International Bestsellers: Double Dose

Twice the Trouble In France and Norway

Reminiscent of a campus novel by David Lodge, Helene Uri’s The Best Among Us presents a picture of contemporary life in the Norwegian university scene. If anyone is familiar with this setting, it’s Helene Uri. A linguist and writer, she resigned from her university job several years ago after becoming fed up with the politics and pandering necessary to get ahead in the field. This critique in the guise of a novel focuses on Pål and Nanna, researchers at the prestigious Insitute of Futuristic Linguistics, who are at work on a very large and very important project on how language will look in the future. All goes relatively well until Pål falls for the fifty-year-old professor, Edith Rinkel, whose moral compass points in a dubious direction when it comes to satiating her passion for research. She will go to any length to fulfill her goals and, unfortunately for Pål, she happens to have a penchant for young men. One critic describes The Best Among Us as “a wealth of satirical sketches…and a sparkling source of philological humor in its broadest sense.” Uri receives letters daily from academics and non-academics alike who, according to her agent, “confide in her [their] stories about intrigues, camaraderie, jealousy and envy from their workplace.” Uri reports that “I thought that I was grossly exaggerating and distorting in my novel, but the stories that my readers have given me after having read my book are by far surpassing my plot.” A bestseller since publication in June and a selection of Norway’s largest book club, the Norske Bokklubben, the novel has been well received in Norway with over 13,000 trade copies sold and another 20,000 to book clubs. Rights have been licensed to Klim (Denmark).

From the cerebral world of Norwegian academia, we move to the people’s Norway of Kjartan Fløgstad. Another bestseller from Gyldendal, Grand Manila tells the story of five families living in the author’s hometown of Sauda in western Norway during the 1950’s. Traveling through time and geography, the novel hits various moments in the lives of the local families and follows them as they travel around the world from the Finnish Civil War to the Kanawha Valley in West Virginia. The Grand Manila, the preeminent café back in Sauda, serves as the nexus for action and history. It stands as a backdrop for social change brought about by the new post-war economy. Fløgstad points a critical lens at post-industrial society in previous work as well, often siding with the oppressed and under-privileged rural family as it transitions from a provincial to industrialized life. Having won numerous awards, among them the Nordic Council Prize, the author is one of Norway’s most influential writers. Rights have been licensed to Times are Changing in Denmark. Contact Eva Lie-Nielsen (eva.lie-nielsen@gyldendal.no) for information on both Grand Manila and The Best Among Us.

The turbulent mind and complex emotional life of French writer Christine Angot serves as the exotic locale in her latest novel Rendez-Vous. “Irritating, compelling, like always” says a critic, the novel stars a fictional writer named Christine Angot who bears an uncanny resemblance to the author herself. A peeve for some critics, Angot conflates her personal history with that of her characters and the lives of past figures in literature, most controversially in a group of texts written in the late 90’s in which she writes of an incestuous relationship with her father. In Rendez-Vous, Christine becomes entangled in an affair with Éric Estenoza, a charming actor who’s been obsessed with the writer for six years. They meet at a double reading where their intense connection crackles over the audience, turning the beginning of their romance into both a public and private experience. His adoration consummated, Éric hastily leaves his wife to join in a heady intellectual and emotional union with Christine. Doubts, fears, and obstacles soon confront the lovers and the novel follows the abstract paths they take to simultaneously escape and explore each lurid stage of their romance. Published in August, Rendez-Vous has sold over 30,000 copies. All rights available. For more information, contact Patricia Stansfield (pstansfield@flammarion.fr).

Another French writer, Jean-Yves Cendrey, reveals a similarly conflated experience of abuse and pedophilia in last year’s Living Toys (l’Olivier). After the author moves to a small French village with his wife, the renowned writer Marie N’Diaye, and his family, he finds out his children’s schoolteacher has been molesting students for almost 30 years. Sickened by his discovery, Cendrey becomes even more outraged when he realizes the townspeople are aware of the crime, but haven’t acknowledged it or even believed the victims’ stories. He takes matters into his own hands, interviewing past students, combing through records, and finally, in what became a much-publicized event in France, driving the perpetrator to the police station. Divided into three distinct sections, Living Toys describes the reality of pedophilia through memoir, fiction, and factual account. Himself a victim of abuse, Cendrey struggles with the decision to attend the funeral of his violent father in the first section, then gives a fictional account of the small town in Normandy, and finally reports on the apprehension and trial of the perpetrator (who is ultimately sentenced to 15 years in prison). According to a critic, Cendrey “denounces the cowardice of adults, the indifference and silence that makes them accessories to the crime. And, also, reveals the necessity, the beauty of indignation and rage.” Contact Virginie Petracco at vpetracco@seuil.com for information.

Austrian author Arno Geiger won last year’s first German Book Prize with We’re Doing Well (see PT April 06) and this year, it’s possible another foreign-born writer could nab the 37,500 euro prize (for the best novel written in German). First time novelist Saša Stanišić, one of six German-language authors who has made it to the shortlist, was fourteen when his family emigrated from Višegrad, Bosnia to Germany during the Yugoslavian civil war. How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone (Random House Germany) tells a story not so different from the author’s own. The protagonist, Aleksandar, grows up in provincial Višegrad where he has a tough time keeping his imagination in check and conforming to the small town’s conventions. When the war finally arrives in the village, Aleksandar’s family flees to Germany where his knack for story-telling helps keep Bosnia alive for them. Eventually, Aleksandar returns to his childhood home and must confront the aftermath of a harsh war. With a following in Germany and Austria, Stanišić bagged the Readers’ Favorite award at the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Wettbewerb competition in 2005 and was recently named the official writer for the town of Graz. Though no deals have been signed yet, major French, British, and American publishers have shown significant interest. Five Dutch publishers are currently vying for the title and an Icelandic deal is wrapping up as well.

Following Geiger’s win last year, rights were licensed in twelve countries including China and Russia but not the US or UK. Contact Gesche Wendebourg (gesche. wendebourg@ randomhouse.de).

Desperately Seeking Sales

PT Examines the Non-Traditional Publishing Spectrum; Major Houses Ramp Up Custom

Forget public service announcements: The American Heart Association wants you to know that Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s first boyfriend had Wildberry Skittles breath. As part of their effort to get women “to band together to wipe out heart disease” the AHA and national sponsor Macy’s commissioned a book from Chronicle about celebrity first kisses (Kiss & Tell, Valentine’s Day 2007) which will be sold exclusively in Macy’s stores. It includes first kiss anecdotes from a number of celebs including Paris Hilton, Katie Couric, Kelly Ripa and Jane Seymour.

Welcome to the world of custom publishing.

While traditional efforts to create saleable products for the non- traditional market have historically come out of packagers (like Weldon Owen’s relationship with Williams-Sonoma and the Body Shop), and smaller book plus publisher/packagers (like Melcher Media and Running Press), today major publishers are reinvigorating their efforts and resources to expand non-traditional custom endeavors.

Random House has gone so far as to create a Custom Media Division headed by David Arcara which offers multi-platformed content including web components for exclusive client use.

“In large corporations, you need to show growth, and that growth isn’t coming from traditional markets,” says Stephen Weitzen, SVP Publisher of Simon Scribbles who manages Simon & Schuster CDP (Customer Driven Publishing) on the children’s side. “For us, CDP is always a non-returnable business…a way to sell a million books non-returnable.”

He explained that CDP could be anything – custom made for a retailer, a quick service restaurant, consumer packaged goods. “It could be shrinking down a Blue’s Clues book and packaging it with Blue’s Clues diapers. It could be making a book for a vitamin company, a cereal company, making something bigger, something smaller, personalizing it, extracting a chapter of a book for a charity organization,” he said. “That’s the thing about CDP, and premium, and promotional – in theory when I sit in my office and look out the window at all of the other office buildings, they’re all potential customers.”
In short, anything goes, and as publishers are forced to become increasingly inventive to compete in an ever hostile and dwindling retail environment, once strict lines in the marketplace have blurred.

