International Bestsellers, October 2016

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: Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. 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.







What Kids Want: Nielsen’s Children’s Book Summit 2016

Nielsen’s annual Children’s Book Summit took place on Oct 27th in Manhattan’s Financial District. With an overflow crowd in attendance, the daylong conference delivered information that went well beyond Nielsen’s own data and analytics. The day was filled with stats and information from a range of speakers on what kids are reading, what devices they’re using, and—to the surprise of many attendees— the role of YouTube in kids’ lives.

DubIt’s David Kleeman explained that today’s children use YouTube as Google because when they’re curious about something, they don’t want text: they want images, sound, and/or video. Kleeman went on to explain that YouTube is one of the most influential factors on children, second only to their friends. Later in the program, Nadine Zylstra, Head of Family Learning and Entertainment for YouTube Originals said, “Non-fiction is growing on YouTube because parents and kids watch together.” When some kids (who ranged from 2nd to 4th graders) showed up to tell attendees what technology they like and use, three out of the four children were enthusiastic YouTube watchers. Dog videos (pugs and Pomeranians, to be specific) were favorites among two of the children and another said he loved watching videos because “We can learn anything, and it’s fun.” As Zylstra explained, YouTube is popular with kids because it’s “so collaborative, so active, so engaging.”

Another common thread for the day was the tricky path of finding success in media directed at children that must also appeal to an older age group: parents. Betsy Loredo of Sesame Workshop explained “We know that kids learn best when their parents are in the room, but we must include content for parents. Otherwise it doesn’t get shared….We don’t exist if parents don’t share.” CJ Kettler, EVP of Consumer Brands and Strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, explained the difficulty of having profitable children’s technology products: “The content is always for the kids, but you need that moment when the device is in the parents’ hands. That’s the selling moment.” Nielsen Summit Chair Kristen McLean’s morning data presentation also highlighted the importance of parents and their kids.  In mentioning that the juvenile non-fiction category of Holidays and Celebrations is steadily growing, she explained that it is it’s an area where parents and family members are willing to invest money in high quality books to share. Additionally, she said that board books have been “exploding” in the last three years because parents see them as very affordable.

Toward the end of the day, attendees were presented with the data on an even trickier age group to understand: the millennial parent. (For this research, a millennial is considered someone aged 18-34.) While this presentation by Jordan Rost didn’t center specifically around books, it provided insight into what they value. Some takeaways were that millennials themselves are 24% of a global population. Also, they have less money, but they’re willing to spend more money on something if it’s high-quality and will last a long time. They want to be associated with “doing the right thing” and therefore be associated with companies with  sustainable missions. Perhaps one of the most important things that Rost shared about millennials is that “building communities and connections is what energizes” them.

Though each presentation and panel was different, each came back to the idea that there is a lot of high quality content out there for children – and their parents – and there’s a lot more of it to come. As ever, our challenge in the book industry is finding ways to get our content into their hands, on their smartphone screen, or even in a YouTube video.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 10/24-10/28

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.

Publishers could learn from the film industry as they develop subscription services.

Crime fiction is seeing more critical respect.

Why is digital content priced higher than the hard copy?

What role should the Copyright Office play at the Library of Congress?

Why are there so many “girls” in the titles of contemporary releases?

People Round-Up, Mid-October 2016


Abrams has announced two new imprints. Jess Brallier has been named Vice President, Publisher of Abrams Plus. He previously worked in marketing and as a publisher at Little, Brown, Addison Wesley, and Penguin, and as Publisher and President of the Family Education Network. Jamison Stoltz has been appointed Executive Editor for a soon-to-be-launched imprint focusing on narrative nonfiction. He previously worked as Senior Editor at Grove/Atlantic. Amy Vreeland has joined Abrams as Senior Managing Editor, children’s division. Previously she was managing editor at Farrar, Straus Children’s.

At Holt Children’s, Christian Trimmer will take over as Editorial Director on November 7, following a reorganization of that unit. He previously worked as Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster Children’s. Also in the children’s group, Laura Godwin is starting a Godwin Books imprint, reporting to Jean Feiwel. Editors Sally Doherty and Lauren Bisom are leaving the company.

At Penguin Random House, John Schline is stepping down after over three decades with both Penguin and Random House. He had most recently been Senior Vice President, Corporate Director Business Affairs, and will serve as a consultant through the end of 2016. David Sanford has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Executive Director, Contracts and Permissions Worldwide. He was previously Vice President/Director, Publishing Contracts.

At Open Road, Caroline Ziegler has joined as Director, Business Development. She was previously Director, Business Development at Yodle. Carolyn Cox has joined as editor of The Portalist, a new website for fans of “fans of science fiction, fantasy, and genre-related pop culture news.” She was previously Editor at The Mary Sue.

At Ecco, Martin Wilson is joining as Senior Publicity Manager.

