Rich Freese has been named President of Publishers Group West, reporting to Kevan Lyon, EVP for Distribution and Publishing Services at AMS. Freese, who will relocate to the San Francisco area, succeeds Charlie Winton, founder and former President and CEO of PGW, and now Group Chairman and CEO of Avalon Publishing. Another publisher on the move is Karen Kreiger, Rich Freese’s wife and currently VP Custom Publishing and International Sales of Creative Publishing. She may be reached at email@example.com. Meanwhile, earlier in the month Winton announced that Neil Ortenberg had been named EVP, responsible for the New York publishers and reporting to Susan Reich. Avalon also announced that Herman Graf, Publisher of Carroll & Graf, would assume the role of Editor-at-Large and that Will Balliett would succeed him as Publisher, reporting to Ortenberg.
Martin Levin is moving to The Van Tulleken Company as a partner, and will be working on transactions. He tells Publishing Trends that he will continue to “maintain a relationship” with his old law firm, Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman. The firm recently announced the addition of Jeremy Nussbaum, formerly a partner at Kay & Boose.
Courtney Muller has resigned as Executive Director of New York Is Book Country, to return to her former employer, Reed Exhibitions as Divisional Vice President. She will continue to consult with the staff and board through the 25th anniversary events in the Fall. A successor will be named shortly.
Howard Weill, formerly SVP Deputy Publisher at Random House, is consulting full time for Bookspan, overseeing Current Member Marketing. As reported elsewhere, Victoria Skurnick was named Editor-in-Chief, BOMC, continuing to report to Larry Shapiro, who is now VP, Editorial Director. Kathy Kiernan, Editor-in-Chief of Book Development, will now report to Brigitte Weeks, VP and newly named Editorial Director overseeing Crossings, Science Fiction Book Club, Black Expressions, and Outdoorsmen’s Edge. Sharon Fantera and Patricia Gift have also been named Editorial Directors. And congrats to Mary Idoni, known to many as the guardian of the manuscript department, who celebrates fifty years at the clubs this summer.
Meanwhile, back at RH HQ: Barbara Marks is leaving Crown to start her own pr/marketing company. She has been with the company for 22 years. As of late July she may been reached at (203) 571-8103 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. . . Linda Kaplan has just gone to Crown as group Subrights Director. She was most recently at Hyperion. . . And Larry Weissman has left Random, where he worked for Richard Sarnoff investing in companies like Xlibris and Audible.com. He may be reached at larryweissman@ earthlink.net. . . No word yet on a replacement for Christine McNamara, who moved from Publisher of Random Audio to VP, Director of Sales for Random House Information Group, Adult Audio, Value, and Large Print divisions. . . In the latest RH sales reorg, Madeline McIntosh and Joan DeMayo head up the new Adult and Children’s sales forces, respectively.
Angela Baggetta has joined Goldberg McDuffie as Publicity Manager. She was previously at Basic Books and had been Publicity Director at Doubleday’s religious line. . . As reported elsewhere Emily Loose has joined The Penguin Press as Senior Editor. She was previously at Cambridge U.P. She reports to Ann Godoff. And Bernadette Malone goes to Penguin to head up the new conservative line, under Adrian Zackheim. She was previously at Regnery.
Jonathan Weiss, VP Business Development, is leaving Oxford U.P. in August. . . Editor Andrea Heyde and Senior Editor Katie Hall have both left Harcourt. (Heyde after one year, Hall three months.) In a reorganization of the sales deparment, Chris Barnard, VP Director of Sales, has left PGW. She may be reached at email@example.com. . . Maron Waxman has retired from the American Museum of Natural History, spurred on by AMNH’s layoff of as many as 60 people. The Publications department has been closed down.
Chris North will move from his position as General Manager of electronic publishing at Harper to the newly created job of COO at HarperCollins Canada, reporting to David Kent. . . For anyone not in the extensive address book of HC’s just retired Larry Ashmead, he may be reached at Lashmead@earthlink.net.
Words Without Borders, the “Online Magazine for International Literature,” has launched its new site. Though it’s not all in place yet, check it out at www.wordswithoutborders.org.
And another good site for publicizing independent literary publishing is Literary Landscape at www.literarylandscape.com.
• Broadway’s Charlie Conrad tells PT that Invisible Eden: the story of the Christa Worthington Cape Cod murder “has taken off like a rocket: on sale Tuesday and already seven printings for a total of 51,000 in print. It’s really great that a literary author like Maria Flook is succeeding like this.” Seven printings?
• A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “Selling Out: a Textbook Example” opens with the following: “James Williams received his letter last fall. ‘Dear Professor,’ it began. The form letter went on to offer him $4,000 for reviewing an introductory history textbook. “I thought, ‘That’s an interesting amount of money,’” says the associate professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University.” The story goes on to outline in detail how textbook publishers — from North West Publishing, which offered the amount cited above, but also involving behemoths like Pearson — are finding ways to get the attention of university professors and their departments by offering money, royalties, and other incentives. As with the above, the payola is often in the guise of a fee for “reviewing” a book or writing a portion of a customized textbook. Go to http://chronicle.com/weekly/v49/i42/42a00801.htm.
• It’s hard to find publishers who want to talk about what they’re reading, for fear of offending those whose books they’re not reading. Two industry execs who do are both reading the same book: Bob Iger, ABC honcho to whom Hyperion reports, and Phyllis Grann, who says she’s on a “nonfiction kick,” are reading An Unfinished Life, Robert Dallek’s biography of JFK, published by Little, Brown. Iger is also reading Sinclair Lewis’ Babbitt, and Grann just finished When Hollywood Was King, about her late boss Lew Wasserman.
The reopening of the downtown Borders — a block east from its original location at the World Trade Center on Broadway — was well attended by almost 1000 publishers, and reports are that it felt like a real shot in the arm for the industry, a feeling echoed by all. Gift certificates offering a 20% discount were handed to guests with proceeds going to the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund. The WTC branch had worked closely with the restaurant and held numerous events there and chose this as the charity partner for the opening. A quick check on who was buying what indicated that most of the publishers’ purchases were CDs!
• 180 people attended CLMP’s fundraiser at the Paula Cooper Gallery coinciding with the launch of Jack Macrae and Paula Cooper’s 192 Books, lit by the glow of Dan Flavin’s florescent sculptures on June 19th. Poet Kimiko Hahn spoke, opening with: “Without independent literary publishers there would be no poetry in America.” Guests included Adam Haslett, Peter Mayer, Nan Talese, Jill Bialosky, and Gerry Howard, and a “mountain of books and mags for people to mine in the center of gallery included Open City, Bomb, FuturePoem, Soft Skull Press, Feminist Press, and many many more” our correspondent tells us.
Sara Ann Freed, the much respected Editor-in-Chief of Mysterious Press and Senior Editor at Warner Books, died on June 25 after a brief battle with leukemia. A memorial service is scheduled for September 17, her birthday.