Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 7/20-7/24

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.

Does Amazon’s drive to innovate make it a better ally to authors and readers?

In terms of physical versus digital, are the struggles that the movie industry face similar to publishing?

Scholarly Kitchen considers the scale of the internet in regards to academic publishing.

What does it mean to be a woman in a high-level position in publishing?

How can podcasts help the magazine industry?

Columbia Publishing Course 2015 Super-Grad

It’s that time again! This year’s Columbia Publishing Course (formerly the Radcliffe Publishing Course) Graduates are an impressive bunch. As is our yearly tradition, we’ve culled the most remarkable and curious tidbits from the students’ biography to create one supernaturally talented candidate. With the exception of some connecting phrases, the words are the students’ own.


This year’s Typical Columbia Publishing Course Grad, let’s call her Genevieve, was born an accidental Canadian on her sister’s seventh birthday. She was named after a British girl who believed herself to be a dog. She grew up in a small town in Hometown, USA, but spent most of her youth pretending to be in Middle Earth, slaying orcs in live action role-playing games. Her first break in publishing came at the age of ten when she won a caption contest in Nickelodeon magazine. Genevieve has been playing guitar in various rock and heavy metal bands since she was eleven years old, and has been collecting theatre posters and Playbills since the age of 12.

In college, she was known as the opera-singing rugby player. Genevieve spent her days attending Jamaica Kincaid’s and Mary Gaitskill’s fiction workshops. During semesters abroad, she studied Jonathan Swift’s manuscripts at the Bodleian Library to determine if marks were commas or blotches, and excavated plague skeletons in Ireland. She published a study on the linguistics of college dating and cofounded an organization modeled after TED Talks. Her April Fools’ Day article “Nutella To Be Discontinued By The End Of 2015, Hearts Break Worldwide” captivated readers and grossed over one million views. To prove her commitment to paper, she once refused to download known doorstopper The Luminaries and instead carried it with her, in brick form, in a backpack around India.

After graduation, she became stage manager for a film production company and manager of the drummer-themed app launched by Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Genevieve, a woman of many talents, has also been a miniature train conductor, a beekeeper, and has sold books at Garrison Keillor’s bookstore. She tackled Mount Kilimanjaro and a 500-mile hike across Spain and was once evacuated from Beirut when the government there collapsed. At the White House, she analyzed constituent mail addressed to the president.

An equal opportunity reader, Genevieve is just as likely to pick up a Janet Evanovich novel as the latest Kazuo Ishiguro. She has a voracious appetite for food, and is a Yelp Elite. She keeps a word/phrase notebook as well as a “lookbook” full of aesthetic inspiration. She is fluent in Spanish, confident in Chinese, and prone to buying purses based on whether or not she can fit a book in them. Currently, she is learning to bind books and hopes to have a homemade collection of her own writing one day.

Genevieve ended six months backpacking around the Americas to attend the Columbia Publishing Course. She hopes to pursue a career in book publishing so she can give back to the literary community that has been like a second family to her over the years. She wants to edit heartbreaking works of staggering genius, to borrow a phrase from Dave Eggers.


To find out more about seeing participants’ resumes (or to read the real biographies) please contact Columbia Publishing Course Assistant Director, Stephanie Chan at (212) 854-9775 or swc37 at Columbia dot edu.

New York’s other major summer publishing course, New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute, celebrated its 37th year this summer. To learn more about NYU’s eligible grads or about the program, contact Executive Director Andrea Chambers at (212) 992-3226 or andrea.chambers at nyu dot edu.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 7/13-7/17

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.

Should publishers embrace EBSCO as a gatekeeper in the library market?

The demand for audiobook rights for self-published works has risen 58% over the first half of 2015, according to IPR License.

Can Amazon be legally accused of using its power to control book prices and limit competition?

How can authors reach their audiences through the web’s algorithm suggestions?

What marketing strategy did Rodale use to become such a large health and wellness media company?

People Round-Up, Mid-July 2015


Ronald D. Boire was named as the CEO, Retail Business of Barnes & Noble, effective in September. He is succeeding Michael Huseby, who will become Executive Chairman of Barnes & Noble Education. Boire is currently President and CEO of Sears Canada.

Ken Brooks joined Macmillan Higher Education as COO. He was SVP, Global Supply Chain Management at McGraw-Hill Education.

Mike Harpley is now Editorial Director at Atlantic Books. He was Editorial Director at Oneworld Publications.

Kristen McLean joined Nielsen as Director of New Business Development in the Book/Entertainment division. She is the Founder and CEO of the publishing research and analytics company, Bookigee Inc.

