Not Quite the Same, Yet Not Quite Different: Publishers Weekly Global Kids Connect Conference

The United States boasts the largest book market in the world, and a significant part of that market is children’s books. But what are kids around the world reading? Do other children like to read the same things that Americans do? Attendees of yesterday’s Global Kids Connect Conference held at The Grand Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons can safely answer: yes and no.

Throughout the day many of the speakers emphasized local versus global voices. Julia Marshall from Gecko Press said during a panel on translation that she kept trying to acquire titles that would “blend in” with books from New Zealand, only to have a local librarian ask, “why would we want more of the same when we could have something new?” This mindset changed Marshall’s acquisitions strategy at Gecko. Earlier in the day, literary historian Leonard Marcus also extolled the importance of getting hyper-local stories out into the world. “The internet projects and amplifies these efforts,” he said.  In a later panel, Heather Lennon from NorthSouth Publishing noted that the increased access to global content has made it much easier to sell kids books with European themes in the US, much in the way watching foreign movies and tv shows on streaming services made them accessible to a US public.

There are of course some stories and categories that won’t work in certain countries. On a scouting panel deftly moderated by Ginger Clark, scouts Kalah McCaffrey and Rachel Hecht and agent Allison Hellegers shared what kinds of books simply don’t work abroad. “There are no circuses in Finland!” Hellegers laughed when recalling nonstarter book topics abroad. “Pig books don’t work in Israel, except Olivia, because she’s so charming,” Hecht mused.

But no matter how charming a book can be there’s the challenge of making a book work abroad when it must be translated. The answer to getting it right? — Make it the same, but different. Paolo Canton from Topipottori said that translators can use the illustrations in a book as a more significant guide to the story than the text. “You can change the text, but it must fit the illustration…If we have to sacrifice something, its faithfulness to the original and not the effect [of the story],” he said. Anthony Shugaar from Paraculture agreed saying, “If you try to get everything out of the original, you’ll fail.”

No matter what the story, no matter where the reader, one clear takeaway from the day’s presentations and panels is that kids are still reading. And more importantly, “kids like to read!” exclaimed David Kleeman from DubIt. Kleeman shared lots of fascinating data on children’s reading habits. He reported that 45% of kids across all age groups say they like to read when they have the time, and that 60% of children surveyed want to share a book that they’ve loved with friends, and that sentiment is something that will always be the same, no matter where.

People Round-Up, Early December 2015


Don Weisberg is now President at Macmillan, reporting to John Sargent and responsible for the management of Macmillan’s US trade publishing houses, the audio and podcast businesses, and the trade sales organization. He was President of Penguin Young Readers Group. Succeeding him as President is Jen Loja, previously SVP, Associate Publisher of PYRG.

Dan Verdick was name Director of National Sales at Bookmasters. He was previously VP, National Accounts for Children’s Plus.

Hilary Redmon is now Executive Editor at Random House. She was Executive Editor at Ecco.

Caitlin Ellis left her position as Manager, Domestic Rights at HarperCollins to move to Boston. She can be reached at [email protected].

Michael Harnaga-Rentas is now Director of Sales and Inventory Analysis at Perseus Books Group. He was previously CFO at Skyhorse.

Pamela Schecter is now Publishing Manager at The Experiment. She was formerly Production Director at Black Dog & Leventhal.

Beth Sochacki joined Sourcebooks as Marketing and Publicity Manager of the Casablanca imprint. She was most recently Associate Consultant at Douglas Shaw & Associates.

Jade Roth was name SVP, Strategy & Content at Flat World Knowledge. She was previously VP, Books, Digital Strategy and Chief Product Officer at Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Additionally, Bill Barke has joined the company as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. He was formerly Chairman of Pearson Higher Education.

Emma Boyer joined Zest Books as Publicity Manager. She was Publicist at Algonquin.

Christopher Rhodes is now Agent at The Stuart Agency. He was previously Agent at the James Fitzgerald Agency.

Jennifer Stokes returned to Kids Can Press as Editor after leaving the company to pursue freelance work.