Where the Client is King

Catherine Huchting, Director of Business Development Custom Publishing at Chronicle, says that since she joined the company two years ago custom clients and revenue have doubled in growth. Chronicle often creates custom content for clients (ranging from hotels to restaurants to wineries to packaged goods companies to cultural institutions) but repurposes material as well. Regardless of distribution differences and repurposed vs. original material, all of the projects fall under the custom publishing department (made up of six full time staffers and various freelancers). “The client drives the project,” Huchting said – noting that each project is tailored to fit their needs, and therefore variable.

Along the lines of HarperCollinsSaks Fifth Avenue partnership (which produced the well-publicized branded custom children’s book Cashmere if You Can last holiday season and has plans for another this year), Chronicle produced a series of three GAP branded children’s books exclusively for the babyGAP stores.

In addition to creating branded material for exclusive retail, Chronicle went a step further in partnering with Williams-Sonoma to create “single subject” books for individual Williams-Sonoma products. When Williams-Sonoma came out with a new waffle iron, for example, Chronicle made the Waffle book to be sold alongside of it, eventually distributed into the general trade market.

Andrea Rosen, VP Special Markets at HC said, “Books often complement other products in specialty stores so we help them to complete the story in the stores.” HC, which is currently working on a book about the Rockettes in conjunction with Madison Square Garden Entertainment (to be sold at Radio City and to the trade) began their custom initiatives two years ago as part of their Publishing + push.

Frank Fochetta, President of Special Sales at S&S, described S&S’s Custom Publishing like a decision tree of sorts. At the top, there’s overall custom publishing – anything that sales does in concert with the customer that raises the opportunity to alter, or change a book. “The change emanates out of a discussion between sales and the customer rather than out of a list.” Then there’s proprietary, which Fochetta defines as any use of the backlist – reformatting existing content. For all of it, special sales is the driver, Fochetta said. “We’re often in the position to deal with companies and get into conversations with their agenda. We sit in conversation with the customer.”

Packagers, of course, are still in the game. Philip Lief, founder of The Philip Lief Group, a Custom Multimedia Developer and Book Producer, is teaming with Glaxo Smith Kline to produce a new weight loss book The Alli Diet Plan – for Glaxo’s Alli diet pill – to be published by Meredith next Spring. Lief, Meredith and Glaxo are currently in the process of planning the cross-promotion of the pill and the book which will be distributed to numerous chains, both traditional and non-traditional outlets, (book stores, drug stores, big box stores, etc.) which are buying in healthy numbers.

The recently Bonnier -acquired Weldon Owen has built a mini branded empire packaging proprietary and custom work for companies like Williams-Sonoma, The Body Shop and 3M’s Post-It Notes as well as special sales into B&N (repurposed books, especially reference books like Atlases, children’s books, etc.). In addition to their packaging business, Weldon Owen operates Fog City Press as well, a value publishing division that creates books (using repurposed Weldon Owen content) under its own imprint primarily for promotional channels.

PerseusRunning Press, famous for its Miniature Books, and kits customizes its content frequently for companies, brands, products and individuals, although the customization rarely ventures beyond the “four covers.” “We do some completely custom projects,” J. McCrary, Senior Director of Special Markets at Perseus said, “but you need the time and the staff. It’s usually not cost-effective for us to make a whole new book for one client.” Even before a book is originally published, McCrary says that Special Markets is always looking for possible custom options in the future. “I’ll work with the designers to create a cover that will allow me to drop in logos later,” she said.

Technology has also allowed RP to offer a line of customizable miniature editions called Special Favors (in the process of becoming its own company) which offer personalizable mini editions (e.g. The Purpose Driven Life, to Girlfriends, to Little Book of Hannukah) for individual events (e.g. weddings, Batmitzvahs, etc.) the “Custom Miniature Editions” cost between $4.76 and $5.95 per guest, with a minimum of a 10 book purchase.

“It’s an extension of what certain aspects of special markets has been doing for years,” said Barbara O’Shea, President of Non-Traditional markets at Penguin (which is also ramping up custom initiatives). “It’s a terrific growth area, and there’s still the potential for much more.”

Bookview, October 2006

PEOPLE

David Nudo has left The NYT where he was Managing Director of book advertising to become Publisher of Publishers Weekly assuming overall business and editorial responsibility for the magazine. Nudo had earlier worked at Library Journal. PW Editor-in-Chief Sara Nelson tells PT “I am thrilled to have someone of David’s talent and experience as we embark on several, new, exciting initiatives.”

David Rosen has left Abrams, where he was running the Image imprint. He will continue to work on freelance projects. He may be reached at delarose@aol.com or 917 545 1951. Director of Specialty Retail Bill Wolfsthal has also left Abrams, to become Associate Publisher of Skyhorse Publishing, the new company launched by Tony Lyons, from The Lyons Press. The first list of books is planned for Spring 2007. Mark Weinstein, formerly with McGraw-Hill, has been hired as Senior Editor, along with Brando Skyhorse (who donated his name to the venture), formerly at Grove Atlantic.

In Publicity, Amy Corley has returned to Workman from Crown as Executive Director of Publicity. (Former Exec. Dir. Kim Hicks is remaining at home following the birth of her son, Hyatt.) Chris Dao has joined Krupp Kommunications as Publicity Director. She was at Warner Books for the past six years.

Tim Bent has gone to OUP as Executive Editor Trade History. He had been Senior Editor at Harcourt.

Judy Courtade, VP, Director of Sales at Random, has left the company.

Jennifer Bergstrom, VP and Publisher of Simon Spotlight Entertainment/S&S announced that Michael Broussard has joined the imprint as Acquisitions Manager. Broussard worked as an agent at Dupree/Miller and Associates as an agent, and at ReganBooks.

Neil Levin has left the company he started, Publisher Marketing Group, for National Book Network, as SVP of this company and its subsidiary, Rowman & Littlefield.

Ken Wright, who was most recently VP, Associate Publisher at Scholastic, has become an agent at Writers House, and will continuing his consulting work.

Jake Klisivitch has gone to Palgrave Macmillan as an editor, working primarily on politics. He was previously at Plume. . . . Elizabeth Bewley has been named Senior Editor at Intervisual Books/Piggy Toes Press, reporting to Publisher Debra Mostow-Zakarin. Bewley previously worked for St. Martin‘s and Regan Books. . . Alexis Banyon, most recently with Candlewick Press, has joined innovativeKids as Sales Manager for specialty accounts and independent sales groups. . . Shana Drehs has joined Sourcebooks as Senior Editor for trade. Most recently she was an editor at Crown. Liesa Abrams has joined Aladdin/S&S Children’s as Senior Editor. She was at Razorbill/Penguin.

Chris North, who was Managing Director of Phaidon Press, moves to a position as VP Books at Amazon UK.

Stephen Isaacs
has joined Bloomberg Press as Executive Acquisitions Editor. Most recently he was an Executive Editor at McGraw-Hill. He reports to editorial director Jared Kieling and will divide his time between Chicago and NYC offices.

Sara Bogush has joined William Morrow and Avon as the new Online Marketing Manager. She comes from Doubleday Broadway where she was Online Marketing Associate.

Running Press announced that Kelli Chipponeri has joined the company as a Senior Editor for Children’s Books and Miniature Editions. She was previously at Penguin and S&S.

PROMOTIONS

Plume Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher Trena Keating is going over to Dutton as Editor-in-Chief, reporting to President and Publisher Brian Tart. And Mitch Horowitz has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief of Tarcher.

Sanyu Dillon, Director of Marketing at Random House, has taken on the added title of Associate Publisher trade paperbacks.

Melanie Cecka has been named Publishing Director for both Bloomsbury Children’s Books USA and Walker Books for Young Readers. She was Co-editorial Director of Bloomsbury Children’s.

Ellie Berger, SVP of trade publishing at Scholastic, has been promoted to Publisher and Andrea Davis Pinkney, Publisher, hardcover and early childhood has become an Editor-at-Large reporting directly to President for book fairs and trade, Lisa Holton. VP, Business Development Corinne Helman will “expand her role in the division, overseeing all business operations, planning and financial analysis.”