Erin Kottke is joining Catapult as Director of Publicity effective October 24. Previously, she was head of Erin Kottke Public Relations.

Fiona Kennedy, former Managing Director and Publisher of Orion Children’s, will join Head of Zeus in 2017 to run their new children’s imprint, Zephyr.

At Chronicle Books, Brittany Boughter has joined as Marketing Manager, Entertainment and Art. She was most recently Digital Marketing Manager at Penguin Random House.

At Wiley, Judy Verses is joining as Executive Vice President, Research. She succeeds Philip Carpenter, who is retiring. Verses was previously President, Global Enterprise and Education, at Rosetta Stone.

At Rare Bird, Andrew Hungate has joined as Marketing and Publicity Director. He previously worked for Dalkey Archive Press as Marketing and Development Fellow.

Narda Zacchino has joined Los Angeles-based Heyday as Executive Editor. She previously worked at the Los Angeles Times, as Associate Editor and Vice President, and at the San Francisco Chronicle, as deputy editor.

At DK, Christi Sheehan has joined as Associate Publicist. She was previously Publicity Assistant at Harlequin.

Vicki Jaeger has joined Printers Row Publishing Group, a division of ReaderLink Marketing Services, as developmental editor for Portable Press. Vicki was marketing manager at Mattel Consumer Products, and most recently a licensing consultant for entertainment and consumer products companies.

Colton Long is now Project Coordinator at Insight Editions.

At agencies…Jessica Craig has launched her own international literary agency, Craig Literary, based in Barcelona. She was most recently an agent at the Pontas Agency. Sarah Bedingfield has joined Levine Greenberg Rostan as Associate Agent. She was previously Assistant Editor at Crown and Hogarth.

At Disney Publishing Worldwide, Jeanne Mosure is leaving her position as Senior Vice President & Group Publisher. She had been with the Walt Disney Company since 1998.

Kathy Schneider is leaving her position as Senior Vice President, Associate Publisher at HarperCollins. She may be reached at

Cristina Lee, Operations and Commercial Director of Harlequin for Australia and New Zealand, is leaving the company as it is integrated into the operations of HarperCollins.

Gregory Henry has left his position as Assistant Director of Publicity at Regan Arts and can be reached at

  Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 10/10-10/14

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.

Who are the stars of the audiobook world?

Indie ebooks don’t often use ISBNs, but there are compelling reasons to consider adding them.

A warning from Penguin Random House UK: publishing may “become irrelevant” if it fails to diversify.

Open educational resources are raising questions about copyright that affect publishers, too.

What is the difference in quality between self-publishing and traditional publishing?

The 2016 Book Distributors Profiles

Publishing Trends has assembled an updated version of our annual book distribution chart. The year’s largest change is Ingram‘s expansion after the purchase of Perseus.

We welcome your feedback to help make it more accurate and comprehensive. Please click the link below to download a PDF of this year’s Book Distributors Profiles and Contact Sheet.


Click on the image of the chart above for a full PDF version of the 2016 Distributor Profiles and Contact Sheet.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 10/3-10/7

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.

Just because a children’s book is a bestseller, does that make it good?

The National Book Foundation is sponsoring a study on translation in the United States.

The possible unmasking of Elena Ferrante spurred a lot of thinkpieces.

A new study from Bowker revealed that over 625,000 books were self-published last year.

What can big data do for educational publishing?

People Round-Up, Early October 2016


Brian O’Leary began as Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group on October 3, succeeding Mark Kuyper, who left after a year in the job.

Linda K. Zecher, President and CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, has left her position after five years. The Board of Directors has appointed L. Gordon Crovitz as interim CEO while a permanent replacement is found.

With the acquisition of Logical Marketing by OptiQly, Logical Marketing Founder and CEO Mike Shatzkin has assumed a seat on the OptiQly board and a long-term consulting agreement. Logical Marketing Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Pete McCarthy and Co-Founder and Director of Operations Jess Johns are now, respectively, Chief Product and Services Officer and Director of Marketing at OptiQly.

At Touchstone/S&S, Cara Bedick joined as Senior Editor. She was previously Senior Editor at William Morrow.

Amanda Bergeron joined Berkley as Executive Editor. She was previously at Morrow/Avon for eight years.

At Harmony Books, Alyse Diamond has joined as Associate Editorial Director. She was previously Editorial Director of Online Integrated Products at Rodale and launched their online learning program.

Rick Bunka is the new President and CEO of Nebraska Book Holdings. He had previously been President of New Dots LLC from January 2007 to February 2013 and served as its Chief Executive Officer until August 2012. Interim head Ben Riggsby will remain on the company’s board. He was appointed Interim President and CEO in early 2015.

At VitalSource, Jason White joined as Director, Sales Operations. He had most recently served as Vice President, Finance, with Expion. Tracy Schreiber joined as VP, Customer Success. She previously worked as Senior Director, Customer Success with Dude Solutions.

