Columbia Publishing Course 2013 Super-Grad

They’re back! Year after year, the Columbia Publishing Course (formerly the Radcliffe Publishing Course) introduces a preternaturally cosmopolitan and accomplished cast of students to the world of book and magazine publishing. Just as dutifully, every year Publishing Trends collects the most surprising and impressive tidbits from the students’ biographies and constructs a single (slightly more) superhuman narrative. With the exception of a few connective phrases, all words used are the students’ own.

***

Like all her classmates, Typical Columbia Publishing Course Grad’s passionate engagement with literature extends far beyond her coursework this summer. She is currently reading every Pulitzer Prize-winner in fiction, along with every book on the New York Times bestseller list in the past two years. She can identify the name and author of a novel, given only the first line, at an accuracy almost 1.5 standard deviations above population average. Unsurprisingly, although Grad was initially planning on going into wealth management, she chose instead to intern in the publicity department at Scribner, and hopes to one day work with New Adult fiction.

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Typical Grad grew up in a family of history buffs that kept a six-foot replica Alamo-era cannon in the dining room. She spent much of her adolescence competing in Scrabble tournaments, and, as a teenager, started her first zine distribution website.

Heading off to college, Typical Grad founded an interdivisional research collective of artists and academics to study unmanned aerial vehicles; worked as a newspaper illustrator/comic artist; joined a competitive ballroom dance team; and published her first children’s book. Through her study abroad program, she also wrote reviews of British plays and international films at the Cannes Film Festival and finished her college career by writing her senior thesis on Harry Potter fan fiction.

After graduation, Typical Grad’s penchant for the arts drew her to other projects, such as making a film about ghost towns in Arizona. Additionally, she taught third grade in the least populated parish of Louisiana and enjoyed the unpredictability of farm work, chasing pigs in the Hudson Valley. She ventured to Florida for six months as an intern at Disney World, but discovered soon enough that, for her, NYC is the happiest place on earth—not to mention the place to pursue her publishing career. When she is out of the office, Typical Grad enjoys the quiet pleasures of yoga, juicing, and the company of her Springer Spaniel, Soup.

***

The Columbia Publishing Course graduates will be available to meet and greet potential employers at the Career Fair to be held on Monday, July 29th. To find out more about seeing participants’ resumes (or to read all 102 real biographies) can 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 35th year this summer, ending its six-week intensive with a career fair on July 12th.  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.

People Roundup, July 2013

PEOPLE

Seale Ballenger has been named Publicity Director for Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW); he will be working out of New York and begins July 8. He was most recently Director of Marketing and Publicity at Zola Books.

Meanwhile, Russell Hampton, President of DPW until May 2012, has joined NBC Universal in the new position of EVP of Franchise Management and Global Consumer Products for the Media Innovation and Cross Company Initiatives Group.

Nicole Russo has been hired as Director, Children’s Marketing and Publicity for Abrams Children’s, Amulet, and Appleseed. Previously she was Deputy Director of Publicity at Simon & Schuster Children’s. Also at Abrams, Paul Colarusso has been named Marketing Manager for adult trade. Previously he was a Marketing Manager at the Aperture Foundation.

Bryan Christian has been named Brand Manager at Time Inc. He was most recently Senior Marketing Manager, Hyperion Books, Disney ABC-Television Group. (For other Hyperion news, see below.)

Oui Wong has been named the new Finance Director of Rodale Books. She was most recently Business Manager at Knopf.

The National Endowment for the Arts announced that Ira Silverberg, Director of Literature Programs, will leave the agency and return to New York City. His departure is effective July 11th with Amy Stolls, Literature Program Officer, becoming the acting Director of Literature until a new director is in place.

Cengage Learning announced the appointment of Sandi Kirshner as Chief Marketing Officer.  She joined Cengage from Pearson, where she was most recently Executive Vice President for Higher Education Policy and a member of the Higher Education Executive Committee.