Philip Turner continues as Editor-in-Chief, Carroll & Graf but has adds the titles of Editor-in-Chief, Thunder’s Mouth Press, VP Avalon Publishing Group, and will be starting up Philip Turner Books, an imprint of C&G. Will Balliett continues as Publisher and Editorial Director of C&G and VP Avalon and becomes Publisher and Editorial Director, TMP.

Lightning Source/Ingram announced the appointment of Ron Powers to the position of VP of Sales and Client Services, reporting to David Taylor, SVP of Global Sales. Most recently, he was VP of Product Management and Merchandise for Ingram.

At Goldberg McDuffie, Angela Baggetta Hayes has been promoted to Director of Publicity.

Liz Kessler has been named Director of Editorial Production for Spark Publishing, and Maria Dente has been named Managing Editor reporting to Kessler. Kevin Baier joined the Spark Publishing group, as Art Director, moving over from B&N Publishing.

Karin Schulze has been promoted to Assistant Director, Foreign Rights at Crown Publishing. She was previously the Foreign Rights Manager and joined Crown in 1999.

HarperCollins announces the promotion of Barbara Lilie to Marketing Director for HarperMedia. She will direct all audiobooks, downloadable audiobooks and e-Books marketing campaigns.

OCTOBER EVENTS

The New Yorker Festival, which runs October 6-8 is kicked off by Fiction Night, featuring paired readings by Jonathan Safran Foer teamed with Edward P. Jones, Lorrie Moore with Julian Barnes, and many more. Book signings accompany many of the conversations, readings and panels. For information go to festival.newyorker.com

The winners of the Quill Awards will be presented on October 10th at the gala at the American Museum of Natural History, and will be hosted by NBC News’ Lester Holt. the awards television special, hosted by Al Roker and Natalie Morales, will air on Saturday, October 28, 2006. For information go to www.thequills.org

Finalists for the 2006 National Book Awards will be announced on October 11 at City Lights Books in San Francisco. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a co-founder of the store, will make the announcement. The Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner takes place on Wednesday, November 15.

The second annual New York Times Great Read in the Park is Sunday, October 15 in Bryant Park. The Great Brunch featuring Mary Higgins Clark, Sebastian Junger, Alice McDermott, Anna Quindlen and Tavis Smiley; and The Great Tea featuring mystery writers Tess Gerritsen, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts and Jed Rubenfeld, will be held at The Hudson Theatre in the Millennium Broadway Hotel. The Gently Used, Greatly Loved Book Sale will also be held, with proceeds benefiting the New York public libraries and the Fund for Public Schools. For further info: www.nytimes.com\greatreads

DULY NOTED

19th Annual Independent and Small Press Book Fair, will be held December 2nd & 3rd, at the Small Press Center. 3,000 to 4,000 attendees are expected, with over 100 independent presses taking part. Got to http://www.smallpress.org, for further information.

Peter Workman is the honoree at “An evening of Fond Tales and Gentle Roasts,” a benefit for Goddard Riverside. The gala takes place at Tavern on the Green on November 20. Call 212 873 4448 or email bookfair@goddard.org. The 20th Annual New York Book Fair takes place November 17-19.

MAZEL TOV

Roz Parr of Vintage and Charlotte Abbott of Publishers Weekly took the law into their own hands at their Brownstone in Brooklyn on Saturday at an intimate Marriage Ceremony which also commemorated their 10 years together. Many publishing types in attendance.

International Bestsellers: Translation Salvation

Sylvia Plath, Puberty, & A Slowly Setting Midnight Sun

Everyone knows translation is a losing business. Financial success is anomalous in a market where breaking even is a boon and selling 3,000 copies can be cause for celebration. “It costs around $25,000 to publish a book. For a work in translation that figure is closer to $35,000,” says Chad Post, the de facto spokesperson for the state of translated fiction in the U.S. and acquiring editor at Dalkey Archive Press, in a recent interview with the German Book Office. Yet intrepid editors and publishers manage to circumvent financial strictures at conglomerate publishers and stretch limited funds at independents and nonprofits to bring global literature state-side.

In order to do it, some presses turn to funding organizations in the U.S. such as the NEA for help, but on the subsidy priority list, literary translation often comes after flashier projects in the visual arts or music. Along with its myriad programs and tireless efforts to bring world literature to the U.S., the PEN American Center offers up to $3,000 to individual translators for works which will hopefully, though not necessarily, find their way to a publisher.
Across the sea, however, a network of institutions devoted to funding the translation of its country’s literature is growing. With the opening of eastern Europe and the expansion of the EU, from Estonia to Hungary, almost every European country offers translation grants, most often through a government’s cultural affairs department. Many Asian countries have established or are in the process of establishing programs as well. Scope and restrictions vary among nations, but the average grant is between 40-70% of the total translation fee, with some programs offering a larger percentage if the work to be translated appears on a list of suggested titles.

At Archipelago Books, a nonprofit press devoted entirely to the publication of translated works, foreign grants keep the bottom line stable and the backlist expanding. “I knew these kinds of funds existed before we began, but I was surprised to find it was more than I expected,” said founder Jill Schoolman. CLMP’s Jeffrey Lependorf and Ande Zellman of the Literary Ventures Fund, a philanthropic organization which worked with Archipelago on the publication of its most successful title Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury believe that foreign grants are underused by Americans simply because they’re “off the radar” for most publishers. Though savvier than most in the book business about foreign subsidies, having won a grant from the Portuguese Institute for Book and Libraries (www.iplb.pt), Amy Hundley, Editor at Grove/Atlantic, said “We did not get a subvention for The Sexual Life of Catherine M, … largely because we were unaware they existed in France. Not for lack of trying to find out, mind you.” (Since then, the French Ministry of Culture has substantially stepped up marketing for its translation grant program, www.french booknews.com.)

For international publishers, subventions are common knowledge. “My experience suggests that the bodies that grant these subsidies have always been in close touch with European publishers, but not to the same extent with American ones, and vice-versa,” said Hundley. The list of books supported by the Book Institute of Poland (www.bookinstitute.pl) in the past several years confirms this lack of awareness. Out of more than 500 titles, only ten went to the U.S. (three of them to Archipelago). France and Germany won 27 and 43 grants respectively. Even Macedonia was funded twice.
Considering applicants aren’t generally turned away by funding institutions, just handed less than the requested amount, it doesn’t seem Americans are being rejected more than other countries. They’re just not applying.
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday and its language partners (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/UK and Doubleday/Canada), however, applied for and won a grant from the Danish Arts Council Committee for Literature, via the administrative arm of the Danish Literature Center (www.danish-arts.dk), for The Exception by Christian Jungersen, a psychological thriller that has been on the Danish bestseller list for over a year and a half. Lorna Owen, the title’s US editor, said the Center’s associates were “tremendously helpful, responsive, and all-around lovely to work with.” Though grants there usually fall between $3500 and $8500, not quite enough to cover an entire translation fee, authors can tap into the DACC’s travel pool to make appearances abroad at launches and book tours.

Likewise, Norwegian Literature Abroad (www.norla.no) sponsors author trips to promote funded titles in addition to traditional translation grants. Founded in 1978, NORLA is one of the oldest programs in Europe and has subsidized over 1000 titles. Harvill Secker/Random House in the UK received grants for the publication of novels by Norwegian crime-writing sensations Karin Fossum and Jo Nesbø. In the U.S., Fossum’s When the Devil Holds the Candle was released in July by Harcourt and Vintage came out with Nesbø’s The Devil’s Star in mass market in August. NORLA also subsidizes sample translations to be submitted to foreign publishers, an overlooked, but fundamental element for getting a country’s literature across its borders.

Other stand-out programs in Europe include the Foundation for Production and Translation of Dutch Literature in the Netherlands (www.nlpvf.nl/) and the Swedish Institute in Sweden (www.si.se). Over 4,000 German titles have been translated and published in 45 languages with the help of funds from the 30-year-old Goethe-Institut (www.goethe.de), perhaps the most established foreign subvention scheme in the world.

