Simon & Schuster’s various imprints have been trimmed over the past few weeks: Rachel Klayman has been laid off from The Free Press, Jeff Neuman has left S&S (and may be reached at email@example.com), and Rosemary Ahern (who arrived from Dutton less than two years ago), and Kim Kanner and an assistant have departed WSP/Pocket Books.
Kris Kliemann has been named VP, Director of Global Rights at Wiley. She had been Associate Publisher at Fodor’s. In other Wiley news, Helen Witsenhausen will be retiring after 20 years at the company. . . . In children’s books, more turmoil as Random House Children’s experiences a bout of layoffs in its various imprints, with VP Marketing Andrew Smith and 8 others in art and editorial leaving the company. Daisy Kline was named as Smith’s successor. The division will move to the new Random building on December 20th. The first group from 1540 Broadway just moved over and the final stragglers will arrive in January. Meanwhile, word is that Random is a potential bidder for Houghton’s trade division, and is rumored to be looking at a Japanese venture, possibly with Kodansha. . . . Little, Brown Children’s announces that Jennifer Hunt has been hired as an Editor. She was at Lee and Low Books.
Bookspan has hired Linda Andersen, formerly VP Marketing development at Columbia House, as Senior VP, Marketing. She will report to Seth Radwell, President of the Bookspan group. No news yet on the new head of Children’s BOMC, but look for an announcement in early December.
Harper Design International has named Ali Kokmen as Sales and Marketing Manager, reporting to Harriet Pierce, Director of Sales and Marketing. He was previously at Watson-Guptill, as was Pierce. . . Walt Bode has recently left Harcourt, where he was Senior Editor.
Lots of promotions at Random House: Libby McGuire has been named Associate Publisher, Director of Marketing of the Random House Trade Group, responsible for overseeing all marketing, publicity, advertising, and promotion for the group. Ivan Held, who previously filled the dual role of Associate Publisher of the trade group and Publisher of Random House Trade Paperbacks, will now focus on the paperback program. And Crown has promoted two executive editors. Kristin Kiser is now Crown Editorial Director, while Becky Cabaza is Editorial Director for Three Rivers.
On Wed., December 4, HarperCollins’ Larry Ashmead, bookseller Roxanne Coady, PW’s Daisy Maryles, Little, Brown’s Michael Pietsch, and moderator Gayle Feldman will discuss “Best and Worst of Times: Best Books vs. Bestsellers in a Changing Business.” The event, which takes place at Columbia Journalism School (Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor) at 116th and Broadway, is sponsored by the National Arts Journalism Program at the Columbia Journalism School, and co-sponsored by the Women’s Media Group. C-Span will record the panel for later broadcast on “Booknotes.” Admission is free; no RSVP is necessary. Email Gayle Feldman at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to pose a topic or question to be discussed at the panel.
• On December 5 literary agent at Donadio & Olson and man-about-town Ira Silverberg will throw a 40th birthday event that will help raise funds for The Council Of Literary Magazines and Presses through a silent auction and donations. The festivities will take place from 9pm – midnight at Estate (formerly the Limelight, where Silverberg once worked as the doorman of the “VIP Room”), at 6th Avenue & 20th Street. Rsvp via email@example.com or (212) 741-9110 x 18. Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to: CLMP, 154 Christopher Street, Suite 3C, New York, NY 10014.
• The Small Press Center hosts its annual Benefit Cocktail Reception in honor of Mark Twain from 5:30-8 on December 5 at the Small Press Center. Tax deductible tickets are $65. Call (212) 764-7021 for details. On December 12 it will sponsor another workshop: “Do It Yourself Design for Books and Websites.” Held with the support of PW, the workshop takes place between 6-8 pm, also at the Small Press Center on 20 W. 44th. For further information go to www.smallpress.org.
Crain’s New York Business has published its annual “The Private 200” list of top privately held companies in the New York area (November 25 issue). Barnes & Noble’s College stores are listed at #26, with revenues of $1.25 billion. Norton is the only book publisher listed, at #174, and with revenues of $100 million, though Crain’s admits the company did not fill out the survey. Presumably Workman and Sterling never got one.
• Chris Kerr, commission rep and founder of Parson Weems under the auspices of the venerable Association of Book Travelers, organized a commemorative lunch for Coliseum Books and its managers. Our correspondent reports that former owner George Leibson is in the throes of putting together a deal to reopen this much missed bookstore formerly at Broadway and 57th Street. What he really needs now is a youthful investor who’s willing to work hard. Anyone with any ideas or inclinations can reach Leibson at (212) 749-3833.
• Mike Campbell, who has left Carlton and is now an independent sales and marketing consultant, sends PT the following report from the shores of Lake Tahoe: “This year’s National Conference of the Publishers Association of the West was held from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. PubWest, which began in 1977 as the Rocky Mountain Book Publishers Association, has grown to a trade organization serving over 200 mid-size publishers west of the Mississippi. Holly Brady, Director of Stanford University’s Professional Publishing Course, kicked off the weekend with a review of the last decade’s “roller coaster ride.” Miriam Bass from National Book Network joined Marcella Smith from Barnes & Noble and Dave Edinger from Books West to share secrets of getting bigger advances at the chains, while Bill Cartwright from Inland Press and James Butcher from R.R. Donnelly looked at evolving tools in production, including digital asset management and print-on-demand. Other seminars covered printing in Asia and managing authors through the publishing process. Traffic was strong in the adjoining trade show, perhaps because many feel that pennies saved with short-run printing might make the difference in the current market. Overall, attendees reported that these were tough times indeed for the industry; the competition is fierce, with it seems ever-fewer customers beating down the door. Yet publishers such as Mike Jones at Wilderness Press, Helen Cherullo at Mountaineers, and Gibbs M. Smith reported hopes for a good year overall.
• Larry Ashmead, continuing his “farewell tour,” spoke at the PAMA luncheon in November, and told this story, edited for space: In 1977 when Lippincott merged with Harper + Row, then-Publisher Ed Burlingame told Ashmead to dump authors Patricia Highsmith (whom Joan Kahn had originally bought), Dick Francis, and Tony Hillerman. On Hillerman, Burlingame said, “We are barely earning out a $3,000 advance and there’s no increment in sales. Get him off Indians or off our list!” Ashmead concludes, “When Bill Shinker came on board as a marketing genius he agreed with me,” and the rest is publishing history.
PARTIES & EVENTS
November was a big month for anniversaries and parties: The Literary Guild celebrated its 75th anniversary at Bookspan’s annual party at the Waldorf on November 6th, and AMS celebrated its 20th anniversary at The New York Stock Exchange on November 7th. S&S had a big bash for Mary Higgins Clark and daughter Carol at the New York Athletic Club on November 20th — the night of the National Book Awards. HarperCollins threw a party at Vue for the publication of Michael Crichton’s Prey on Nov. 25.
To Bloomberg Press’s Sales & Marketing Director John Crutcher and wife Beth on the November 19th birth of Kira Evangeline.
Belated congrats to Riverhead’s Julie Grau on her Venetian nuptials to Adam Stern, right after Frankfurt.