Heads rolling in and rolling out: Marco Ausenda, who comes from Touring Club Italia, will replace Antonio Polito as the head of Rizzoli US, reporting to Giulio Lattanzi. . . Jean-Marie Messier’s still running Vivendi, but of course major changes at Houghton Mifflin: Teri Kelly succeeds Wendy Strothman as SVP and head of trade and reference, leaving open her position as Director of Sales. Reportedly she will be replaced from within, and an announcement is imminent. And Hans Gieskes, most recently of Lexis-Nexis, becomes her boss, succeeding Nader Darehshori, as President and CEO. He reports to Agnès Touraine, Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal Publishing.
Neil Ortenberg, Publisher of Thunder’s Mouth Press, has been promoted to SVP of the Avalon Publishing Group. . . Bulfinch’s Jill Cohen has named Karen Murgulo Associate Publisher, and Kristen Schilo, most recently at Applause Books, as Lifestyle Editor. Matthew Ballast has been named Publicity and Subsidiary Rights Director. . . Frank Fochetta has been named VP Special Sales at Simon & Schuster. His purview includes all distribution lines as well. In another sales appointment, Jack W. Perry joins Sourcebooks as VP Director of Sales. He was most recently VP Sales for the Random House Group. . . Allison Devlin has moved to Little, Brown Children’s as Publicity Director. She was last at HarperChildren’s, where Diane Naughton has been named VP Marketing, taking over for Pam Lutz, who is relocating to Florida. Naughton was most recently General Manager of publishing at Sesame Street. Daisy Kline will report to her under the new title of Executive Director of Marketing.
Free Press has hired Liz Stein to be a Senior Editor, reporting to Dominick Anfuso. She moves from Holt. . . Brendan Cahill will be joining Bill Shinker’s imprint at Penguin Putnam (launching Spring 2003) as an editor. He was editor at Grove Atlantic, and his new mandate “will be to acquire his own list concentrating in the areas of narrative nonfiction, history, memoirs, current affairs, politics, popular science, sports and fiction.” And Adrian Zackheim has hired Will Weissel as Marketing Director for Portfolio, which now includes Prentice Hall titles. Weissel comes from Crown. . . Meanwhile, Susan Gilmer joined Random as Director of Sub Rights. She was previously at Maria Campbell Associates. And speaking of RH, Tracy Bernstein has left Ballantine for NAL, where she will be Executive Editor. She was previously at Pocket Books. . . Marilyn Moore has gone to Guideposts as Editor-in-Chief of book publishing, replacing Brigitte Weeks, who went to Bookspan. She has represented rights for various lines, including Guideposts, into the gift book and religious markets.
Bill Wolfsthal has left The Overlook Press, where he was Director of Sales and Marketing. He can be reached at (212) 505-0492. . . Elsbeth Lindner, previously MD of London’s The Women’s Press, has become Editorial Director at David R. Godine in Boston. . . And Liv Blumer has left the Karpfinger Agency to start her own agency.
WHAT THEY’RE DOING NOW
Greg Tobin, former Editor-in-Chief of Ballantine and of BOMC, has a new novel, Council (Forge Books, August pub.), with perhaps “the very first fictional scene set on Sept. 11,” in which a Newark archbishop ferries to lower Manhattan after the attack. Having declined previous opportunities to return to publishing full-time, Tobin does not rule out the possibility of returning to the, er, fold.
Lots of people getting good news from their bosses this month: Julie Grau and Cindy Spiegel were simultaneously named Vice Presidents of Riverhead Books. . . David Kelly was named Director of Marketing at McGraw-Hill Children’s Publishing, replacing Jeanne Finestone, who left in the spring. He had been Marketing Manager. . . Scholastic Library Publishing named Larry Tinker VP National Sales, reporting to SLP President Neal Goff. He has been with the company for 24 years. . . Trena Keating announced the promotion of Gary Brozek to Senior Editor for Plume. . . At HarperCollins, Carrie Kania has been named VP Associate Publisher of HarperAudio, Ecco, and Fourth Estate US. Diana Gill has meanwhile been promoted to Senior Editor of Morrow/Avon. She has been at the company since 1998. Kelli Martin has been promoted to editor at Amistad. She had also started at Morrow in 1998. And Tara Brown has been promoted to Assistant Director of Publicity. . . Daniel Rembert has been named Art Director for Random. He has been in the Random House Group since 1987.
A few weeks ago, the highest religious authority in Sunni Islam, Sheikh Ibrahim Atta Allah, issued a fatwa against copyright piracy from his base in Cairo. “Piracy is the worst type of theft and is prohibited by Islam,” he declared, according to Susan Postlewaite writing in IP Worldwide. She reports that piracy has been cut from 85% in 1999 to 56%.
• The Booklovers’ Olympics, sponsored by Blenheim Hill Books and Bibliobarn, took place on June 22 at Bibliobarn —“conveniently located in a cow pasture near you (or not)” — in South Kortright, NY. Our local correspondents, Michele Slung and Bob Wyatt, tell us there were about a hundred people assembled to witness the Reader’s Digest Book Toss (Slung hurled a condensed book that included Boys From Brazil), the How Many Emily Dickinson Poems Can One Sing to “The Yellow Rose of Texas” sing-off, and the James Joyce Ulysses Speed Reading Contest (though the decision to read a Molly Bloom passage was reconsidered when young children came to compete), and to hear live music, and picnic in the pasture.
• An interesting letter from Jeff Bezos, (or firstname.lastname@example.org, as his email reads) arrived the other day. Many of you may have received this one, which patiently explains — as though asking the reader’s indulgence — that Amazon.com will be offering “a long-term test,” in which orders over $49 (rather than only those over $99) get free shipping. What we liked, though, is the part where Jeff tells us: “At the conclusion of the test, we’ll let you know whether or not we’ll be able to make the new $49 hurdle permanent. In the meantime, for the next 3-6 months or so, please enjoy Free Super Saver Shipping on orders over $49.” So basically, if you don’t buy, I’m gonna have to charge you shipping. What are you waiting for???
• A moment to contemplate some amazing numbers: According to Nan Talese, Atonement now has 232,000 in print. Amsterdam — which handily outsold all his other books combined — netted 82 thousand copies. . . The Nanny Diaries has 675,000 in print. . . Six thousand copies of Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber by Adele Lang were imported from the UK, and after Kelly Ripa touted it on Regis & Kelly, it has over 200,000 in print, as does Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed.
• Publishers Weekly moves to 360 Park Avenue South, NY, NY, 10010. The main number is (646) 746-6400, but with the same four-digit extension for staffers.
• Infelicitous phrasing in last month’s PT created the impression that Exley had practically closed down its US operation. In fact, they are alive and kicking in their Massachusetts office — and their warehouse continues to be in New Jersey. However, their midtown NY office space is available for sublet. Address all inquiries to Richard Exley at email@example.com.
Happy birthday to HarperCollins’ Larry Ashmead, who will hit seven decades on July 4th.
We note sadly the passing of our good friend, staunch ally — and first client — Paul Gottlieb. He believed in Market Partners from the outset and cheered us along as we racked up year after year. In 1996 he was made a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres along with a group of other distinguished American publishers, authors, and movie stars, and our correspondent at the time, Jean Loup Chiflet, noted: “Le plus drôle était quand le ministre (de la Culture, M. Douste- Blazy), qui est petit, a voulu embrasser ou plûtot ‘donner l’accolade’ à Paul Gottlieb, qui est grand, et qu’il a été obligé de lui marcher sur les pieds!” (PT, 4/96). We will miss him enormously.