In Asia, programs such as Japanese Literature Publishing Project (JLPP) and the Korean Literary Translation Institute (KLTI) realize more is needed to promote their literary culture than just subsidizing translations. The JLPP (www.jlpp.jp) commissions and edits full translations that it offers to prospective publishers. After publication, it purchases 2000 copies of the translated title which it distributes to public libraries and educational institutions around the world. It also contributes toward publication costs. KLTI (www.ltikorea.net) provides up to 16 million won (approx. $16,600) depending on the length and difficulty of a classical or contemporary literary title, and a grant of up to $3000 for marketing in the target country.

When all goes smoothly, a subsidy can give the push that gets a title off the ground, though grants are not without their limitations. Typically, a subsidy is paid only after copies of the published book are delivered to the funding organization, but presses without a surplus of capital can’t begin the translation without the subvention. The specific terms and restrictions associated with most subventions can make the application process tedious at best and, though it seems to happen rarely, not following them to the letter can render an award invalid. Robert Weil, Executive Editor at Norton, won a generous Goethe-Institut grant to publish A Sad Affair by Wolfgang G. Koeppen in 2003. After publication, the Goethe-Institut denied funding since it received no acknowledgment on the copyright page, one of the grant requirements. However, Riky Stock at the GBO used her cultural acumen to mediate and the grant was delivered as promised.

Foreign subventions on their own probably won’t create the translation boom so many internationally minded Americans hope for, but they do play a role in expanding the cultural horizon in America. After all, without one from the Americas Society for a popular South American novel by a Colombian journalist in the 1960’s, One Hundred Years of Solitude would have taken much longer to reach an English-speaking audience.

EPM’s Profiles of the Entertainment Consumer

In its recent study Profiles of the U.S. Entertainment Consumer, EPM Communications analyzes how Americans are responding to their ever-increasing media options. The report aggregates data from more than 125 sources, shedding light on entertainment consumer behavior and new delivery channels. EPM highlights trends from 2005’s highest average concert tour ticket (The Rolling Stones, $133.98) to the $188.94 the average American family of four spends on a night out.

In large part, the report is an attempt to quantify the time and money spent on media exposure—a term that evokes sunburn and U.V. rays. Americans are “spending almost two thirds of an average 12-hour day exposed to some type of media, more time than they’re spending on any other lifestyle activity, including socializing.” Americans are awash in entertainment. “The typical U.S. household owns more than 100 music CDs, more than 40 movie DVDs, and 16 videogames,” says EPM.

The report cites a Ball State University Middletown Media Study in which researchers observed nearly 400 people. On average, “2.75 hours involved concurrent exposure to two or more media.” Book publishing can be thankful that multi-tasking consumers are not casting traditional entertainment by the wayside. “They’re spending more time than ever using new media—such as computers, the Internet, and videogames—without cutting back on time spent with ‘old’ media such as TV, print and music,” EPM reports. “The truth is, many of us grew up reading with music on or the TV in the background,” says EPM Communications President Ira Mayer.

Younger generations might be incorporating books into their media-mixing lifestyles, but it’s no secret that television and the Internet drive the entertainment market. Just how big is book publishing’s slice of the daily pie?
The Middletown Media Study found that its subjects read books on average for 45 minutes per day, out-performing newspapers (31.1 min/day) and magazines (23.8 min/day). Although books may lead the print world, they pale in comparison to even antiquated technology like the VCR (69.2 min/day). The average consumer spends three times as much time with the Internet (137.4 min/day), while television trumps all, topping 4 hours daily.
When asked what challenges and comparisons immediately come to mind for the book industry, Mayer replied, “There are (and always have been) many parallels between the book and music industries. Both struggle with cost of distribution and returns issues. Barriers to entry have tumbled, meaning more and more people can make their creative works available independently.” With more artists than ever producing finished products, Mayer added, “the competition for resources—which comes down to distribution and marketing more than anything else—becomes that much more fierce.”

This frenzied market is driving innovation as artists and companies test new revenue streams. “No one expected TV viewers in major cities to pay for cable,” Mayer said. “No one thought satellite radio had a chance. Why would you need a different ring tone on your phone?” Technological advances fuel further change as consumers embrace a wider range of delivery methods. In a cited study, PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicts “that new spending streams triggered by broadband Internet and wireless technologies will increase from $11.4 billion in 2004 to nearly $73 billion worldwide in 2009.” The proliferation of this technology has sparked a revolution in on-demand content. “Already, more than 35% of Americans consider themselves ‘heavy’ or ‘medium’ users of devices such as DVD recorders, DVRs, Blackberries and MP3 players or services such as VOD,” says EPM.

While artists compete for coveted professional distribution and marketing in this sea of options, media companies fight (and smart ones partner) for the fickle attention of today’s choice-laden consumer. EPM Communications quotes Jack Klues of Starcom MediaVest Group — “Winning today is about engagement more that it is about reach. We need data that helps us touch people’s passions.” Mayer added, “Data will help target appropriate works to the right audiences, but the bottom line is touching people’s passions – back to good stories well told. No amount of data will help without that.”

Bookview, September 2006

PEOPLE

The Book Industry Study Group has a new Executive Director in the person of Michael Healy, Editorial Director of Nielsen Book Services. He will be the keynote speaker at BISG’s September 8 annual meeting and may be reached at michael@bisg.org. BISG’s previous Director, Jeff Abraham, left at the beginning of the year to become President of Random House Distribution Services.

Andrea Glickson has been named Director of Publicity at Watson Guptill. She was most recently Director of Marketing at Stewart, Tabori & Chang.
Editors are on the move: Peternelle van Arsdale is moving to Putnam as an Executive Editor after seven years at Hyperion. . . . Selena James has been named Executive Editor at Kensington overseeing Dafina Books. She had been at Pocket. . . David Patterson has joined Holt as Senior Editor, reporting to Jennifer Barth. He was previously at Public Affairs.

At Penguin, Jeffrey Krames has been named Editorial Director of Portfolio, reporting to Adrian Zackheim. Krames was most recently VP Publisher of McGraw-Hill‘s trade business books division. At McGraw-Hill, Leah Spiro has joined former HC colleague Herb Schaffner (who had reported to Krames) as Senior Editor in the business group. And Ellen Mendlow joins M-H’s test prep group as Publisher, reporting to Group Publisher Philip Ruppel. She was Editorial Director for test prep books at Princeton Review.

Jill Schwartzman has moved from HarperCollins to RH Trade Paperbacks as a Senior Editor, reporting to Jane von Mehren. Meanwhile, Doubleday Broadway Executive Editor Trish Medved has left the company. And RH Children’s Books VP Marketing Daisy Kline has also left.

Amy Kaneko was named to the new position of VP, Sales and New Business Development at Weldon Owen, recently acquired by Swedish media giant Bonnier. She has spent the last seven years at Chronicle Books, most recently as Executive Director of Marketing, and as Director of Mass Market and Specialty Sales.

Carie Freimuth has joined RH’s Waterbrook Press as Director of Sales, Marketing & Planning for General Market Sales.

OUP is creating a new scholarly reference unit, based in New York, incorporating print and online publishing for the institutional market, run by Kim Robinson as Editorial Director, reference. Lenny Allen has been named Associate Director of field and inside sales. He had been in national accounts at FSG, and Kimberly Craven has been named Director of Trade and Academic Marketing. She had been at Wiley. Meanwhile, Betsy DeJesu, who had been at OUP, is moving to S&S Children’s as senior Publicist for Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

At Globe Pequot Press, Cissy Tiernan has joined the company as Director of National Accounts, succeeding Michelle Lewy who was promoted to VP, Sales earlier. Tiernan was recently Director of Sales for Yorkville Press and VP Sales & Publisher Services at Blue Sky Media Group.

John Wicker has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Klopotek North America. Wicker had been EVP of Vista International.

Reader’s Digest has hired David Krishock as President of Books Are Fun, taking over from interim president Thomas Barry. Krishock had been President and CEO of Scholastic Book Fairs.

