Book View, September 2003


As summer winds down, it’s been unusually quiet in publishers’ halls, but look to an interesting Fall, with new positions being created, even as more rounds of layoffs are rumored. Meanwhile:

Holt’s Maggie Richards has hired Richard Rhorer as Marketing Director. He was previously Director of Marketing for the Rayo imprint at HarperCollins. . . Jay Sherman has been named VP, Operations for AMS, reporting to Mike Focht, EVP, Operations. He was with Random House. . . Jim Cook has been named Manager Specialty Retail for Running Press (Perseus Publishing), replacing Rich Kelly, who has left the company. Cook was Director of Sales & Marketing for Taylor & Francis.

SparkNotes has appointed Laurie Barnett as Editorial Director, in charge of all editorial development for its high school and college print and web product lines, reporting to Dan Weiss. She was VP and Editor-in-Chief of the Peterson’s division of Thomson Learning. And Stephanie Karmol has been named Sales & Marketing Associate, reporting to Associate Publisher Robert Riger. She was previously in the Children’s Marketing Group at Penguin. Also departing Penguin is Kelly Notaras, who left Plume to join Hyperion as a Senior Editor.

Ann Binkley, former Director of Public Relations for Borders, is settled into her new role as Executive Director of New York Is Book Country. She may be reached at

Gary Todoroff has moved to Lonely Planet USA, as Director of Sales. His new work email address is

Kensington Books, which recently hired former NAL Executive Editor Audrey LeFehr as Editorial Director and Lynn Bond, formerly of RH Value, as Director of Sales and New Business, has laid off longtime Executive Editor Ann La Farge. She may be reached at

Between publishing endeavors, Cathy Fox now has her real estate license and is associated with Hudson Affiliates, Inc. in Westchester. She can be reached at (914) 693-8878 or

As previously reported, Tony Lucki, most recently President of Harcourt, has been named CEO of Houghton Mifflin. He had worked at HM from 1977 to 1987. Pat Tierney, Global CEO of Reed’s Harcourt Education Group (which includes the trade division), will not replace Lucki, but takes on his direct reports.

While PW’s Steve Zeitchik is on sabbatical, Karen Holt has been pitching in. But what’s happening at Book Publishing Report, which Holt left earlier in the year? It’s being run by David Jastrow, who holds the titles of Managing Editor and Senior Analyst. He can be reached by email at

Harlequin has named Sharon Hails to the new post of Director of Sales, Direct Retail. She was most recently SVP for marketing and merchandising at Sher Distributing.


Rodale has recently named Dana Bacher to the position of Marketing Director, reporting to Associate Publisher Cindy Ratzlaff. Dana has been Associate Rights Director at Rodale since 2000. Prior to joining Rodale she held positions at Running Press and Kepler’s Bookstore in Palo Alto.


Walker Publishing is moving back to its Fifth Avenue roots: On September 11 it takes over some of Abrams’ space, on the 7th floor of 104 Fifth Avenue. The phone number remains the same: (212) 727-8300.

The world of small presses has been chattering about an increase in submissions of late. One correspondent notes that “Each has a cover letter in identical format. The last three lines of each letter are the same or virtually so. The stories are not coming from students. The senders all give their backgrounds, including their degrees and teaching experience and previous publications.” He wonders, “Might something like this be the culprit?,” and proceeds to give the URL of Writer’s Relief, Inc. (, a New Jersey company that streamlines manuscript submissions. Their site claims that, “If you love to write but hate the business of writing, we can help. Stop spending your valuable time researching markets, requesting guidelines, preparing cover letters, tracking submissions, and doing the many tasks required to see your work published. Rejection letters don’t bother us. In fact, we view them as steps bringing you closer to publication.” The cost for these services isn’t stipulated on the site, but the company claims not to take an agent’s cut, just a fee. And, they say, editors themselves have now become Writer’s Relief clients.

The last word is in on Otto Penzler v. Michael Viner and vice versa, where Market Partners served as a publishing expert and Penzler was ably represented pro bono by Boies, Schiller & Flexner, and the outcome was a $2.8 million judgment in Penzler’s favor. According to Penzler, the jury of eight was unanimous in their verdict, believing both his testimony as well as the testimony of Harlan Ellison, who took the stand to corroborate the authors’ point of view. The truly happy ending is that Larry Kirshbaum has agreed to issue the rest of the sports mystery series — at least four more titles — under the Warner imprint.

Last seen on the high seas: one hundred members of The Young to Publishing Group signed up for an evening of sailing recently offered by the AAP — one of numerous activities offered to members of the group, which is funded by the AAP. Membership in the YPG is free and open to “entry-level and junior industry employees (typically with 0-5 years of publishing experience).” Currently there are 600 members from 40+ companies in nine states. The group meets for monthly brown bag lunches, and can sign on to the “Little Big Mouth List” to receive galleys based on stated reading interests. For more information, contact Anne Garinger at


“The Future of Licensing,” presented by The Licensing Letter, is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2003 at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. The keynote will be Andy Mooney, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products. In addition, Yankelovich will present research on consumer trends. Topics include Selling to the Emerging Majorities, Channel Strategies, and The Global Future (with IMG as the model of a global licensing company). To register, call (212) 941-0099 and mention Publishing Trends. (Event is open exclusively to subscribers to The Licensing Letter and Publishing Trends.) Fee is $995 and includes lunch.

On Sept. 17 New York Is Book Country kicks off the many events that culminate in the 25th anniversary of its Fifth Avenue Fair on Sunday, Sept. 21. Included are a Business Book Day (Sept. 17); a gala evening for authors and their readers on Sept. 18; NY Is Film Book Country on the 19th; a day of speakers that include Steve Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Walter Isaacson on Sept. 20; and the NYT Literary Brunch, featuring among others Mitch Albom, E. Lynn Harris, James Patterson, and Peggy Noonan, on Sept. 21. Robert Lipsyte will MC the event. Go to for details. The Mercantile Library will host an exhibit of posters that have been created for Book Country over 25 years, from Sept. 4-19. Call (212) 755-6710 for more information.

The Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center presents “Celebrating the Black Voice Weekend,” September 20-21 at the Aaron David Hall. Regina Morris from William Morris, Marie Brown, Cherise Grant from S&S, and HarperCollinsKelli Martin kick off the weekend with a panel on “How to Get Your Book Published.” A dialogue with Derek Wolcott and August Wilson is scheduled for Sunday afternoon. For more information see


Congratulations to Hearst Books Publisher Jacqueline Deval, proud mom of Madeline Emily, born August 4. (Brother Jordan is now 7.)