Rina Ranalli joined Chicago Humanities Festival as Authors Group Program Manager. She was Authors Group Program Manager at Union League Club of Chicago.

Dennis Drabelle has retired from his position as Mysteries and Thrillers Editor at the Washington Post after 31 years at the paper.

Ksenia Winnicki has returned to Macmillan as Senior Publicist at Tor Books. She was most recently Publicist at Simon & Schuster Children’s, and previously worked at Macmillan Children’s.

Anna Dobben joined Knopf as Publicist. She was Publicity Assistant at Basic Books.

Vicki Lansky will retire from the parenting and household publisher Book Peddlers in January. Her assistant Dian Schwarze will become the new Publisher and Owner, while Lansky will act as Consultant to the company.

Stan Jantz is now Executive Director of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association after serving as the Interim Director.

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International Bestsellers, November 2015

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: Brazil and Switzerland. 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 11/23-11/27

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 can publishers do to make digital better complement print for readers?

Publishing Perspectives published a comprehensive guide to license purchase models for publishers and libraries.

How can booksellers use tags to clarify book classifications when genres fail to do so accurately?

Is interactive fiction the future of digital publishing, even though most traditional publishers have stopped looking into them?

What steps should a self-published author take to create quality art books?

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 11/16-11/20

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.

Are books by YouTube stars the next big trend in publishing?

A Nielsen report shows that self-published titles take up almost 20% of US book sales.

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the continuing conundrum of bestselling books and their unlikely counterparts: books with very similar titles.

When did books start turning into board games?

Should automated book marketing strategies be embraced or feared?

Books “Plus” = Complex

ABPAlogoOn November 18, the Association of American Book Producers (ABPA) hosted a panel onDeveloping Winning Kits for Kids and Adults.”  The three panelists, ably moderated by Karen Matsu Greenberg, were Richard Burgess, Associate Director Manufacturing Planning at Scholastic, Nanette Delumpa-Roach, the Director of Vendor and Product Compliance at Barnes & Noble and Brooke Lindner, Director of Product Development for Kits and Gifts at Parragon International.

Each panelist gave a presentation about his or her company and job.  Burgess talked about sourcing product for Scholastic, mostly in Asia (although less now from southern China because of wages and tariffs on dumping), and primarily for the clubs and fairs.  Lindner showed product from Parragon’s many lines including its own brands like Craft Factory, which has moved out of the book aisles and into toy and craft sections.  But licenses are a huge part of Parragon’s business, and Disney products can produce stratospheric sales:  a Disney Princess “happy tin” containing books, stickers and felt pens, has sold a million units in the UK so far (it’s coming to the US in January).  And when a product is successful, the package is reproduced for other licenses.

In fact, given the labor and logistics involved in producing book/kits, the panelists agreed that successful formats should be applied to as many licenses and material as possible.  At the same time, B&N’s Delumpa-Roach cautioned that U.S. laws make both producers and retailers responsible for the materials that go into any product, regardless of the age of the target market.  The audience, many of them packagers, asked all three panelists detailed questions about responsibility and liability, and were assured that, once the files were sent to the publisher, their hard work was done.  Still, finding a winning format that can be produced safely, cheaply and on schedule, provoked one audience member to mutter: “It makes producing a book seem pretty easy.”

People Round-Up, Mid-November 2015


Miriam Parker joined HarperCollins’ Ecco imprint as Associate Publisher. She was previously Marketing Director at Little, Brown.

Additionally at HarperCollins, Harper Paperback and Perennial Editorial Director Cal Morgan will leave his position at the end of this week after 16 years, and will be taking some time off.

As posted earlier, Libby McGuire will step down as EVP and Publisher at Ballantine Bantam Dell at the end of 2015. She can be reached at [email protected].

At Crown, Kevin Callahan joined as Marketing Director of Crown, Hogarth, Tim Duggan Books, and Broadway. He was Associate Publisher of It Books at HarperCollins. Additionally, Kelsey Lawrence joined as Marketing Manager for Archetype and Three Rivers Press. She was previously Associate Marketing and Digital Strategy Manager at St. Martin’s Press.