In publicity, Annsley Rosner has joined Crown as Director of Publicity for Harmony Books and Three Rivers Press. Rosner most recently was Associate Director of Publicity at Dutton and Gotham Books. Meanwhile, Christine Aronson has been named Director of Publicity for Crown Publishers and will continue as Director of Publicity for Shaye Areheart Books. She had been Associate Director. And at FSG, Laurel Cook has been named Assistant Director of Publicity. She had been in book retailing.
Mike Rohrig has left Scholastic and may be reached at 203.451.0187.

PROMOTIONS

RH Children’s Books VP, Executive Director, Publicity, Judith Haut has been promoted to VP, Comm-unications for the division.

At S&S Children’s, Caitlyn Dlouhy has been named Editorial Director, Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Pulse Aladdin and Pulse PAM have been merged into one imprint as of Spring 2007, Simon Pulse. As a result, Jennifer Klonsky, Executive Editor, has moved over from Aladdin to work on Simon Pulse full-time. Senior Editor, Michelle Nagler, continues with Simon Pulse.

Kate Rados has been promoted to Publicity Manager at Sterling.
Kathryn Mennone was recently promoted to Director of Strategic Partnerships at Globe Pequot. She will work with parent company Morris Communications divisions to create business synergies between the publishing division Globe Pequot Press, and the magazine, newspaper, and radio units.

Lyssa Keusch has been promoted to Executive Editor, Avon mass market
Joelle Dieu has been promoted to Subsidiary Rights Assistant Manager for both the Random House and Ballantine imprints of the RH Publishing Group.

SEPTEMBER EVENTS

PW reports that the first annual Brooklyn Literary Festival will be held on September 16 at Borough Hall in downtown Brooklyn. The festival, organized in conjunction with the Brooklyn Literary Council, Brooklyn Tourism, the Brooklyn Public Library and BAM, will feature a range of authors, including Ann Brashares, Jennifer Egan, Nicole Krauss, Jhumpa Lahiri, Philip Lopate, Rick Moody, and Colson Whitehead. Several local independent bookstores, among them McNally Robinson, Freebird Books, Spoonbill & Sugartown, and St. Petersburg Books, will be on hand to sell books. There will be more than 100 exhibitors. Call Briggs Haddon at 718 802 3717 for further information, or go to http:// visitbrooklyn.org.

September 29th is the final submission date for entries for the Eleventh Annual Books for a Better Life Awards, presented by the NYC Chapter of the National MS Society. The ceremony will take place on February 26th at the Millennium Broadway Hotel.

The 2006 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Laura Bush, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th streets (rain or shine). The festival is free and open to the public. www.loc.gov/ bookfest

The Sobol Award for Literature, a “national contest designed to discover gifted but unknown writers and help them get published and find enthusiastic readers” will accept submissions starting in September. The winner receives recognition, help with his or her writing career and a $100,000 cash prize. The Sobol Award Literary Agency will represent the authors of the ten finalist novels as well as selected other entries from among the top 50 submissions and will help them find the right publishing houses and “secure the best terms.” Brigitte Weeks is the Editorial Director and Laurie Rippon is the Marketing Director for the awards. For information go to www.sobolaward.com

DULY NOTED

The second annual New York Times Great Read in the Park, presented by Target, is Sunday, October 15 in Bryant Park. More than 120 nationally known authors including James Elroy, Mary Gaitskill, Oscar Hijuelos, Susan Isaacs, Malika Oufkir and Frank Rich will read and sign books and participate in various panel discussions. The Great Brunch will feature Mary Higgins Clark, Sebastian Junger, Alice McDermott, Anna Quindlen and Tavis Smiley; and The Great Tea featuring mystery writers Tess Gerritsen, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts and newcomer Jed Rubenfeld, will be held at The Hudson Theatre in the Millennium Broadway Hotel. In addition, Target hosts a Children’s Stage with all-day, live programming. The Gently Used, Greatly Loved Book Sale will also be held, with proceeds benefiting the New York public libraries and the Fund for Public Schools. For further info: www.nytimes.com\greatreads

Goddard Riverside is soliciting donations of books or gift items for their 20th annual New York Book Fair, November 17-19. Go to Goddard.org for details.

Ten years ago, Bookreporter.com launched on AOL and this Fall Co-Fonder and President Carol Fitzgerald is celebrating The Book Report Network’s 10th anniversary and the 1.3 million unique visitors who go to its seven sites every month. It is, Fitzgerald claims, the largest non-commercial group of book websites on the web. For more information, go to www.TheBook ReportNetwork.com.

Foteini Tsigarida, who was Manager, Market Analysis and Forecasting at HarperCollins is returning to Athens to take over and relaunch a bookstore, Bookstop. She tells PT that “It will specialize in foreign language books, eclectic world literature and travel.” If you’re in the area, or want to meet at Frankfurt, email her at foteini@ earthlink.net

Rick Frishman tells PT (and presumably, the world) that Planned TV Arts ( PTA) will be celebrating its 45th Anniversary in February. With its many specialty divisions, PTA is are always looking for dedicated publicists. For more information, go to http://www.planned tvarts.com for more.

A (More) Perfect Union

Publishers Brandish New Models to Support Authors: Joint-, Co-, & Assisted Self-Publishing

When Arthur Klebanoff began shopping around longtime BBDO CEO Allen Rosenshine’s book Funny Business a few years ago, nobody bit. Rather than a straight how-to-succeed-in-business type of book, Rosenshine had written an anecdotal memoir about his experiences in the ad industry. “Here was this prominent person who had written quite a good book, where the company was going to buy a pile of them, and yet I was encountering resistance from the traditional suspects,” Klebanoff said.

Sterling’s Michael Fragnito suggested that Klebanoff try Beaufort Books, a joint-venture publisher that operates under the “shared cost/shared profit” model where author and publisher split costs and profit 50/50.

In the case of Rosenshine, someone who had the means and the desire to enter into a shared-risk situation, the agreement was perfect. “If you take a book like this that wouldn’t attract a fat advance,” Klebanoff said, “even at a quality publisher it would have gotten a young editor and had no contact with marketing, PR, or any kind of senior staff. Their attention is dedicated to the major books that their money is tied up in.” At Beaufort (for a price) Rosenshine had the Publisher, the Owner, and a variety of seasoned freelance editors, marketers, and publicity people all sitting down for regular, intensely collaborative meetings.

In earlier days, authors had two alternatives: the traditional publisher or the so-called vanity publisher. Today, the commoditization of the publishing process has expanded the author/publisher relationship to form a more perfect – or at least, more perfectly tailored – union. Publishers are increasingly making it easier for authors to create their own shopping cart approach, and authors are responding by footing part (or all) of the bill.

It’s the Sales, Stupid

Eric Kampmann, CEO of Midpoint Trade Distribution and owner of Beaufort Books, is very clear that although Beaufort is author subsidized, it is in no way a vanity press. “The goal is to produce sales and revenue to be shared with the author – We’re interested in selling. Our middle, first, and last name is sales. Beaufort only works if Midpoint can sell.”

At an “assisted self-publishing” outfit like AuthorHouse, authors pay upfront fees according to the monetized services they wish to receive. “Standard Paperback” publishing runs $698, but if you want to add “ancillaries” like copyright registration ($170), copy editing ($.015/word), or a book review ($500), the tab increases. What sets Beaufort apart from an operation like AuthorHouse (or XLibris, or iUniverse) is that Beaufort books are guaranteed traditional distribution and marketing through Midpoint Trade. “If Beaufort weren’t distributed through Midpoint, the model wouldn’t make any sense,” Klebanoff said.

At CDS Books, an imprint of the Perseus Book Group since 2005 and distribution company of the same name, authors earn no advance and higher royalties, starting at 20% of retail cover price (rising to 30%) and l5% of retail cover price for trade paperback and mass market.

Unlike Beaufort, CDS doesn’t require authors to put in money upfront. The publishing arm relies not only on CDS distribution capabilities, but on the strong capabilities of the Perseus sales team.