Kelly Bowen joined Arcadia Publishing and the History Press as Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications. She was previously Publicity Director at Algonquin.

At Crown Publishing Group, Ryan DeShon is now Front End Web Developer, Abbe Wright is Editorial Lead, Read It Forward, and Ariel Norwood is Community and Social Media Manager, Tastebook. DeShon was previously Senior Designer and Web Developer at Catapult, Wright was Contributing Editor at Glamour, and Norwood was Content & Social Media Strategist at Viyet.

Amy Cleary joined Chronicle Books as Marketing & Publicity Manager, Food and Drink. She was Store Manager at Omnivore Books.

Carla Bejan-Negru joined Sourcebooks as Editor, Gift and Calendars. She was previously Operations Product Manager at Publications International, Ltd.

Thea Kuticka is now Sales Director at Microcosm Publisher. She was Business Development Director at Craigmore Creations.

Colleen Andrews joined Bloomsbury Children’s as Designer. She was Production Editor at Oxford University Press.  Additionally at Bloomsbury, Ashley Poston joined as Marketing Designer.

At literary agencies, ICM announced a “succession plan” with The Helen Brann Agency, in which Helen Brann will continue to represent her clients along with ICM. . . Pete Knapp joined New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. as Agent. . . Kate Garrick is now Agent at The Karpfinger Agency. She is bringing over her clients from DeFiore and Company, where she was most recently Agent. . . DongWon Song joined Howard Morhaim Literary Agency as Agent. He was most recently Chief Product Officer at Zola Books.

Jim Lance joined Cornell University Press as Senior Acquisitions Editor for Social Sciences. He was Editor and Publisher at Kumarian Press.

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Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 7/6-7/10

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.

The New Yorker takes a look at the history and persistence of the literary magazine.

Is it time to rethink first serial rights given the prevalence of digital media?

Does the prominence of the English language make success for foreign authors near impossible?

How can the ever-changing world of licensed material help publishers grow?

Is Amazon censoring book reviews?

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 6/29-7/3

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.

What are the differences between Oyster’s and Amazon’s writer payment policies?

How can publishers get galleys to the people who will help boost buzz and sales?

What’s wrong with the culture of the publishing industry and how can it be changed for a more successful future?

Who is standing in the way of more diversity in children’s picture books?

Graphic novels and comics sales have increased significantly during the past two years, according to a report from ICv2 and Comichron.

People Round-Up, Early July 2015


Marian Brown is now Executive Publicist at Blue Rider Press and Plume. She was formerly Publicity Director at Bloomsbury. David Hawk joined Ten Speed Press as Senior Marketing and Publicity Manager. He was previously Marketing and Publicity Manager at Chronicle Books, specializing in food and drink titles.

Jeff James joined Thomas Nelson as VP, Marketing. He was CEO and Founder of Mythology LLC.

Sara Sargent joined HarperCollins Children’s as Executive Editor in a new role, publishing books created from or around digital and social media content. She was Editor at Simon & Schuster.

Kelly Bowen is now Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Arcadia Publishing and History Press. She was most recently Publicity Director at Algonquin Books.

Steven Sussman joined Skyhorse Publishing as Director of Sales. He was Director of Sales at Dover Publications.

In a reorganization of the US sales division, DK SVP, Sales Therese Burke and Director of Special Sales Vicki Korlishin’s positions have been eliminated. Burke can be reached at [email protected] and Korlishin at [email protected].

At Bloomsbury, Nick Parker is now Sales Director, Latin America, Caribbean, and Canada. He was Regional Sales Manager, Latin America and Caribbean at Oxford University Press. Sara Kitchen is now Senior Production Editor. She was previously Production Manager at Skyhorse. Additionally, Joe Kreuser joined as Marketing Manager for Philosophy, History, and Linguistics. He was Associate Marketing Manager at Taylor & Francis Group. Jessica Tackett is Conferences and Events Coordinator. She was Assistant Program Officer at Cultural Vistas. Donna Gauthier joined as Inventory Manager. She was Senior Inventory Manager at McGraw-Hill Education.

Andrew Knapp joined Wm. B. Eerdmans as Development Editor, Biblical Studies. He was Acquisitions Editor and Marketing Director at Eisenbrauns. Additionally, Alexander Bukovietski is now Production Editor. He was most recently Owner of the consulting firm In a Word.

Head of Bilheimer & Asssociates Roger Bilheimer, whose company handles the PR for Book Expo America, retired.

Yuka Igarashi joined publishing startup Catapult as Web Editor-in-Chief. She was Managing Editor at Granta.

Dennis Awsumb retired from his position as National Accounts Manager at Gibbs Smith.