Millicent Bennett is now Executive Editor at Grand Central Publishing. She was previously Senior Editor at Simon & Schuster. Also at Hachette, Maggie Southard joined Little, Brown as Publicist. She was Associate Publicist at Knopf.

John Joseph Adams joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as Editor-at-Large, running the company’s new science fiction and fantasy line, the first three titles of which will be reissued print versions of Hugh Howey’s SHIFT, DUST, and BEACON 23.

Ronit Wagman left her position as Senior Editor at Nan A. Talese/Doubleday to work as a freelance editor. She can be reached at [email protected].

Macmillan COO Peter Garabedian will retire from his position at the end of December after 16 years.

At Melville House, Chad Felix is now Manager of Direct Sales and Library Marketing. He was Bookseller at WORD Bookstores and Digital Coordinator for the New York Public Library. Ena Brdjanovic also joined as Director of Digital Marketing and Editor of the company’s blog, MobyLives. She was Digital Marketing Coordinator for HarperCollins. Additionally, Kait Howard is now Publicist. She was previously Publicist at Hudson & Thames.

At literary agencies, Wendy Levinson is rejoining Harvey Klinger in the newly created role of Director of Development, beginning at the end of November. She will seek new clients for the agency, focusing on adult fiction and nonfiction, and occasionally YA or middle grade. . . Rachel Burkot joined Holloway Literary as Agent. She was Editor at Harlequin. . . Fuse Literary promoted Connor Goldsmith and Sara Sciuto to Agents. . . Jake Bauman joined New Line in the newly created position of Literary Scout. He previously worked as a Literary Scout for Chernin Entertainment. . . Adriann Ranta is now at Foundry Literary + Media, bringing her clients from Wolf Literary Services with her. . . Anna Stein will join ICM as Agent in their New York office in December. She was previously Agent at Aitken Alexander, where she opened and ran their New York office.

Emily Cervone joined Chronicle Books as Trade Sales Representative, New England. She was Trade Sales Representative at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Colleen Lindsay is now Senior Marketing Manager at Open Road Media. She was Associate Director of Marketing, Social Media and Reader Experience at Berkley/NAL.

Jason Kincade joined Parson Weems Publisher Services as Sales Representative, New York City. He was previously Director of East Coast Operations at Pacific Beach Vinyl.

David Ivester joined digital publisher Reputation Books as Marketing and Publicity Director. He was Marketing and Publicity Manager at Oceanview Publishing.

Elizabeth Rine joined IglooBooks as US Sales Manager. She was Sales Associate at Macmillan.

Janea Brachfeld joined Storey Publishing and Timber Press as Trade Sales Coordinator. She was previously National Accounts Coordinator at Macmillan.

Lisa Sitlwell joined Howard Books as Senior Editor. She was most recently Senior Acquisitions Editor, Gift Books at HarperCollins Christian.

Jolene Barto joined Turner Publishing as Marketing Coordinator. She was Communications Associate at HarperCollins Christian.

Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 11/9-11/13

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.

Is it possible that ebooks will go from 5% to 25% of India’s total book sales in the next two to three years?

According to a Nielsen industry report, the deciding factor for consumers when choosing between print and ebook is price.

Digital audio remains the fastest growing trade format, and other industry trends are noted in the latest Association of American Publishers sales and revenue report.

Why did Oyster fail, and how are ebook sales doing in general?

How are Instagram and Tumblr affecting the popularity of poetry?

Office Space Available for Rent at Market Partners International


Market Partners International, the publishing consulting firm, has flexible office space for rent in New York City.

If you have meetings or work that takes you here, our offices, located near Grand Central Terminal, at 37th and Madison, boast a lovely conference room as well as a small office and desks for up to 3 additional people.

If you are interested in discussing an arrangement for sporadic (or regular) use, please give us a call at 212-447-0855 or send an email to [email protected].

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 11/2-11/6

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 responsibility do writers have to interact with their readers?

What are the struggles of publishing art news in an increasingly digital age?

Bloomberg takes a look at the future of academic journals.

Do a person’s reading habits change as they age?

Studies show that ereader ownership has fallen.