Book View, November 2001

PEOPLE


Layoffs are the order of the day, though mergers, not the economy, seem to be the main reason. DK has laid off about 25 people, with more to come. Meanwhile, the move down to Hudson Street has been postponed, apparently as a cost-savings measure. No word yet on Phyllis Grann’s plans, though Random House continues to figure in the speculation. Word is that by the end of the year Golden will have laid off half of its employees. Its offices will also remain separate from the mother ship, but they are almost adjacent to the new Random digs. And, of course, Rodale laid off 148 people, mostly in its direct response book publishing area. One of those was Roz Siegel, formerly Senior Editor at S&S. She may be reached at [email protected].

Speaking of S&S, Colin Harrison, noted author and previously an editor at Harper’s (and husband of author Kathryn, onetime editorial assistant to Nan Graham), is rumored to be going to Scribner, as an editor. There’s a spot open, since Crown’s Shaye Areheart hired away Jake Morissey as Executive Editor for Harmony, and Jane Rosenman left for St. Martin’s (PT 9/01).

In other news, Miranda De Kay has left Bookspan. . . . Kathleen Carson, Executive Editor of Budget Book Service is going to Random House Value Publishing as Editorial Director, replacing Susanne Jaffe, who left to join Thurman House.

Harper thawed out from its hiring freeze long enough to bring in two Executive Editors in October, Dan Menaker and Dawn Davis. Menaker will report to Susan Weinberg, SVP and Editorial Director. Davis, who was at Vintage for five years, will also serve as editorial director of Amistad.

Michaela Hamilton has been named Editor-in-Chief at Kensington Publishing. She succeeds Paul Dinas, who joined Reader’s Digest last month (see PT 9/01), and will report to Laurie Parkin, VP and Publisher of Kensington. . . . Leona Nevler, who arrived at Penguin Putnam on Sept. 10, says she bought two books in her first three weeks. She was most recently a SVP and Editorial Director of Ballantine, where she had been since 1982, when Fawcett was acquired by Random House. She reports to Leslie Gelbman, President of the Berkley Publishing Group and NAL. . . . Peter Clifton has moved (literally) to Tennessee as President and CEO of Ingram Periodicals. He had been CEO of Vista’s PubEasy, and subsequently interim CEO of Previewport. He will commute between La Vergne and his home in Westchester for the time being.

Among promotions, André Bernard has been named VP, Publisher of Harcourt’s Trade division. Michael Stearns has been promoted to Director of Paperback Publishing at Harcourt Children’s. He was formerly a Senior Editor and will continue to acquire and edit. . . . Rick Pascocello has been promoted to VP, Advertising and Promotion for Berkley and NAL. He was previously Director. . . . Michelle Yeauger has been promoted to Senior Marketing Manager, Direct at McGraw-Hill Children’s Publishing. She was previously Marketing Manager.

DEALS


Susan Schulman, who handles translation rights for Millbrook, huddled over her computer instead of the TV in the days following the 9/11 attack — she had recently received the ms for Osama Bin Laden: A War Against the West, in Millbrook’s recently launched YA division, the Twenty First Century Books line. The book had been signed up by Publisher Jean Reynolds in 1999, after the US embassy bombings in Africa. Over that first weekend after downloading mss around the world, she had sold the rights in Spain and Japan, and by the end of that week had concluded deals (all via her 15 subagents) in Poland, Estonia, Korea, Portugal, Croatia, and French Canada, with offers pending from Turkey and the Scandinavians starting to line up. The book was published in Spain (Planeta, with a separate licensed Mexican edition) on October 19th, and in Canada on October 30th. The book will still be published in a library edition (short discount) shipping in December. Trade rights (hard or softcover) are available.

DULY NOTED


Ipsos NPD has issued its Adult BookTrends Update, an ongoing survey of the book buying habits of more than 12,000 households, and the news for fiction was good, at least pre-9/11. Fiction sales rose 2.7%, the highest jump of any category. Meanwhile, book club sales have increased by almost 2% — and 3.5% compared with all of 2000 (mostly through an increase in online sales) — while chain sales have decreased slightly.

Elle is launching a readers choice award, for the best fiction and nonfiction of the year. French Elle has been doing it for years, with apparent success. The voting seems unduly complicated, but the result will be a Grand Prix winner in fiction and nonfiction, to be announced in the December 2002 issue. Readers’ comments on the books that are read throughout the year are available at www.elle.com.

• PublishersMarketplace launches as a subscription site in November. Michael Cader, of publisherslunch.com fame, is behind this latest effort, which will cost $15 a month, billed monthly. He tells PT that “I’ve been surprised and delighted by how quickly people have started using the whole array of features and making them work; writers are finding agents and publishers; agents are selling proposals here (which I never expected) and foreign rights through their postings; the deal resources are helping to further increase the flow of deal information; and we will have generated over 175,000 page views in the first month (with the site continuing to get busier).” Score one for the impresarios.

• Morty Mint, former chief of Guinness Publishing in the US, will publish and distribute the US edition of a new paperback series, ParentSmart Books. It is published by ParentSmart Books of Canada. Maryann Palumbo Marketing Concepts will handle US marketing for the series (launch is in January 2002). In other Canadian news, Raincoast closed down its fiction imprint, and HarperCollins Canada’s Marketing Director, Judy Brunsek, has left the company.

The magazine strategy+business has published its “Best Business Books of the Millennium” issue. Jim Collins tops the list with Good to Great. Go to www.strategy-business.com.

NOVEMBER DATES


NYU’s Center for Publishing, along with the French Publishers’ Agency and the German Book Office, have organized a seminar, “How to Effectively Acquire, Translate and Publish Foreign Titles.” The all-day seminar takes place on Friday, Nov. 2nd at the Center for Publishing. Tickets are $50. Call 212 790-3232 or go to www.scps.nyu.edu/pubcenter.

• Small Press Center hosts two November panels. On Monday, November 12th from 5:30 to 8:00 pm is “Publishing Predictions: Past and Present Visions of the Future,” in partnership with PW, at The New York Times Auditorium. On Tuesday, November 20th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, is “What’s Happening to Book Reviewing?” Email [email protected] for details.

The 52nd National Book Awards evening is on Wednesday, November 14th at the Marriott. Tickets for the dinner and awards ceremony (again, with Steve Martin as host) are $1000. But for $100 you can attend the reception.

• The Miami Book Fair is scheduled for November 11-18 at the Miami-Dade Community College. An eclectic mix of some 250 authors, including Vernon Jordan, Stephen Ambrose, Naomi Wolf, and Rabbi Harold Kushner will be present, and almost 500,000 visitors are expected to attend.

Author and former Houghton Mifflin publisher Joe Kanon will be reading from his new bestseller, The Good German, on Thursday, November 8th, at the 82nd and Broadway Barnes & Noble at 7:30 pm.

MAZELTOV


Congrats to publishing couple Chitra (McGraw-Hill) Bopardikar and Josh (HarperCollins) Marwell, whose wedding is on November 3rd in New York.

And to Book-of-the-Month Club, on its 75th birthday this month.

Also, Joseph Xavier Held was born October 15, 2001 to Random’s Ivan Held and his wife, Patricia Falvo, until recently a Senior Writer at Allure.

Finally, congrats to Pam and Joel Fishman (former editor, agent, and founder of subrights.com), on the birth of a baby girl, Macklin, on Sept. 25.