Jackie Alston left her position as Social Media Manager at the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Tara Gonzalez, Erin Murphy’s Assistant, took over the position.

Antonella Iannarino launched consulting firm AI Strategic. She was previously Agent at the David Black Agency as well as Website and Social Media Manager.

Antonella Pearce joined IPR License as Business Development Manager. Formerly, she was Public Relations Manager at the Publishers Licensing Society.

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Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 6/22-6/26

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.

Should nonfiction authors only write the complete truth or should they be given some leeway for the sake of a more compelling story?

What can publishers learn from coders, and vice versa?

Why are bookstores any different from video stores in the digital revolution?

The CEO of Goodreads on how publishers can improve book discovery.

Millennials aren’t the primary demographic for ebooks, according to a report from Deloitte.

Technology and the Travel Guide


Fodor’s forthcoming guide for Cuba.

Not so long ago, one of the first steps to planning an upcoming trip was to go to the bookstore. Once the future traveler picked out where they wanted to go, travel guides helped them research and plan their trip. As with many things in publishing, the internet changed that. With the proliferation of websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other free-to-access review-based sites, consumers seemed to feel less and less inclined to buy books to help guide their travels.

While the rise of digital ruffled feathers across the publishing industry, travel guides took a significant hit. Jon Marcus wrote in the Boston Globe that travel guide sales sunk by 41% in the beginning years of the recession, which is more than double the loss that was felt by overall book sales. Many couldn’t pinpoint why travel guides in particular were hit so hard. Former director of Lonely Planet, Eric Kettunen said, “Many attributed this [loss] to the rise of ebook sales, but that wasn’t correct. It was the ease at which travelers could access destination content online, especially ‘perishable’ info like rates at hotels, prices at restaurants, etc.” While there is a need for perishable information, there is also a need for well researched information, and that’s what travelers began to realize. Slowly, but surely, sales are finally looking up, and that’s due in part to the fact that the physical guide has figured out how to coexist with a world full of free, digital information.

Amanda D’Acierno, SVP and Publisher of Fodor’s, spoke with me about how technology and travel guides can work together: “Print guidebooks and digital resources work in tandem…There’s nothing like having a print guidebook on the ground in a destination – no roaming charges or worrying about battery.” Of course, there’s more to it than battery power. Advances in digital technology have also been very helpful in the production of print guidebooks: “Our digital content complements our print content…We publish ebook editions of our guidebooks simultaneously or before the print edition.” Technology also helps with the agility of updating existing guides. D’Acierno told me that Fodor’s has “implemented a brand new custom content management system that allows us to be more nimble – not only will we be able to create new print guidebooks and quickly bring them to market, but also develop custom content.”

Digital technology lends a helping hand to the travel guide industry in another way: licensing opportunities. Pieter Van Noordenen, Director of Digital Development at Rowman & Littlefield told Publishers Weekly that they can “easily syndicate to third parties” like or

There’s a middle ground between digital and print to be found in the consumer-facing side of ebooks as well. There is room for a stranger’s Yelp review when a hungry traveler is already settled in to their hotel room, but they can check that review against formally published material as well. Bill Newlin, the publisher of Avalon Travel, said in Publishers Weekly that the ebook versions of their guides have “hyperlinked content listings and pan-and-zoom maps.”

While there is a glut of free online information available to travelers, the realization has settled in that just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it’s worthwhile.  “Smart travelers know that this unfiltered information gathered from average folks can’t compete with selective content compiled by pro writers such as those that work for say, Time Out, Frommer’s, Moon, Rick Steves or Lonely Planet,” said Kettunen.  Another aspect of all the free information out there is that you can never be sure who wrote it, or why. Sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp can be “manipulated by hotels and restaurants,” Arthur Frommer told Publishers Weekly in their most recent look at travel guides. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to know which comments are honest and which are fake.”

But are travel guides truly making a comeback in the face of our increasingly digital age? The best answer to that question is a little. The significant decrease in sales has slowed, and last year there was a 3% rise in travel guide sales according to Marcus’ Globe article.  (It’s important to note that this 3% increase does not include travelogs or travel memoirs, but applies strictly to the guide business. So  perennial travel-related favorites among book buyers like A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson or Into Thin Air would not affect the numbers). 3% is obviously not huge but take against the 41% slide between 2007 and 2012; it is certainly a good comeback.

The travel guide industry rebound from the recession is still ongoing, but it’s clear that this part of the industry has learned to embrace digital technology to make themselves flexible. Travel guides now aim to be agile in terms of the publishing print editions quickly and easily, syndicated content, and ebooks include links to helpful information and maps. Above all, travel guides are here to stay.