People Round-Up, Early March 2016


Steve Wasserman will join Heyday Books as Publisher and Executive Director in July, succeeding Founder Malcolm Margolin, who retired at the end of 2015. Wasserman was previously Yale University Press Editor-at-Large and Los Angeles Times Book Review Editor. Heydey’s Editorial Director Gayle Wattawa will be Interim Publisher and Director of Nature and Environmental Publishing. Lindsie M. Bear will serve as Interim Executive Director in the meantime.

Matthew Shatz is the SVP of Sales and Business Development at Open Road Integrated Media. He was previously Chief Revenue Officer at Oyster.

In children’s publishing, Julie Matysik will join Running Press Kids as Editorial Director in mid-March. She was previously Editorial Director at Sky Pony Press. . . Marlo Scrimizzi joined Highlights Press as Editor. He was Associate Editor at Running Press Kids. . . At Scholastic, Nicholas Thomas joined as Publishing Manager for Chicken House and David Fickling Books. He was previously Editorial Assistant at Bloomsbury. . . Jade Yeung joined little bee books as Production Coordinator. She was formerly Production Associate at Norton. . . Senior Editor Sharyn November’s position at Viking Children’s has been eliminated. She can be reached at [email protected].

Mike Conway is now IT Director of Chronicle Books. He was Director, CRM and Analytics at Bare Escentuals.

Vanessa Kehren joined The Overlook Press as Editor. She was previously Editor at Blue Rider Press.

Shara Zaval joined Faber & Faber as US Publicity and Marketing Manager. She was most recently Editorial Manager of and at the Book Report Network.

Michelle Dellinger joined Sourcebooks as Managing Editor. She was Managing Editor at Software Services. Additionally, Monika Ebly joined as Licensing and Strategic Partnerships Manager. She was Program Manager at Media Star Promotions.

At agencies, Hilary Pecheone is now Director of Brand Development at New Leaf Literary & Media She was Senior Marketing Manager at Practising Law Institute. . . Paul Stevens joined Donald Maass Literary Agency as Agent. He was previously Editor at TOR and Quirk Books. . . Courtney Miller-Callihan opened the Handspun Literary Agency in San Diego. She was previously Agent at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. . . Ryann Stevenson Wahl is now Foreign Rights Manager and Literary Agent at Holloway Literary. He was previously Literary Scout at Jane Starr Literary Scouts. . . Teresa Kietlinski launched Bookmark Literary, which will be dedicated to children’s books.

Jeff Golick joined Dover Publications as Acquisitions Editor. He was previously Publishing Director at Dreamscape.

Anne Brewer joined Crooked Lane Books as Senior Acquisitions Editor. She was previously Editor at Thomas Dunne Books and Minotaur.

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The AAP 2016 General Annual Meeting

The Annaapual Meeting of the Association of American Publishers got off to a strong start with timely and persuasive talks from Daniel Marni, US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for the US government and Carolyn J. Ross, Professor of Law at The George Washington University and author of Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students’ First Amendment Rights, published last year by Harvard University Press.

Marni, who was sworn in about a year ago, oversees key committees with representatives from multiple agencies, all with an eye toward protecting intellectual property from piracy of all kinds. He works closely with the AAP and is a strong advocate for publishers’ issues which have expanded exponentially with the advances in technology. Much of what he described was not controversial for those in the audience who have much at stake in developing strategies for both legislative reform and constant vigilance of abuse around the world. In fact, Marni noted, that his appointment was approved unanimously in the house, suggesting that content protection is one rare, truly, non-partisan issue.

That said, Marni’s plea at the end of his presentation, for more insight into the data behind abuse might touch off some privacy issues. He described the frequent culling done at major credit card companies and internet giants such as Google to cut off users and sites that have evidence of unlawful dissemination of copyrighted material but said that without at least generalized information about the geographic and financial make-up of those accounts, the government cannot pursue offenders as effectively as he would like. He was quick to say they only want anonymous data but it still remains an open debate and, according to Marni, limits the agency’s abilities to pursue those who are abusing the law. He anxiously suggested that the private sector is a key factor in helping the government combat the problem.

Carolyn Ross’s presentation was received very attentively as she articulated a surprising reality in schools across the country. Over the past 60 years, the definition of free speech has been modified in various court decisions so as to grant public schools some room to exercise control over that which appears in their official communication vehicles. But, as Ross pointed out with numerous examples, the exceptions are very limited and most school officials are woefully uninformed on the particulars.

As a result, there are hundreds of outrageous cases of suspension, expulsion, and forced school reassignments all because a parent complained to a principal who took inappropriate action.

The examples Ross cited were shocking to the audience and she suggested she could have spent the whole day describing case after case of absurd and extreme over-reaction to student actions. The audience listened raptly and, as one said, “I’m going out to buy your book as soon as I leave.”

International Bestsellers, February 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: Holland and Ireland. 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.







Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 2/22-2/26

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.

Why shouldn’t we worry about teenagers’ reading habits?

How are the “girl” titles more than just a marketing trend?

Why is DC’s reorientation of its comics line controversial to its audiences?

Brooklyn Magazine interviewed 50 people involved in different aspects of the book world about the importance of diversity in publishing.

What makes reading different for children vs. adults?

Freelance Publicists Contact Sheet 2016

Publishing Trends’ annually updated contact sheet of freelance book publicists includes 73 firms and individuals specializing in a wide range of genres and approaches. The majority of the publicists listed use both traditional and digital approaches, plus we’ve included two digital-only publicists who specialize in various aspects of online and social marketing and publicity. Each firm chooses a few specialties to list here. To download a PDF of the whole sheet, click below.

Freelance Publicists Contact Sheet 2016

Click on the image of the chart above for a full PDF version of the 2016 sheet.

Updated 4/21/2016 to include cjPurdy PR, Erin Kottke Public Relations, and Two|pr.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 2/15-2/19

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.

What kinds of incentives would people need to upgrade their ereader?

How can publishing houses and librarians work together to benefit each other?

Does Netflix need Amazon to survive?

Are children’s book titles becoming increasingly more unimaginative?

Do men and women read differently?

People Round-Up, Mid-February 2016


Lisa Lucas will become the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation in Mid-March, taking over for Harold Augenbraum. She is the Publisher of Guernica magazine and a nonfiction co-chair for the Brooklyn Book Festival.

Mary Ann Naples will become VP, Publisher at Disney Book Group in Mid-March. She was previously SVP, Publisher at Rodale Books. Meanwhile, Gail Gonzales will be promoted to VP, Publisher at Rodale.

Diane Blough was named Director, Category Marketing at Random House Children’s. She was most recently an Independent Marketing Consultant. Rachel Bader joined Random House Children’s as Director of Licensing She was previously Director of Licensing at Prometheus Global Media.

Donald Roseman joined Ingram as VP, Retail. He was previously General Manger and SVP, Sales and Business Development at Goodbaby International Holdings.

At agencies, Jessica Woollard joined David Higham Associates as Agent. She was previously Agent at the March Agency. . . Starting in March, Marianne Merola will be Translation Rights Representative for the Joy Harris Literary Agency, in addition to her current responsibilities as Foreign Rights Director at Brandt & Hochman.

Amy Jarashow is now Licensing Director, North America at Parragon and Wild & Wolf. She was Head of Business Development at IQ License.

Robert Spizer is now Subrights Manager at Diversion Books He was previously Group Director, Domestic Rights at HarperCollins.

Sarah Janet has joined Open Road Integrated Media as a Marketing Manager. Most recently she was a copywriter at Scholastic, and a Marketing Manager at Penguin.

Chris Evans joined Skyhorse as Senior Editor. He was most recently at Stackpole. Additionally, Lauren Jackson is now Senior Publicist. She was previously Publicist at William Morrow.

Allyson Rudolph has left her position as Associate Editor at Overlook Press. She can be reached at [email protected].

Matthew Lockhart is now Publisher, Standard Lesson Commentary, Bible-in-Life curriculum, and Adult Trade Book Resources at David C Cook. He was previously VP, General Manager and Publisher at Standard Publishing.

Don D’Auria left his position as Editor at Samhain Publishing. He can be reached at [email protected].

Seth Dellon joined Foreword Reviews as Director of Audience Development. He was previously Digital Business Manager at Publishers Weekly.

Carolyn Pittis rejoined publishing consulting firm Welman Digital. She was most recently VP, Operations at Sterling Publishing.

Read More »

Despite Their Differences, Digital Kids and Toy Fair Cheerfully Co-Exist

For the last four years Toy Fair and Digital Kids have been held in tandem, the Fair taking up the entire exhibition space at Javits, and Digital Kids being held downstairs in one of the large conference rooms.  With about 150 attendees, Digital Kids doesn’t compete with Toy Fair, with its estimated 33,000 visitors.  This year there was also a consumer component — Play Fair — presented by LEGO and Nickelodeon, along with “participating brands” like Hasbro, Mattel, Marvel, Cartoon Network, Crayola, Bandai, Toys”R”Us® and Warner Bros.

Toy Fair attracts a modest number of book publishers, most of whom were located on “publishers row,” below the main exhibition space, along with the wooden toys, Lego knock-offs and board games.  On the plus side, there was much more to see; unlike the aisles where Mattel, Crayola and Tomy resided, visitors could look at the products, which were not hidden behind walled fortresses as many of the big guys were.

Downstairs, Macmillan and HarperCollins were almost cheek-by-jowl, displaying books that were a mixture of classics and new.  Walter Foster/Quarto, which had a nice space (and great bags), was hyping Footloose, a book-and-CD package, with Kenny Loggins singing. Silver Dolphin/Thunder Bay Books, down the aisle from the others, was highlighting the Animal Adventures 3D books. National Geographic and Albert Whitman (promoting Boxcar Children) had small booths on the row, although the former had partners all around the convention center who featured their products.

At Digital Kids, literacy and reading were mentioned – but not a book or author’s name passed the speakers’ lips.  Still, there were some interesting presentations and stats:  Maria Bailey from BSM Media talked about millennial moms’ quest for “connected” toys, games and apps, and noted that 65% of moms look for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) content, though almost a third want toys to promote creativity.

Alice Kahn, a YouTubeKids advisor, made a plea to let small kids have the chance to experience “object manipulation in 3D,” saying it was critical to a child’s development.  There was much discussion during the two days about the balance (which Amanda Gummer, from Fundamentally Children HQ called the “play diet”) between physical and digital, and education and entertainment.  Dust or Magic’s Warren Buckleitner went further, asking his app developer panelists how they could make money while maintaining ethical standards.  Most said they didn’t sell products – but made them available if a child wanted new apps.  All the developers decried free apps, which makes it difficult to produce high quality games that can be monetized.  But Dr. Panda Games’ CCO Tom Buyckx said their apps, most of which are on a pay model, had been downloaded 50 million times – in 16 languages.

A panel on virtual badges and currency prompted the most tweets of the entire conference.  Tech journalist Robin Raskin talked about how to prepare kids for the coming cashless society.  One company, KidsNBids, offers a form of currency that can be used in educational games.  Choremonster gives kids points for helping out at home, which they can exchange for treats from their parents.

Just as Toy Fair was devoted to products sold at retail, most of the speakers at Digital Kids were squarely focused on the digital future – a chasm that was apparent when Wonder Toyshop CEO Vikas Gupta announced that soon “Software will power the heart that beats inside every toy.”

Somehow that might not sit too well with the $20 billion dollar industry that was showing off its wares upstairs.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 2/8-2/12

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. released its February 2016 report, which says that indie publishing sales are on the rise while the Big 5’s sales have been steadily dropping.

How can we fight ebook piracy spamming websites?

According to a survey from UK reading charity BookTrust, 76% of children under the age of eight prefer print books over digital when reading for fun.

What factors make readers recommend books to their friends?

Why are more bookstores a good idea for Amazon?