At Twelve, Paul Samuelson has been named Publicity Manager, having previously served as Senior Publicist at Random House Children’s Books.

Stephanie Kim, former Public Relations Coordinator at Hulu, has joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as Senior Publicist.

PROMOTIONS/DULY NOTED

July 1st heralded many changes for major publishers, including the sale of Hyperion to Hachette, the official merger of Random House and Penguin, and the first day of the split within HarperCollins between News Corp and 21st Century Fox.

In the sale of Hyperion to Hachette, PW reports that some Hyperion employees are expected to join HBG in such areas as editorial and publicity. Other Hyperion employees will be given the opportunity to interview for other positions at Disney. But Publishing Trends has learned that several employees will stay through the transition, which is expected to be completed in October.

With the merger between Random House and Penguin complete, CEO Markus Dohle has announced many new appointments within the company:

Coram Williams, previously CFO for the Penguin Group, also serves in a dual capacity as Chief Financial Officer for Penguin Random House, in the U.S. and worldwide. In the U.S., Coram will also oversee Random House Studio, corporate services, and Author Solutions.

David Shanks has stepped down as CEO, Penguin Group (USA), and is now Senior Executive Advisor to Marcus Dohle and the U.S. executive team. Madeline McIntosh, formerly Chief Operating Officer, Random House (USA), is now President and Chief Operating Officer of Penguin Random House in the U.S., overseeing sales, operations, fulfillment, IT, and digital company-wide.

Also in the U.S., Kathy Trager is named Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Penguin Random House.

A press release with additional appointments can be found here.

Brian Dauphin, Senior VP of Ingram Content Group, has been named the company’s Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Frank Kerrigan. Dauphin joined Ingram in 1999 as Controller for its Lightning Source division and is currently Senior VP for the unit. Read More »

International Bestsellers, June 2013

We’re pleased to revive our monthly international bestseller lists, a popular feature from Publishing Trends’ newsletter days. In addition to Fiction bestseller lists from four regular territories–France, Germany, Italy, and Spain–one rotating slot will be devoted to a list from the country featured in that month’s International Article. In connection with this month’s article on the Seoul International Book Fair, June’s featured list is from South Korea (and lists fiction and nonfiction).

Those books that have been published in English are listed with their official English-language title. All others are translated as literally as possible from the original title. Where applicable, the US publisher is listed after the local publisher, separated by a “/”. The lists are taken from major newspapers or national retailers, which are noted at the bottom of each list.

BestsellerJune2013.Korea

BestsellerJune2013.France

BestsellerJune2013.Germany

BestsellerJune2013.Italy

BestsellerJune2013.Spain

The Seoul International Book Fair’s Quest for a Global Audience

SIBF2013Like many small book fairs around the world (see our recent articles on the Buenos Aires and Jerusalem Book Fairs for a few examples), the Seoul International Book Fair (SIBF), a once domestic and consumer-directed event, is looking to professionalize and internationalize its image. In the past 5 years, major funding and programming from the Korean Publishers Association (which founded the Fair in 1995) has significantly grown the number of international agents, scouts, and editors who attend, including those from outside Asia. Even within South Korea, editors and agents who once wrote off the event as a noisy market where children’s publishers hawked their wares say they have begun attending again, with renewed interest in the event’s professional potential.

Historically, setting up a stand at SIBF served principally as a way for Korean publishers to sell their books directly and “to introduce their name-brand value to the public,” says Michelle Nam, Executive Director of Minumsa Publishing. She points to the Korean-language SIBF Facebook page as evidence of the event’s ongoing success as a consumer brand in its own right: as of this writing, SIBF has over 11,750 Likes on Facebook, representing a popularity far beyond the bounds of the Korean publishing profession. (Compare these numbers to just over 12,000 Likes on the Frankfurt Book Fair’s main Facebook page, and 7,700 for the London Book Fair). Events aimed at readers remain popular, as do “refurbished” books, sold by their original publishers at steep discount prices, reports Jungha Song, Foreign Rights Senior Manager at Sigongsa. All these factors point to an event that has been successful and widely known among consumers: they are the target audience, and they attend in droves to buy large quantities of books at discount prices.