The fully author-supported, Austin-based venture Greenleaf Book Group charges a fee (anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 plus depending on services provided) is set apart from assisted self-publishing by its traditional distribution operation to targeted trade outlets beyond online stores like Amazon.

“We’re very rooted in distribution,” Meg La Borde EVP of Greenleaf (which began distributing small press and self-published titles in 1997) said. “The biggest hole in the publishing process is distribution. We built our distribution company first, and then around that we built a publishing program”

Since, Greenleaf makes the majority of their money from distribution, La Borde emphasized that Greenleaf is not a pay to publish program (they only accept about 3% of submissions). “You can’t just walk in with a checkbook,” she said. “We’ll lose money.”

Osteen, King, Epping?

In the ten years since Stephen King voluntarily slashed his advance for Bag of Bones from $17 million to $2 mil in order to split publisher profits 50/50 with Simon & Schuster, S&S has signed similar deals with big names like Dr. Phil and recently television evangelist Joel Osteen. These “co-ventures” as Free Press Publisher Martha Levin (who worked on the Osteen deal) calls them, are by no means standard practice, and are offered primarily to bestselling authors. “Because the authors are contractually our partners,” Levin said, “we do discuss a much broader range of topics with them including how marketing dollars are spent and how and where we invest in co-op.”

At CDS, VP Publisher Roger Cooper says that the authors that choose to be published by CDS Books feel, that for one reason or another, the audience they’ve built up over the years hasn’t been reached or targeted in an aggressive or creative way. With CDS they are looking for a publishing partnership that markedly increases their sales and profile in the marketplace. The CDS model includes contractually guaranteed marketing dollars, real time flow-through of actual proceeds, and royalties paid on a monthly basis, driven by Bookscan data reflecting actual sales in the marketplace. “That’s what CDS Books is all about,” Cooper said. “A unique kind of creative and financial collaboration that provides authors with a publishing experience that they perhaps used to have, or have always hoped they would have.”

The ideal CDS fiction authors have some kind of viable sales track record in hardcover, an established fan base, and want to participate in the aggressive level of CDS’ marketing. Cooper says that CDS has plans to publish quality commercial fiction in all fiction genres such as upcoming novels Scavenger by David Morrell, Quantico by Greg Bear and Woman in Red by Eileen Goudge. CDS will also publish “overtly commercial” nonfiction, whether it be opportunistic – such as this month’s Secrets of Mary Magdalene or The Real Estate Millionaire (TK May 2007) – or business, health, diet, self help, inspiration, etc.

CDS’ first title after being acquired by Perseus, Creepers (by Morrell, multiple NYTimes Bestselling author), was published last fall. The book took off with a 30-city author tour, and strong internet marketing. Morrell’s agent Jane Dystel said that the deals she’s done with Morrell and CDS “have worked out beautifully,” but, she said, she’s not sure if they would work with a less seasoned and successful author.

Apart from enhanced marketing and collaboration with the author, another important component of the CDS model is outsourcing (at CDS, publicity and editorial are outsourced). Beaufort outsources almost all of the work as well.

“Thoughtful outsourcing is key,” Kampmann said. “It’s a great way for a smaller publisher to work.” Klebanoff mentioned that at Beaufort, much of the publishing package is a menu that can be tailored to fit each author, and each book’s needs, permitting a client to focus money where it makes sense. “With the normal trade,” Klebanoff says, “It’s the reverse. Publishers always say, ‘It’s our job, we’ll figure it out.’”

Beaufort is currently at a stage where they are taking advantage of POD technology for paperbacks in shorter runs (between 500 and 1,000 copies). “We’ll then just keep reprinting until the book finds its market,” Kampmann said. “It’s a strategy for success over a long period of time. We’re not stuck in the model of racing to keep up, publishing a thousand books per minute.” This month, Beaufort is publishing Gordon Zacks’ book Defining Moments: Stories of Character, Courage and Leadership about (mostly Israeli) leadership, with an initial run of 12,000 and a strong advance into Barnes & Noble. (Zacks, like Rosenshine, is also repped by Klebanoff.)

At CDS the scale is much larger – Cooper is looking for books that can ship over 40,000 copies in hardcover. There are over 400,000 copies of Secrets of the Code in print, over 100,000 copies of Creepers, and CDS has shipped approximately l00,000 copies of Secrets of Mary Magdalene.
Greenleaf officially published its first book under its own imprint this spring – Trust by Charles Epping – with a first printing of 15,000 copies. Epping’s previous book A Beginner’s Guide to the World Economy was published by Random House in 2001. “I’ve had a great experience publishing my novel with Greenleaf,” Epping said. “Their attention to detail, market-savvy, and creative power is just as strong as at a major publishing house.” Epping added that Greenleaf “hit the ground running” (the book appeared on the cover of Publishers Weekly) and that they’re already planning a second printing.

When Epping’s book came out in June, Greenleaf estimated that they would ease into publishing, putting out about 5 books a year. Three months later, they’ve revised their projection to around 25.

EVP La Borde says that today, almost every publisher, distributor and agent is looking for the authors with the biggest platforms. “We’ve built a model most attractive to authors with big platforms,” she said. (Currently, the ratio of new authors to previously published authors is loosely about 60/40.) Authors retain 100% of the publication rights, and 100% of the cover price on books that they sell directly (e.g. at a speaking event). On books that are distributed to the trade through Greenleaf, the author makes a smaller percentage (although still measurably heftier that what he or she would receive from traditional royalties).

When a submission is made to Greenleaf, it goes through an “editorial diagnosis” and is then run through a gamut of assessments (profit margin, break even point, etc.) to make an investment projection. Greenleaf then “quotes it out” to the author based on 3 different sized print runs. “It’s all done up front,” La Borde says. “And then it’s a business decision for the author. We ask them how many they can move, and we tell them how many we can move (through BN, Borders, airports, etc.).” Unlike Beaufort and CDS, Greenleaf outsources very little (some marketing, and all publicity) with most editorial, design and general production done in-house.

Happy Agents Sans Advances

As everyone at Beaufort worked to ramp up the publishing program, owner Kampmann said, “What shocked us was how many books were landing at Beaufort through agents.”

With all of the hands-on attention the non-traditional models demand, agents usually collaborate throughout the publishing process, which is time consuming and without the cushion of an advance. Klebanoff, who is currently working on his third Beaufort Book, says that, “although it can be more demanding, it’s also more gratifying.” Klebanoff gave the example that recently Beaufort rushed a number of copies of Funny Business onto an airplane for a conference Rosenshine was giving across the country. “Beaufort did it because it made sense. A big publisher might do that for Clinton’s memoir, but not for some small commercial book. Instead of fighting through 30 or 40 books a month, here you are THE book of the month.”

At Greenleaf, La Borde said that the agents they’ve worked with have been enthusiastic as well, and usually stay involved throughout the entire process (vetting cover comps, overseeing a marketing plan, etc.). “Some agents have authors that don’t like New York publishing for one reason or another,” she said. “But if they self publish, they could damage the brand, damage film rights.” She also added that even if they aren’t receiving a cut of the advance, they can still sometimes charge a consulting fee.

Susan Ginsburg, Eileen Goudge’s agent at Writer’s House, added that the amount of attention paid to the authors by publishers operating these models offsets any diminution in the amount of the advance. “As traditional publishing has changed in so many ways, there are particular books and situations that are going to be served better by more creative, more unusual, more innovative approaches,” she said.

