money has a more evenhanded approach, citing analysts, researchers, and retail experts, including Paco (Why We Buy) Underhill, who sees its “customers rule” philosophy as a continual lure.
• All good things come to those who wait: The price on Inside and PW’s March 19 Summit, Opportunity & Challenge, has dropped to $495, from its previous $795 price. Speakers include the usual suspects, as well as some timely additions, including Dave Eggers, Bob Stein (reincarnated, post-Voyager, as the founder of Night Kitchen), and Michael J. Wolf, the Booz, Allen media guru (as opposed to NY Magazine’s media pundit). Kurt Andersen and Nora Rawlinson (one of the two women listed on the roster of speakers) host the event. For information go to Inside.com, or call (888) 750-0716.
PT’s scout tells us that Bertelsmann’s US Scout Bettina Schrewe threw a “lovely fete” for Goldmann’s Georg Reuchlein and BTB Chief Andrea Best. “Among those spotted,” we’re told, “were smart young editors: Sarah McGrath (Scribner), Ethan Nosowsky (FSG), Dan Smetanka (Ballantine) and Courtney Hodell (Random),” along with agents Kim Witherspoon, Neil Olson, and Henry Dunow.
That same evening the Greenburger agency hosted a dinner for Rowohlt’s Georg Heepe, who has taken on the title “Editor Emeritus.” In attendance were agents Irene Skolnick, Wendy Weil, Cynthia Cannell, and writers Paul Auster, Sapphire, and Walter Abish.
In late Feb., crowds packed into the Carnegie Club at the invitation of Will Lippincott and Randall Rothenberg, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief respectively, of strategy+business, the (relatively) new Booz, Allen–backed business publication, and Myles Thompson’s new business imprint, Texere. S+B is poised to make a big circulation push, and had run an excerpt from the just-published Why I Hate Flying by management guru Henry Mintzberg. (The quote on the jacket was from “Marketing Maven” Philip Kotler, who said, “Now you don’t have to read Drucker On Management.”)