But increasingly, popularity among consumers isn’t the kind of cache that the Korean Publishers Association (KPA) think it most important for the SIBF to cultivate. “We are trying to turn the SIBF into one of the main copyright trade-oriented book fairs in the region,” says Seung-Hyun Moon, Director of the KPA’s International Project department, and the shift is palpable in a number of ways. Tables in the Rights Center are still free to all applicants, but general admission to the event, long free, now costs 3,000 won (still only about $2). Over a third of this year’s 620 exhibitors are international and hail from 25 countries, more than ever before.

Read More »

Literary Agent Contact Sheet 2013

The 2013 Literary Agent Contact Sheet marks the return of one of our most extensive and oft-requested contact sheets, and provides updated contact information for over 225 literary agents and agencies around the United States. In the interest of space, the word “agency” has been omitted from most listings. Those agencies doing business under a single last name are listed alphabetically, with the agent’s first name in brackets (e.g. [Jane] Smith). Please click the image below to download the free PDF.

* Updated 6/20 to include Stonesong, BookEnds, and The Zack Company, Inc. in chart.

* Updated 6/21 to include Nancy Yost and Paradigm in chart.

2013 Literary Agent Contact Sheet

Click on the image of the chart above for a full PDF version of the 2013 Literary Agents Contact Sheet.

People Roundup, Mid-June 2013

PEOPLE

The National Endowment for the Arts announced that Ira Silverberg, Director of Literature programs, will leave the agency and return to New York City. Silverberg’s departure is effective July 11, 2013. Amy Stolls, Literature Program Officer, will be the Acting Director of Literature until a new director is in place. Silverberg joined the NEA in October 2011.

Beth Lamb has been appointed to the newly created position of Vice President, Associate Publisher, Vintage Anchor, reporting to Anne Messitte.  She was most recently Associate Publisher for Trade Books at Rodale. As a result, Hyperion VP, Associate Publisher Kristin Kiser is moving to Rodale as VP Deputy Publisher, reporting to newly named Publisher, Mary Ann Naples.  Naples has also announced that Jennifer Levesque will be joining as Editorial Director of Trade Books.  She was most recently at Abrams.

Elisabeth Dyssegaard, Hyperion Editor in Chief, will join Palgrave Macmillan as Executive Editor on June 24 with a focus on acquiring books in history. She will report to Karen Wolny, Editorial Director of Trade.

Jacob Lewis has been named VP, Publishing Director for CrownHogarth, and Broadway Books, effective July 8. He is currently the Co-founder and CEO of Figment.com.

Phoebe Yeh will join Random House Children’s Books as VP, Publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers on June 21, reporting to Barbara Marcus. Yeh was most recently Editorial Director at HarperCollins Children’s.  Michelle Nagler will join Random House Children’s Books as Associate Publishing Director for the Random House / Golden Books group.

With publication of fine arts and photography instruction titles by Watson-Guptill and Amphoto Books reassigned to Ten Speed Press, nine positions are being eliminated, including that of Victoria Craven, Editorial Director of Watson-Guptill, Amphoto Books, and Potter Craft.

Betina Cochran is joining Highlights in the newly created position of Editorial Director of Interactive Publishing and Strategic Partnerships.   Most recently, she worked as Associate Director of Licensing and Business Development for the American Museum of Natural History.

Joe Wikert, formerly General Manager of the TOC Division of O’Reilly, has announced that he has accepted a position with Olive Software.

Tim Ditlow has left Amazon Children’s, within the Marshall Cavendish division, where he was Associate Publisher (after working for Amazon-owned Brilliance Audio since 2008). He can be reached at [email protected]

As a result of Kingfisher’s decision to scale back its U.S. operations, Kingfisher has announced that Brian Buerkle, who joined the company as Associate Publisher and Director of Marketing, left the company in December 2012.