International Bestsellers: Joe Speedboat & Friends

Sylvia Plath, Puberty, & A Slowly Setting Midnight Sun

Combining the quirky prose of Paul Auster and the eccentricity of The World According to Garp, Dutch author Tommy Wieringa’s latest novel, Joe Speedboat (De Bezige Bij), injects the classic Bildungsroman with postmodern absurdity. The eponymous protagonist, a fourteen year-old bomb expert, airplane builder, and kinetic philosopher, moves to a small community with a bang when his family’s moving van crashes into the living room of the town’s most prominent family. Joe’s stoicism when he sees his father sprawled dead on the hood of the van inspires bitter awe in the town’s boys. Their awe turns to envy after Joe demonstrates his knack for creating explosive inventions out of ordinary objects. When the other residents discover the boy’s extraordinary talents and self-confidence, they too are stunned and soon irritated with this destruction of the natural order. The author manages to investigate the concept of destiny with a tone that critics unanimously call “delightful.” One critic goes further to say “Joe Speedboat is a book that makes you happy.” Currently number fourteen on the Dutch bestseller list, the title has sold 95,000 copies since publication in March and has been shortlisted for three literary prizes. Rights have been licensed for German (Hanser), French (Actes Sud), and Italian (Iperborea). Contact Hayo Deinum (h.deinum@debezigebij.nl) for more information.

The midnight sun is slowly setting on Iceland, but sales of Steinunn Sigurdadóttir’s novel, Fortune’s Child (Edda), show no sign of fading. The narrator, a woman who lives with her distant and aging mother, meditates on 1950s Reykjavik with a detached and cynical voice, addressing her thoughts to an estranged boyfriend who has recently come back to the city. His return recalls memories of her late childhood, when her parents, both doctors, ignored her and the children at school teased her for the German accent she acquired from a nanny. Brief chapters and often ambiguous descriptions of the past conflated with the present create an intense, emotional atmosphere. The lyrical novel is Sigurdadóttir’s eighth and has been nominated for the Icelandic Literary and Icelandic Bookseller’s Prizes. Danish (Gyldendal) and Swedish (Wahlström and Widstrand) rights have been licensed. Contact Valgerdur Benediktsdottir (vala@edda.is).

Back on the mainland, despite, or perhaps because of, the perpetual controversy surrounding Swedish media personality Linda Skugge, her latest novel, A Speech for My Sister’s Wedding remains on the bestseller list months after publication. Her curious fans, dubbed “skuggies,” have come to expect outspoken, envelope-pushing novels and articles from the writer whose previous titles include Pussymob, Little Book of Puberty, Guys Beware This is God and She’s Really Pissed Off, and This is Not a Book. In her latest, Sylvia, a frenzied mother of two small children, wants to pursue the writing career she began before motherhood, but finds her husband unwilling to slow the pace of his own acting career to help her with the children. While society accepts Karl’s sacrifice of his family for art, Sylvia is expected to sacrifice her art for her family and is overloaded not only with the task of raising difficult children who fight all day long, but with planning her sister’s wedding as well. She identifies with Sylvia Path, the poet who shares her name and who experienced the same pressure of catering to an artistic husband while she had her own art to create. Snippets of Sylvia’s stressful daily life—menu ideas, telephone calls, e-mails—keeps the cynical novel light-hearted and fast-paced. Skugge recently started blogging for one of the biggest Swedish newspapers, Expressen, causing even more hubbub than usual by charging an access fee. Norwegian rights are licensed to Damm. Contact Bengt Nordin (bengt.nordin@nordinagency.se).

In Greece, tragedy is resurrected in The Woman Who Died Twice (Metaixmio), a novel that re-imagines the fate of Heleni Papadaki, the renowned Greek stage actress who was executed in the winter of 1944 on charges of collaboration with the Germans. Taken to the woods in the middle of the night, she was stripped, lined up with other alleged Nazi sympathizers, and shot twice. The historic account of Papadaki ends there, but in The Woman Who Died Twice, the bullets only graze her neck and she’s left stunned in the snow. Her grief-stricken brother, too horrified to examine his sister’s body at the morgue, identifies another woman who is then buried in her place. Eventually the unconscious actress awakens and stumbles to a nearby farmhouse. When she hears that her famous friends have publicly denounced her on the radio, she realizes she must never reveal her true identity or she will be killed again. Fifty years later, a doctor who is entranced by her poise and her resemblance to the actress he idolized, takes her in and his premonition of her actual history leads him on a search for the truth. The author, Manos Eleftheriou, tries to make sense of his country’s recent and complex history through an examination of court records, newspapers, and other historic documents that he includes in the novel. A prolific figure in Greek culture, Eleftheriou is best known as a poet and the lyricist for over 400 songs composed by major Greek composers of the past century. His previous historic novel, In the Time of the Chrysanthemums (2004), won the 2005 State Prize for Best Novel and was that year’s bestselling Greek title. Turkish rights to The Woman Who Died Twice have been licensed to Karakutu. Contact Danai Daska (rights@metaixmio.gr) for more information.

Although her parents risked everything working for the Resistance movement in Nazi Germany, Cornelia Schmalz-Jacobsen writes in her moving memoir, Two Trees in Jerusalem (Hoffmann & Campe), that they considered their behavior normal and that of the murdereres, informers, and silent by-standers not. Together they saved thousands of Jews, reasoning that it was better for their children to have no parents at all than to have cowards as role models. Though they survived the war, Donata and Eberhard Helmrich separated. Years later their heroism united them once again, this time at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem where trees are planted in honor of people who saved Jews during the Holocaust. On a recent trip to Berlin, our own Lorraine Shanley and former International Bestsellers editor, Siobhan O’Leary, met the author and heard the story of her parents firsthand. The leadership and humanity of her parents influenced Schmalz-Jacobsen and she has held many prominent positions in the German government in addition to being actively involved in Humanity in Action. Rights to this extraordinary account are still available four years after publication. Contact Valerie Schneider (valerie.schneider@hoca.de) at Hoffmann & Campe for more details.

Columbia Wunderkind Class of 2006

They’ve done it again. The Columbia Publishing Course has hatched a new group of graduates and, as usual, they’re even more accomplished than last year’s. We’ve created our annual composite biographical sketch of the ultimate graduates, taken from actual bios of the 100 students. Meet these future industry mavens at Columbia’s Career Day on July 31st at the Columbia Graduate School of Jounalism; call 212.854.1898 to RSVP, or e-mail publishing@jrn.columbia.edu or visit www.jrn.columbia.edu/publishing to post job openings. Now, hold on because you’re about to be blown away…

Currently living on an organic beef farm in Millbrook, New York, our student grew up in an L-shaped apartment in Queens with a boisterous Brazilian-Korean family where she learned to read English from translations of Hergé’s Tintin comics. Though her multi-cultural, tri-lingual household fostered an interest in other cultures, her passion for traveling was solidified when her parents home-schooled her for sixteen months while visiting all seven continents and writing the family newsletter “Around the World in 480 Days.”
This first taste of journalism inspired her to create an underground literary magazine from scratch which was later adopted as her school’s official award-winning publication. When not working long hours at the magazine, our student organized events for her high school’s first Harry Potter Club (which she co-founded), practiced traditional Polish and Irish dancing, and performed in the Tap Dance Olympics in Germany where her team won the title of World Champions two years in a row. A country girl at heart, our student spent many happy summers lassoing cattle and fly-fishing in Wyoming, earning her spending money by delivering balloon bouquets to local college students and fulfilling her humanitarian impulse by volunteering with her father at nearly every Special Olympics event in New Jersey. After graduating from high school with honors, our student, like numerous Columbia publishing classmates, walked 400 kilometers through northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago. Upon her return to the States, she put to use the huge thighs she developed on the hike, driving a bicycle taxi in downtown Austin, Texas. But she soon returned to the East Coast to attend the University of Pennsylvania from which she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with highest departmental honors. Though our student enjoyed studying the exegesis of biblical texts, Victorian repression of animalism, and postcolonial literature with famed Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o, she decided to write an honors thesis on the “disappearing” pronouns thou, ni, vos, and Loro, conducting original research in English, Swedish, Spanish, and Italian. Her intellectual curiosity got the better of her and she wrote an additional honors thesis on missionaries in nineteenth-century Ceylon which earned her the school’s prestigious prize for best historical dissertation. In her spare time, she learned to operate a hyperbaric chamber, played marimba in the UPenn percussion ensemble, wrote a novella about the Women’s Army Corps during World War II, and tutored underprivileged children, raising the reading scores of 60% of them. Since graduation in May, our student has been hard at work developing the Hip-Hop Theater Festival in Brooklyn. The skills she gained turning the Chicago’s Women in the Director’s Chair festival into a financial and artistic success have helped her in this new endeavor. In addition to internships at Gawker and The Onion, our student is trying her hand at agenting, representing Michael Jackson‘s chauffeur who is, naturally, writing a memoir.

