Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/30-4/3

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

We Need Diverse Books released its annual report.

A new Nielsen survey about consumers’ buying habits found that ebook sales increased slightly in 2014, but sales through online retailers and bookstore chains decreased.

Is the Clean Reader application a form of censorship?

Why is crowdfunding gaining popularity and what are the different platforms using it?

Publishing Perspectives and Publishing Technology released a white paper about how Millennials consume content.

International Bestsellers, March 2015

Every month, Publishing Trends runs fiction international bestsellers lists from four territories–France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. This month, our four regular territories are joined by two more: Austria and Israel. Those books that have been published in English are listed with their official English-language title. All others are translated as literally as possible from the original. Where applicable, the US publisher is listed after the local publisher, separated by a “/”. The lists are taken from major newspapers or national retailers, which are noted at the bottom of each list.







BestsellerMar2015 Italy









Literary Partay: Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

The 29th annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival took place March 25-29, with a banner roster of attendees and speakers, including John Waters, Roy Blount Jr., Rick Bragg, Joe Kanon and John Patrick Shanley.  (Laura Lippman missed this year, as she was sick.)

One of the festival’s literary lions was John Lahr, whose biography of Williams came out last year.  In his seventies, Lahr announced to the SRO crowd that gathered to hear him talk: “It took fifty years just to learn how to write.”

The four day event strikes a balance between Williams adulation, New Orleans boosterism,  and celebration of all things bookish – including a panel on “The New New Publishing: Navigating the Industry Right Now.”  When asked what a publisher should do for his authors, Bill Lavender, who founded Lavender Ink and Dialogos, said “Ask not what your publisher can do for you. . .,” which elicited knowing laughter from the fellow panelists and the audience.  The other panelists – authors and indie publishers – talked of how sales in the four and five figures made the prospect of agented books – or even advances — unlikely. Still they were passionate about helping their books find an audience, and author and publisher Radclyffe remarked on how much easier it is when you’re in a category (in her case LGBT) small enough to know all the players.

There were also a lot of theatrical events, including a staging of the winner of the one-act play contest, and a one man show in which Joel Vig played Truman Capote talking of his friendship with Tennessee Williams.

The Festival also attracts aspiring writers with its Master Classes where authors and agents are on hand; and academics, who come for its Scholars Conference, hosted by English professor and Williams scholar, Robert Bray. It’s surely one of the few literary festivals that includes in its lineup the editor of the NYTBR (Pamela Paul), a recipient of the National Medal of Arts for his music (Allen Toussaint); the president of  Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours (Ron Drez); a PhD in linguistics-turned- author (Laila Lalami); a Mad Men actor (Bryan Batt), and a Pulitzer prize winning journalist, with the Times-Picayune staff, for his coverage of Katrina (Ted Jackson).  That’s New Orleans for you.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/23-3/27

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

A new study shows millennial readers prefer reading print books to digital books.

Book Riot surveyed their readers to find out their reading habits in 2014.

Should rights requests go through a digital platform, or continue to be handled by hand?

Is modern fiction against friendships?

Will cell phones begin recommending content to users?

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/16-3/20

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Are virtual reality bookstores the next step for retailers who are competing in an on-demand world?

Will Chinese translations find success in the North and South American marketplace?

Can Amazon be both a friend and foe to publishers?

What can publishers do to help literary fiction get noticed?

Can ebooks and print books become companions instead of competitors?

Bonus Video: What do technology trends indicate for the futures of  Amazon, FacebookGoogle, and Apple, according to a lecture from NYU Professor Scott Galloway?

Editors’ note: Don’t forget about Publishing Trends’ free contact sheets. From literary scouts to publishers, these annually updated resources are to help you be in contact with people throughout the industry.

A DRM Primer for a VAT World

The ongoing and increasingly heated debate over the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) in digital publishing has recently received more press attention because of the EU ruling to charge VAT (value-added tax) on ebooks.