Genoveva Llosa has joined HarperOne as Senior Editor. She was at Jossey-Bass most recently and has also worked at HarperBusiness, Crown, and Harvard Business Review Press.

Sarah Harrison Smith will become the new Children’s Editor at The New York Times, taking over from Pamela Paul, who was promoted recently to Editor of The New York Times Book Review. Paul replaced Sam Tanenhaus, who stepped down after nine years in the position to become a Writer-at-Large.  Smith has served as an editor in the Metropolitan section and also worked as the Managing Editor of The New York Times Magazine. Read More »

From the Ground Up: Inventing Mexican Publishing in 2013

While many BEA 2013 Conference sessions dealt with the familiar subject of how an established industry adapts to change, the recurrent issues in BEA 2013′s Global Market Forum on Mexico were a bit different. Unlike some industries that are “reinventing” themselves, Mexican publishing is a small trade community attempting to build a large and globally competitive industry—and consumer base—from scratch. The country’s GDP growth of 5.5% in 2012 and status as one of the fastest-growing providers of skilled tech jobs in the world all add up to unprecedented amounts of disposable income. Even more importantly, between 1990 and 2000, Mexico’s literacy rates for people between the ages of 10 and 15 went from around 12% to more than 90%. As this generation has reached adulthood, millions more literate people than ever before are wielding unprecedented spending power.

But as has been pointed out elsewhere, literacy is no guarantor of book consumption.  Such has been the case with Mexico, where the average adult reads fewer than two books per year. Alongside the new president, Enrique Peña Nieto‘s, call for a new overhaul of the system, many outside the educational sector, including publishers and arts-and-culture sectors of the government, are honing in on the nation’s Millennials in much the same way as literacy activists did in the 90s, hoping to “change [the nation’s] reading habits from childhood and from within schools,” says Ana Laura Delgado, Director of independent children’s publisher Ediciones El Naranjo. The mission to overhaul the way Mexicans consume books, says Felipe Rosete, Editor at Sexto Piso, won’t be effective if practiced “by government-implemented reading programs alone. A new reading culture depends on the publishing industry itself to use campaigns, affordable pricing, and activities that complement governmental programs.”

One example of a concerted focus on children’s books is the collaboration between publishers, booksellers, and the government to establish a children’s section in every Mexican bookstore, which Nina Alvarez Icaza of Fondo de Cultura Economica calls “one of the most important initiatives in recent years.” However, this example of one strengthened link in the supply chain points to the bigger gap that remains. As it is, an estimated 94% of Mexican municipalities have no significant sales outlet for books–making children’s sections or lack thereof a moot point. When asked what the biggest challenge is for book business in Mexico today, publisher after publisher answered “distribution.” The lack of options exists at every point of the supply chain, not just the endpoint: Diego Rabasa, an editor at Sexto Piso, points out that the scarcity of specialized book distributors and wholesalers within Mexico cramps the flexibility of business between publishers and booksellers, and Linda Goodman, president of The Bilingual Publications Co, a US importer of Spanish-language books, bemoans the lack of professional publicity outlets to learn about new releases. Read More »

Focus on Children’s: New Digital Players at BEA 2013

While much of the interest at BEA focuses on physical products, we were curious about what new digital companies were being represented on the exhibition floor, specifically within the children’s space. Though there weren’t many digitally-focused new players present, we did want to highlight some that were:
  • Molly Moccasins: Available in 146 countries, this ad-free website offers 70 stories and games revolving around the character of Molly and her friends. A printed companion book is currently being sold, which has a code that gives unlimited access to all of the website’s features.
  • Story Sticker: Selling QR codes as a sticker that can be attached inside children’s books, Story Sticker offers a corresponding app that allows parents to record themselves reading any book of choice. The app is free, but the stickers can be sold at retailers, and partnerships are in being considered to print QR codes in directly in books.
  • FarFaria: A storytelling/gaming world for young children, FarFaria features “islands” that each contain an animated storybook (not unlike MindshapesMagic Town).  Comprised of original and licensed content and adding new stories weekly, this subscription service is currently available in the Apple store.
  • iSchool Initiative: Though they weren’t exhibitors, iSchool Initiative, spearheaded by 22 year-old IDPF keynote speaker Travis Allen, is an initiative dedicated to integrating mobile devices into school curriculum. With 11 full-time employees, this fully-funded non-profit encourages mobile techniques that can be used to enhance the educational experience.

Tipping the Scales: Publishers Launch BEA 2013

If “Wild West” and “Discoverability” have been buzz words of BEAs past, “Scale” is certainly a strong contender for this year’s theme. Size and scale certainly come to mind when looking at the ever-increasing offerings and co-located events supplement the BEA exhibit hall, from IDPF and bloggers conferences to library tracks and author events. Size and scale especially seemed like relevant points of discussion at the Publishers Launch BEA conference, as they address some of the elephants in the room: what is going to happen once Random House and Penguin becomes one mega-publisher? How are publishers dealing with Amazon now that it’s not only the leading book retailer but making the moves to become a major publishing outfit? As a result, much of what was covered at Publishers Launch BEA, held Wednesday, May 29th at the Javits Center, centered on whether or not size will really matter and what the behemoths of the industry, which only seem to be getting bigger, mean for everyone else.

Anticipating Random/Penguin

For agents on a panel about consolidation, much is still up in the air. While no one said that they believed consolidation or rapid growth in agencies will be the solution to counterbalance the large companies potentially getting larger, they did agree that scale will matter. Size is not the only factor that defines the scale of a company, but its weight and influences, as well. Two publishers becoming one means that there will be one less option to leverage an author against another. The question of size also translates to authors. As Brian DeFiore of DeFiore and Company pointed out, “A mega-company needs mega-authors to survive,” meaning that agents “need major clients more than ever.” Robert Gottlieb of Trident Media agreed, talking about how consolidation will possibly mean bigger incentives for bestselling authors, but may make it even harder for mid-list authors who are struggling; agents might be less inclined to stay with clients through rough times.

Random/Penguin also means the publishers will have greater resources to finally breach some barriers the industry has repeatedly come up against. Idea Logical‘s Mike Shatzkin predicted that Random/Penguin will finally be able to create a successful subscription service, which had previously been impossible due to “agents not wanting to transfer the power of the author to the subscription manager.” The possibilities of a consolidated company were also highlighted in the business development panel, moderated by Market Partner International‘s Lorraine Shanley, that discussed how these departments finding areas of strategic growth in partnering with new companies and business opportunities.

Dealing with Amazon

On the retail side, Amazon also came up often in reference to their not-so-secret adversarial relationship with publishers. Former Macmillan President Brian Napack highlighted the conflict of interest between the two, succinctly explaining that Amazon manages the customer and publishers manage the author, and as those two move into one another’s spaces, friction is bound to occur. This was a sentiment echoed by Scott Hoffman at Folio Literary Management who said his philosophy has been that “you don’t get rich selling books to publishers, you get rich selling books to people.” Still, Michael Cader explained that Amazon having almost no margin will make it hard for publishers to compete as their margins increase. Mike Shatzkin agreed that costs need to go down but ideas can be large: “For publishing as an industry, [find a way to] make it smaller. For publishing as a function, make it bigger.”

Overall, when talking about scale, many of the presenters emphasized that companies in all aspects of the business will have to be, (in the words of Brian Napack), “laser-focused on what you do really, really well.” F+W’s David Nussbaum demonstrated how the company’s shift in focus to its core competencies of content, community, commerce, and curation led to its 38% growth in the last 3 years. According to Hachette’s Ken Michaels, it is this combination of innovation (on the side of content) and execution (in delivering that content to consumers) that creates scale.