Bookview, August 2006

PEOPLE

So much for summer doldrums:
André Bernard VP Publisher of Harcourt is leaving to become a vice president at the Guggenheim Foundation, starting after Labor Day. He replaces Thomas Tanselle, who is retiring after 28 years. Harcourt’s current Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher, Rebecca Saletan, will take over as Publisher.

Jill Cohen, former Bulfinch Publisher, has been named SVP New Business Development at Bobbi Brown.

Owen Laster is retiring from William Morris in January, after 45 years with the ten percentery.

Former Saks executive George Jones took over as President and CEO of the Borders Group bookstore chain on July 17. Jones succeeds Greg Josefowicz who will remain as a consultant to the company. The role of Chairman will now be held by Larry Pollock, a Borders board member

Candlewick
Press has hired Jonathan Ackerman as VP of sales, starting at the end of August, reporting to COO Mike McGrath. Most recently, he was National Accounts Manager of MBI Publishing.

Editorial Director of Potter Craft, Shawna Mullen, who has been commuting to work from Boston for awhile has left the company. Amy Pierpont, previously Senior Editor at Pocket and Downtown Press, will be joining Potter as a Senior Editor reporting to Doris Cooper. Tammy Blake was named Publicity Director at Broadway. She had been at Crown, where she held the same title.

Marcus Leaver, Sterling’s EVP and COO announced that Jim Benjamin has been named VP of Finance and Operations, succeeding Joe Guadango, who is retiring. Benjamin comes from Baker & Taylor. And Carlo de Vito who had been consulting with Sterling since leaving Penguin’s Chamberlain Brothers, now joins full time launching a new imprint Sterling Innovation.

Nancy Hancock has gone to Rodale as Executive Editor Health and Wellness. She had been at S&S and had previously worked at Rodale. Leslie Schneider, Director of Trade Sales is leaving Rodale to be the volunteer coordinator of the Bronx Zoo, a division of the Wildlife Conservation Society. She may be reached at Leslies28@msn.com.

Colin Robinson has joined Scribner as Senior Editor. Robinson, who stepped down as publisher of The New Press at the beginning of the year, will report to Scribner VP and Editor-in-Chief Nan Graham.

Steve Black, President and Co-Founder of Perseus Books Group’s CDS, is leaving the company. Replacing Black as VP Client Services is Sabrina Bracco, rejoining CDS from Bear Stearns. Previously, Bracco had been Director of Sales Operations at Perseus, Business Manager at PublicAffairs as well as a Perseus Sales Rep.

Kensington Books Editorial Director Karen Thomas is moving to the Hachette Book Group effective September 1. No announcement has been made about who will replace her.

Kurt Schoen, former President of American GreetingsPlus Mark division, will become President and COO of NACSCORP, the subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores that acts as a wholesaler to college and other stores and provides retail services, College Marketplace reported. He replaces Len Jardine who is retiring after four years in the job.

Sally Hertz
is joining Ingram Publisher Services. She has been consulting recently. She will “spearhead new client acquisition for IPS reporting to Phil Ollila and working in Nashville.

John Oakes Publisher of Four Walls Eight Windows from 1995 through acquisition by Avalon in spring 2004, is leaving the company. For the past two years, he was Publisher of Thunder’s Mouth Press and co-publisher of Nation Books. He may be reached at jghoakes@gmail.com.

Ann Godoff has hired Vanessa Mobley as Senior Editor of The Penguin Press. Mobley was most recently at Holt and previously at Basic. She has published two Pulitzer winners: Samantha Power‘s A Problem from Hell (2003) and Caroline Elkins‘s Imperial Reckoning (2006). Jofie Ferrari-Adler, who left Viking earlier this spring, has gone to Grove/Atlantic as an Editor. Brendan Cahill has left Gotham, and will attend the Wharton Business School. He can be reached at: brendanjcahill@yahoo.com

Mark Levine, formerly Sales Director at Holt and St. Martin‘s and most recently Marketing Director at Beaufort Books, has founded Mark Levine Book Editorial and Marketing Services. He may be reached at 201-653-5453 or leevyne@aol.com.

Kim Hovey announced the appointment of Ali Kokman as Manga Marketing Manager for the Del Rey imprint, a new position. Kokmen worked at CPM Press, the graphic novel publishing division of Central Park Media, as Director of Book Sales. In 2007 Del Rey will be publishing 150 manga titles, according to the announcement.

Julia Woods has resigned her position as President of the McGraw-Hill Canada’s Professional division, and is going to Russell Reynolds.

Ben Schrank has been named president and publisher of Penguin’s Razorbill imprint reporting to Doug Whiteman. He was Editorial Director at Alloy.

Debra Matsumoto joins Ten Speed as Senior Marketing and Promotions manager. She was Publicity Manager at North Atlantic Books.

PROMOTIONS

Julie Saidenberg has been named VP of Trade Sales and Marketing at Shambhala Publications. She had been Marketing Director and an Associate Publisher there.

At HarperCollins, Brian Grogan has announced the promotion of Jeff Rogart to VP, Director of Mass Retail Sales. Ronnie Gambon has been given the position of Director of Digital Asset Operations. Reporting to her will be Heather Aschinger, promoted to Senior Web Content Producer; Sarah Thai, promoted to Web Content Producer; and Les Glass, continuing his role as Digital Asset Manager. Mary Schuck has been promoted to VP, Creative Director overseeing Harper, Harper Perennial, Harper paperbacks, Ecco, Amistad, HarperAudio and Avon Trade Paperbacks. Will Staehle has been promoted to Art Director of Harper.

AUGUST EVENTS

The Audies are (almost) here: The first entry due date is August 11 for all titles published between November 1, 2005 and July 31, 2006. Information about Audiobook of the Year will be released separately in September. The Gala takes place on June 1, 2007 at the Rainbow Room.

The PMA is soliciting entries for the 2007 Benjamin Franklin Awards. Books published January 1- June 30 should be submitted by August 31; those published in the second half of the year should be submitted by December 31. The fee is $80 per title for members and $180 (which includes membership in PMA) for the first title for non members.

DULY NOTED

The New York Post delivers the ultimate story that combines food, God and The Word, in “Heavenly Bodies,” a look at recent religious diet books published by a range of presses, from The Hallelujah Diet (Destiny Image) to Clear Body, Clear Mind (Bridge Publications) and The Prayer Diet (Citadel). Best comment, from Jeff Sharlet (www. therevealer.org) at NYU‘s Center for Religion and Media: “The irony is the New Testament make it clear you can eat absolutely anything.”

DM News reports that Borders recently achieved 56% “open rates” in June for its customized Borders Rewards e-mail program. Borders Rewards is a loyalty program that drives in-store sales and provides the company with online customer data for the first time. DM notes that, because of its partnership with Amazon.com, Borders lacks access to any customer data for people buying books via borders.com, so Borders Rewards focuses on driving in-store sales and collecting customer data. The program asks customers for an e-mail address when they buy products in stores. Borders Rewards members can sign up for My Borders Weekly, a customized e-mail that lets customers select from 31 options. The e-mails’ open and click-through rates and store sales are tracked by coupon numbers.

The 2006 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Laura Bush, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th streets (rain or shine). The festival is free and open to the public. www.loc.gov/bookfest

A scholarship fund has been set up for Dan Lundy‘s children. Lundy who died last month was VP and Director of Academic Marketing at Penguin. Make checks payable to “Scholars Edge” and send to: Airinhos M. Serradas, C/O Jared and Damon Lundy College Savings Plan, Total Estate Asset Management, Inc., 185 Madison Avenue, 8th. Floor, New York, NY 10016.