For those in need of a reminder, Digital Rights Management refers to the protections  that are in place on many copyrighted digital products like video games, smartphone apps and ebooks that make illegal downloading more difficult.

In the beginning of March 2015, France and Luxembourg lost their court case to reduce VAT rates for ebooks to those of print editions, Reuters reported.  The countries tried to convince the court to consider ebooks goods rather than digital services so they could charge the same reduced VAT rates as print books.  The ruling against France and Luxembourg means that tax rates on ebooks will rise from 5.5% to 20% in France and from 3% to 17% in Luxembourg.

This ruling comes a little less than two years after the French government’s move to reduce the VAT rate, specifically for the benefit of non-DRM-protected ebooks.  French Deputy Isabelle Attard originally distinguished between DRM-laced ebooks as services and non-DRM ebooks as goods on the theory that “Everything that goes against interoperability, or imposes reading constraints would be subject to a VAT of 19.6%, in the capacity of services, and not sale of a book, therefore of a product,” Attard said at the time.  This motion failed to pass, so the country decided to give all ebooks the same reduced VAT rate.

DRM systems are often controversial because while they protect copyright, they also prevent people from converting ebooks into different formats, from sharing with multiple users or between different devices, and from printing the ebook. Although there are some movements to eradicate DRM completely, none seem to propose a viable alternate solution to protect against piracy, thereby protecting author and publisher income.

In an interview with the anti-piracy company Rightscorp, Good e-Reader learned that there will be an estimated 700 million pirated ebooks in 2018.  According to Rightscorp, approximately 300 million ebooks were pirated in 2013. Based on these numbers, it seems this method isn’t preventing piracy.

Read More »

People Round-Up, Mid-March 2015


Andrew Solomon joined PEN American Center as President after being elected for a two-year term.

Karen Fink is now Deputy Director of Publicity at Grand Central Publishing.  She was most recently Associate Director of Publicity at Random House.

Colleen Lawrie joined PublicAffairs as Senior Editor.  She was previously Editor at HarperCollinsTony Forde is now Publicist.  He was previously Associate Publicist at Twelve.

Sara Weiss joined Ballantine Bantam Dell as Senior Editor.  Formerly, she was at Grand Central Publishing where she was recently promoted to Editor.

Stephanie Davis joined Clarkson Potter and Harmony as Marketing Manager.  Previously, she was Assistant Marketing Manager at St. Martin’s Press.

In children’s publishing, Barry Harbaugh joined Little A as Senior Editor.  Previously, he was Editor at Harper. . . Barbara Cho joined Little Bee Books as Production Manager.  Previously, she was Production Supervisor at Random House Children’s.

Robin Barnett is now Director of Public Relations, Nonfiction Trade at Zondervan.  Previously, she was Senior Publicist at Baker Publishing.

Adia Colar joined HarperOne as Publicity Manager.  She was previously Senior Publicist at New Harbinger.

Flatiron Books hired Steven Boriack as Senior Publicist and Molly Fonseca as Marketing Manager.  Boriack was previously Publicist at HarperCollins and Fonseca was Coordinator, International Sales at Penguin Random House.

At literary agencies, David Patterson is now Agent at the Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, where he will continue to represent his current clients.  Previously, he was Agent at Foundry Literary + Media. . . Linda Camacho joined Prospect Agency as Agent.  She was previously Marketing Associate at Random House. . . Chelsea Heller joined Zachary Shuster Harmsworth as Subsidiary Rights Director.  She was formerly Subsidiary Rights Associate at Writers House. . . Amy Williams resigned from McCormick & Williams to start her own agency, The Williams Company.  McCormick & Williams will be renamed McCormick Literary and continue under David McCormick.