Hank Cochrane joined Macmillan as Senior National Account Manager. He most recently worked as VP, Sales Imprint Director at Penguin Random House. Cristina Cushing has been appointed National Account Manager. At Henry Holt, Jessica Wiener has been appointed Director of Marketing for adult trade. She previously worked as Director, Integrated Marketing, for Workman.

Lauren Velasquez has joined Little, Brown as Marketing Manager. Previously, she was Marketing Manager at Crown Publishing Group.

At agencies…Mackenzie Brady Watson has joined the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency as Literary Agent. She was previously Agent at New Leaf Literary & Media. Natasha Fairweather is joining Rogers, Coleridge & White as Agent and as a member of the board; she was previously at United Agents. David Granger has joined Kuhn Projects and Zachary Shuster Harmsworth as Agent after spending 19 years as Editor-in-Chief of Esquire. Grace Ross joined Regal Hoffman & Associates as Agency Assistant and Junior Assistant. Previously, she was at the Denise Shannon Literary Agency. William Lippincott is leaving Lippincott Massie McQuilkin at the end of 2016 to pursue other interests. The agency will become Massie McQuilkin & Co. Anna Knutson Geller has left The Book Group in order to found Write View, a literary agency with an emphasis on inspirational memoir, practical nonfiction, and spirituality.

Joan Strasbaugh has joined The Experiment as Senior Editor. She worked previously as Senior Editor with Abbeville Press.

Moira Kerrigan has returned to Workman Publishing as Associate Director of Marketing with a focus on the adult titles. 

At Lion Forge Comics, Andrea Colvin has joined as Senior Editor at Roar Comics. She was previously VP of content for the book division at Andrews McMeel Universal.

Amy Kosar is joining Chronicle Books as Distribution Client Account Manager after working at Photojojo as General Manager.

Becky Herrick, formerly of Scholastic, has joined Skyhorse as Editor at Sky Pony Press.

At The Nation, David Marcus has been named Literary Editor. He was previously Co-Editor at Dissent and succeeds John Palatella, who will serve as editor-at-large.

Darcy Cohan has joined Insight Editions as PR Director. She worked previously at HarperCollins, Chronicle Books, Perseus Books Group, and Princeton University Press and, most recently, as communications director for a Washington, DC political think tank.

At Catapult, Nicole Chung has joined as Managing Editor of the online magazine and writing community. She was previously Managing Editor at The Toast.

Chris Saynor will join EDItEUR as Standards Editor in November. He is currently metadata specialist and project manager at Giant Chair.

At Random House Children’s, Bob Bianchini has joined the art and design department as Designer.

Sarah Creech has joined Simon Pulse as Senior Designer; she was previously Designer at HarperCollins.

Megan Looney is joining Harper Audio as Marketing Associate. She has worked with HarperCollins since 2014, previously in legal. Claire McLaughlin has joined Little Bird Publicity as Assistant Publicist.

Read More »

Forty Years in the Book Industry

The annual Book Industry Study Group (BISG) meeting took place on September 30th – coincidentally on the eve of its new Executive Director Brian O’Leary’s first day in his new job, October 3rd.  Almost one hundred members and industry participants came for the program and to celebrate BISG’s 40th anniversary.  Awards were also given out, the first one to Ingram Content Group’s John Ingram for “Excellence,” rather than, as in prior years, for lifetime achievement.  In an upbeat and humorous speech, Ingram told the assembled that he much preferred the new description, as he didn’t intend to retire to the golf course any time soon.  He accepted the award “on behalf of the 3,400-plus people” who work at Ingram.

A panel discussion on how the industry is being transformed was moderated by Sourcebooks CEO Dominique Raccah, who later won a BISG Industry Innovation Award.  The participants, John Ingram, Overdrive’s Steve Potash, Firebrand’s Fran Toolan and HarperCollinsChantal Restivo-Alessi, talked about the opportunities and the issues facing publishing.  Restivo-Alessi focused on backlist and international, while Potash cited metadata.  Ingram urged publishers to take more chances, even at the risk of failure.

Wiley’s Peter Balis reviewed what had happened in the last year, and how the board and membership is expanding, both in numbers and the variety of companies they represent.  A panel moderated by Peter Hildick-Smith that included Jeff Abraham, Angela Bole, Ken Brooks and Maureen McMahon (the incoming Chair of the Board) talked about their respective memories of BISG over the past years.

Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer of the City of New York, was supposed to be the end of the day keynote but, no surprise, he was called away to tend to a city crisis.  So Brian O’Leary had a chance to tell the audience BISG’s plans for the future.  It will be, he said, the “information hub” for the industry and will help it become more efficient on a global basis.  His remarks were met with enthusiasm and (given the recent turnover) a sense of relief that BISG was in very good, and experienced, hands.