References to size didn’t just stop with the Publishers Launch conference. Just down the hall at IDPF, Malcolm Gladwell gave a speech, titled after his new book but apt nonetheless, about “David and Goliath” in which he talked about the need for book businesses to cut out less effectual, larger money pits and to instead focus on more functional, localized branches/businesses. While perhaps not a prescription across the board, it does reflect Robert Gottlieb’s observation that publishing is moving to a place where it will be very top and bottom heavy, with little options for mid-level companies. Davids and Goliaths may be in battle, but those in between are perhaps the ones to watch.

People Roundup, June 2013

PEOPLE

Macmillan has hired Bob Miller to start a new, stand-alone company specializing in nonfiction. Miller was most recently Group Publisher at Workman Publishing.

Cary Goldstein will join the Simon & Schuster imprint as VP, Executive Director of Publicity and Senior Editor on June 3. He was previously Publisher of Twelve at the Hachette Book Group.  It was also announced that Tracy Guest, Director of Publicity, is leaving S&S.

Skip Prichard has been named President and CEO of OCLC. He was most recently at Ingram Content Group Inc., where he served as President and CEO.

Andrew Weinstein has joined Scribd as VP, Content Acquisition. He was most recently at his own startup, AW Media, and previously at Ingram.

Corinne Helman, VP, Digital Publishing and Business Development, is leaving HarperCollins Children’s to move to Toronto.

James Phirmam has joined Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as National Account Manager. Previously he was Senior Sales Manager at Lonely Planet. In addition, Jessica Gilo has been named Marketing Specialist for HMH’s Culinary Group; previously, she was at Hachette.

Ryan Doherty is joining Ballantine Bantam Dell as Senior Editor, reporting to Editorial Director, Nonfiction, Jennifer Tung. He was previously Senior Editor at Spiegel & Grau.

Storey Publishing President and Publisher Pamela Art will step down; she has been with Storey, an imprint of Workman, since its founding.

Kathleen Schmidt will join Weinstein Books as Publicity Director as of July 1. She was most recently Founder and CEO of KMS Public Relations, and before that, VP, Director of Publicity at Atria.

Erin Hotchkiss joined the Abrams Adult Marketing department as Senior Marketing Manager; she comes from Scholastic’s Storia.

Kathryn Wiess has joined digital solutions company Qbend as Director of Sales. Weiss was previously at Better World Books and, prior to that, at The Book Depository and Ingram.

PROMOTIONS

Benjamin Steinberg has been named Manager, Consumer Verticals and Partnerships at Random House‘s Corporate Digital Marketing Group. Previously, he was an Associate Editor for the Random House imprint.  At the Random House imprint, Andy Ward is now VP, Editorial Director, Nonfiction, and David Ebershoff is VP, Executive Editor.

Crown Archetype announced that Suzanne O’Neill has been promoted to Executive Editor, Talia Krohn has been promoted to Senior Editor, and Stephanie Knapp has been promoted to Associate Editor.

In addition to his current responsibilities as VP and Executive Editor at FSG, Sean McDonald has been appointed Publisher of FSG Originals and Director of Digital and Paperback Publishing.

Greg Mortimer has joined S&S Digital as Senior Online Marketing Manager. Previously he was online marketing manager at Scribner.

HarperCollins has announced some “adjustments” in their General Books group, driven by It Books publisher Cal Morgan’s move to the Harper division as SVP Executive Editor, and continuing as Editorial Director of Harper Perennial and Harper Paperbacks: Lynn Grady has been promoted to SVP, Publisher of It Books, now reporting as part of the Morrow division to Publisher Liate Stehlik. Harper Design becomes part of the Harper Division.  At General Books, Dana Trombley has been promoted to Senior Manager, Digital Marketing.

Abrams announces Elisa Garcia has been promoted to Director of Trade Sales. Jody Mosley is promoted to Director of Special Markets. Erica Warshal has been promoted to Director of National Accounts.

Kelly Burdick has been promoted to Associate Publisher of Melville House.

Read More »