Ginia Hairston will rejoin Waterbrook Multnomah as VP, Director of Marketing in April.  She was most recently VP, Marketing at David C Cook after holding various positions at Waterbrook Multnomah. With the separation of Convergent Books from Waterbrook Multnomah, Carie Freimuth is leaving her position as VP, President, Associate Publisher of Waterbrook Multnomah, Convergent, and Image Books at the end of April.  Her position will be eliminated.  She can be reached at [email protected].  Senior Editor Gary Jansen will transition to Convergent.  Publicist Katie Moore will leave the company at the end of the year. Additionally at Waterbrook Multnomah, Laura Barker was promoted to VP, Editorial Director, Debbie Mitchell to VP, Director of Operations, Beverly Rykerd  to Publicity Director, and Susan Tjaden to Editor.

Tim MacDonald is now Chief Advancement Officer at David C. Cook.  Previously, he was President of The Dexter Group.

Lil Copan joined Wm. B. Eerdmans as Senior Acquisitions Editor, General Trade.  She was formerly Senior Acquisitions Editor at Abingdon Press.

Rachel Small is now Publicist at Europa Editions. Formerly, she was Translation Quality Manager at Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Jandra Sutton joined PR by the Book as Digital Media Coordinator. She was previously Marketing Director at Turner Publishing Company.

Anne-Elisa Schaffer joined Rightscenter as Sales and Business Development Manager.  Previously, she was in the Book Department Coordinator at William Morris Endeavor.

IPR License hired Stacey Riley as Transaction Manager.  She was formerly Permissions Assistant at Nature Publishing Group. Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/9-3/13

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Why is it so important to get SEO for books right?

Book Business released their 2015 Trendspotting report.

Will the drive to write literature always be present in a data-heavy world?

Can labeling books by genre be damaging to the work?

Which books have been translated the most?

Editors’ note: Don’t forget about Publishing Trendsfree contact sheets. From literary scouts to publishers, these annually updated resources are to help you be in contact with people throughout the industry.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/2-3/6

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Why are more modern writers employing the nameless narrator  more often in their novels?

Can the “pay what you want” model work in book publishing?

In scholarly publishing, should copyright permissions be easier to secure?

How do book designers decide on cover art?

What challenges do independent publishers face in today’s fragmented market and how can they overcome them?

People Round-Up, Early March 2015


Anja Schmidt has joined Oxmoor House as Editorial Director.  She was most recently US Publisher at Kyle Books and previously, Executive Editor at DK.

Robert Riger is leaving his position as VP & Director, Pimsleur Foreign Language Programs at Simon & Schuster Audio in mid-March.  Previously, he held positions at Barnes and NoblePenguin, and Sparknotes and was a co-founder of Market Partners International. He can be reached at [email protected].

Shanta Inshiqaq joined Rizzoli as International Sales Director.  She was International and Field Sales Director at Bloomsbury and previously National Sales Manager at Penguin.

Susan Golomb joined Writers House as Agent. She was most recently Owner of The Susan Golomb Literary Agency and will bring her clients with her, including authors Jonathan Franzen and William T. Vollmann.  Foreign Rights Director Soumeya Bendimerad is making the move with her and will take on the title of Junior Agent.

Benjamin Lee joined Putnam and Dutton as VP, Associate Publisher, Paperbacks.  Previously, he was VP, Associate Publisher at AtriaAislinn Belton joined Crown Publishing Group as Managing Editor for Crown, Hogarth, Broadway Books, Tim Duggan Books, Crown Archetype, and Three Rivers Press.  Meanwhile, Frank Autunnale is leaving his position as VP, Finance at the end of the month after nine years with the company. He can be reached at [email protected]Stephanie Frerich is now Senior Editor at Portfolio, Sentinel, and Current.  She was previously at the online education start-up Skillshare.

Suzanne Donahue is returning to Simon and Schuster as Associate Publisher for Atria.  She was formerly VP, Associate Publisher of Free Press. Jennifer Long joined Gallery Books as Associate Publisher, taking over for Michele Martin, who has moved to Simon & Schuster’s new imprint North Star Way as VP, