Libraries and Licensing

With the ever-increasing importance of libraries as a way readers can discover new authors and books, and the growing popularity of digital access, we thought it was time to post a comprehensive update on libraries and ebook licensing.

It’s important to recognize that the large majority of libraries license, rather than buy, their ebooks.  This is a critical difference, because in licensing contracts, the first sale doctrine does not apply.

For those who need reminding, the first sale doctrine is the section of copyright law that states “once a product is sold, the original creator/owner gives up all rights to preventing that copy from being resold, lent, rented, or otherwise conveyed to another person,” according to John Palfrey at The Digital Shift.

When the issue of ebook collections came up, publishers opted to license ebooks instead of selling, not only because libraries are a distinct  market, but because they wanted to maintain the one patron, one book per rental paradigm with an expiration date imitating print’s inevitable wear and tear.  This decision came after a fairly long period of time when publishers grappled with the best way to mimic their print deals with libraries, resulting in the initially controversial HarperCollins model.

As currently set up, the Big 5 have a few ways of going about ebook licensing contracts:

Licensing Chart FINAL

Data from The Digital Shift, 8/2014


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The Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 10/6-10/10

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Nielsen data from the first half of 2014 shows that physical book purchases far outweigh ebook purchases.

On that note, The Economist extrapolated current ebook data to forecast when ebooks will become more popular than print books.

A Bowker study released this week shows that self-publishing continues to steadily rise in the United States.

Should foreign language publishers start publishing their books in English too?

The New York Times calls for more neutral parties to explore the Amazon/Hachette negotiations.

The Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 9/29-10/3

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

A recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that Americans spend almost the same amount of money on ebooks and print books.

Why are the National Book Award nonfiction long lists light on women every year?

Should scholarly publishers separate their archives into applicable resources and out-of-date historical practices to avoid confusion in the digital age?

How does attention from a nationwide TV show change the publishing experience for an author’s debut novel?

Do ebooks save university libraries money in the long term?

People Round-Up, Early October 2014


Jim Childs was named Publisher at Rowman & Littlefield. Previously, he was Publisher at Time Home Entertainment Inc.

Eric Price joined Melville House as VP, New Business Development.  He was formerly Director of Sales and Marketing at Quercus.

Andy Sareyan joined Andrews McMeel Universal as President, CEO. Previously, he was President, National Journal and EVP, Atlantic Media at Atlantic Media Company.

Chitra Bopardikar has left her position as VP International Sales & Business Development at Perseus Book Group. She can be reached at [email protected]

Julia Cheiffetz returned to HarperCollins as Executive Editor at Dey Street Books.  Previously, she was Editorial Director at Amazon Publishing.

Rachel Rosenfelt joined Verso Books as Creative Director.  Formerly, she was The New Inquiry’s Co-founder and Publisher.

Valerie Cortes is now Publisher at Boston Review. Previously, she was Circulation Director at Bookforum and Artforum.

John Coughlan, Founding Member and Publisher of Capstone Press, retired after 25 years.

Jan Johnson stepped down from her position as Publisher at Red Wheel/Weiser.  She will work with select authors and develop new ventures for the company under the title of Publisher Emerita.

Kat Meyer joined Publishers Weekly as Director, Events and Community Engagement.  She was Community Manager and Conference Chair for Frankfurt Book Fair and had held a similar role at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change.

In children’s publishing: Sue Cole joined Highlights for Children as Director of Production.  Before moving to Highlights, she was Director of Production at Grove/Atlantic. . . . Emilie Polster has joined Little, Brown Children’s as Executive Director of Marketing. She was previously Senior Director of Integrated Marketing & Operations at Harper Children’s. . . . Bridget Hartzler has joined Penguin Young Readers Group as Publicist. Previously, she was Publicist at St. Martin’s Press. . . .Elizabeth Bennett joined HMH Books for Young Readers as Executive Editor, Franchise Publishing.  She was formerly Senior Editorial Consultant at Reader’s Digest Children’s Books. . . . Maggie Tokuda-Hall joined Chronicle Books as Marketing Manager, Children’s.  Before, she was Children’s Director of Marketing and Events at Books Inc. . . . Caitlin Casey joined Little Bee Books as Manager, Marketing and Publicity after previously working for Scholastic Reading Clubs as Senior Manager. . . . Laura Mancuso joined Little Pickle Press as VP of Sales and Marketing.  Previously, she was Special Market Sales Manager and Kids Task Force Member at Lonely Planet. . . .Sarah Dotts Barley joined Flatiron Books as Senior Editor for YA crossover books. Previously, she was Editor at Harper Children’s and HarperTeen.

Tim Wright joined the Chronicle Books Special Markets Sales Team.  Previously, he created and sold his own line of greeting cards.

Abrams appointed Karrie Witkin to its new role of Editorial Director, Gift & Paper Products and Hana Nakamura as Associate Art Director, Gift & Paper Products for its new imprint, Abrams Noterie. Witkin was Senior Editor/Manager at Penguin Random House and Nakamura was Art Director at Mucca Design.

Mandy Major joined The Crown Publishing Group as Editorial Director of the cooking blog Formerly, she was Online Editor for Emerging Brands at Scripps Networks Interactive.

Jessica Lawrence joined St. Martin’s Press as Publicity Manager.  Previously, she was Senior Publicist at Simon & Schuster.  Also at MacmillanShannon Donnelly has joined Picador as Marketing Manager. Previously she was a Marketing Manager at Dey Street Books.

Katie Zaun joined Emma Sweeney Agency as Rights Manager.  Formerly, she was Literary Scout at Barbara Tolley and Associates.

Laura Nolan joined Kuhn Projects as Agent after leaving her position as Head of the Book Division at Paradigm.

Josh Leventhal, former Publisher of MVP Books, joined The Minnesota Historical Society as Acquisitions Editor.

In religious publishing: John Kramp joined HarperCollinsas Senior VP, Bible Group.  Previously, he was VP, Church Resources Division at LifeWay. . . . Kathy Armistead joined HarperCollins Christian Publishing as Associate Publisher, Study Resources.  Formerly, she was Lead Editor, Bible, Leadership, Theology at Abingdon Press. . . . Worthy appointed Pamela Clements VP, Associate Publisher of its new Inspired imprint.  Previously, she was Associate Publisher of Christian Living and Fiction at Abingdon Press.

At university presses: Joshua Machat joined Yale University Press as Publicist, Art & Architecture.  His previous position was Publicist at Getty Research Institute. . . . Gary Dunham joined Indiana University Press as Director.  Previously, he was Director of Publications at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

As added to our last Round-Up: Terry Newell retired from Weldon Owen, where he was CEO, after 15 years with the company.  He may be reached at [email protected]. . . . Lisa Gallagher moved to DeFiore and Company from Sanford J. Greenburger Associates as Literary Agent.

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Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 9/22-9/26

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Mediabistro further unpacks the diversity and gender data in the Publishers Weekly Salary Survey.

What does Authors United’s continued engagement with the Amazon/Hachette battle mean for the ongoing negotiations?

Huffington Post and American Library Association compiled data on banned books from 2013 onward into infographic form for Banned Books Week.

How important is the role of an editor at a scholarly journal?

Will the silence surrounding Jeff Bezos’ yearly author party continue?

International Bestsellers, September 2014

Every month, Publishing Trends runs fiction international bestsellers lists from four territories–France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. This month, our four regular territories are joined by two more: Mexico and Russia.  Those books that have been published in English are listed with their official English-language title. All others are translated as literally as possible from the original. Where applicable, the US publisher is listed after the local publisher, separated by a “/”. The lists are taken from major newspapers or national retailers, which are noted at the bottom of each list.  





BestsellerSeptember2014 Italy


BestsellerSeptember.2014 Spain





Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 9/15-9/19

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Will the Apple iOS 8 update convert Amazon Kindle users into iBooks users?

Will print books survive alongside ebooks even though CDs couldn’t survive MP3s?

Can setting aside 30 minutes away from technology improve reading habits?

Are comic books a good teaching tool?

Is it in consumers’ best interests to root for Amazon in the Amazon-Hachette war or for the the publishers?

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 9/8-9/12

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Will there be an audiobook war similar to the current AmazonHachette war in the near future?

A new report on direct to consumer marketing in university presses shows that direct to consumer makes up only 1-3% of sales.

Do people feel they’re enough out of their reading or are they plagued by an underlying feeling of reading insecurity?

What role do public libraries have in the lives of young Americans, aged 16-29?

How can art inspire book cover designs and the writing of an author?

People Round-Up, Early September 2014


Terry Newell has retired from Weldon Owen, where he was CEO.    He may be reached at [email protected]Update added to original post on 9/17/14.

Lisa Gallagher will move to DeFiore and Company as Literary Agent.  Previously, Gallagher was at Sanford J. Greenburger AssociatesUpdate added to original post on 9/17/14.

Martha Otis will join Verso Advertising as President on October 1st when the previous President and Owner Denise Berthiaume will give up day-to-day responsibilities to become Chairman and Owner.  Otis was previously SVP, Advertising at Hachette Book Group.

Rick Wolff has joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as Senior Executive Editor.  He will be starting his own line of business books there by developing and editing 10-15 titles per year. Previously, he was the founder of Business Plus, a division of Hachette Book Group that merged with other Hachette imprint Grand Central Publishing in June.

Ryan Doherty has joined Sony Pictures as the VP, Literary Development, which a newly created position that will be responsible for book-to-film-and-television opportunities.  Previously, Doherty was Senior Editor at Ballantine Bantam Dell.

Alessandra Bastagli joined Nation Books as Editorial Director.  Most recently, she was the Digital Features Editor at Al Jazeera America, but also worked for Free Press until its merger with Simon & Schuster in 2012.

Ken Horowitz has joined AMC Networks. He was previously Director, Royalties at Scholastic.

Brian Olsavsky will become CFO at Amazon in June 2015 when the current CFO Thomas Szkutak retires.  Previously, Olsavsky was the VP Finance for Amazon’s Global Consumer Business.

Kevin Nguyen joined Oyster as Editorial Director.  Before joining Oyster, he was Books Editor at Amazon and Founding Editor of The Bygone Bureau.

James Phelps has joined Books-A-Million as VP of eCommerce.  Previously, he has worked for HSN, Kohl’s, and Brookstone.

Diana Griffin has joined Ryland, Peters & Small as Publicity & Marketing Manager.  Previously, she was Senior Publicity & Marketing Manager at Abbeville Press.

Brooke Parsons has joined Penguin Press as Senior Publicist after leaving her previous position of Publicist at Henry Holt.

Olga Massov has joined Phaidon as Project Editor, Food.  She will report to Executive Commissioning Editor, Food Emily Takoudes. Massov is a food writer and Creator of Sassy Radish.

Sherri Aldis joined Abrams as VP, International and Subsidiary Rights.  Previously, she was International Director, Editions du Chêne at Hachette Livre.

In children’s publishing, Melanie DeNardo joined Little, Brown Children’s as Publicity Director.  Previously, she was at Henry Holt as Deputy Director of Publicity. . . . Alison Folino joined Random House Children’s Books as Managing Producer.  Previously, she was the Interactive Content Producer and Imagineer at Digital Media. . . .Nevin Mays has joined AZ Books as Editorial Manager. Her previous position was eBooks Editorial Manager at Scholastic. . . .Julia Maguire has joined Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers as Editor.  Previously, she was an Associate Editor at Simon & Schuster’s Children’s.

Sandy McCormick Hill joined Simon & Schuster as Manager of Subsidiary Rights.  Formerly, she was eBooks Rights, Contracts Manager at HarperCollins and Director, Magazine Rights at Reader’s Digest.

Ruth Homberg will join HMH Books for Young Readers as Senior Marketing Manager. Previously, she was Digital Marketing Manager at Egmont UKHayley Gonnason also joins the company on as Senior Publicist. Most recently, she was a Publicist at Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

At University Presses: Ellen Chodosh has joined NYU Press as Director.  Previously, she was at the trade division of Oxford University Press as the VP, Publisher. . . . Thomas LeBien joined Harvard University Press as Executive Editor-at-Large.  Previously, he was VP, Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster.

Meg Cassidy has left her position as Publicity Manager at Simon & Schuster for a freelance career in publicity, culinary PR, and event planning.  She can be reached at [email protected].

Literary Agents on the move:  Tom Miller has joined Sanford J. Greenburger as Literary Agent.  Previously, he was Executive Editor at McGraw-Hill. . . . Lana Popovic and Natasha Alexis have joined Chalberg & Sussman as Agents.  Both were formerly Agents at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. . . . Rick Richter joined Zachary Shuster Harmsworth as Agent.  Previously, he was at Simon & Schuster as President, Children’s Publishing; President, Sales and Distribution, and later co-founded Ruckus Media.

Heather McNulty joined independent publisher, distributor, and manufacturer of educational materials Finney Company, Inc. as Marketing Specialist.  Previously, she was Marketing Specialist at Futura Marketing.

Corey Murphy has joined Image Comics as Director of Retail Sales. Previously, he was General Manager at Laughing Ogre Comics.

Jandra Sutton left her position as Head of Marketing at Turner Publishing to pursue freelance work in marketing, social media strategy, and publicity. She can be reached at [email protected].

David Byrnes has joined CBS IT, leaving his position as VP, Finance and Strategic Planning at Simon & Schuster.

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Partners’ Corner September 2014

Partners’ Corner is a place where the principals of Market Partners International can share their observations of the publishing industry.

As a great deal of Market Partners International’s business is executive search, we’re aware of the fluctuations – and disparities – in publishing salaries.  Lately the disparities, even for comparable positions, have become more noticeable.  As large and small publishing companies merge, these  may become more evident, with those holding similar titles sitting cheek by jowl with higher (or lower) salaried colleagues.

In general, though, we’re seeing some downward trending at the upper end of the  pay scale; the dotcom crash of the early 2000s, followed by the economic downturn has frozen starting salaries, and therefore anyone who started in the last dozen years has been affected.  Despite the impact of improved bottom lines due to the efficiencies of digital publishing, many younger director level employees are earning far less than their older colleagues might have when at the same level. Decreased opportunities seem to have shifted the leverage so that there are more applicants ready to take lower salaries and publishers are quick to take advantage of this.

It will be intriguing to see how this newer generation of managers and directors fares as they climb to higher positions.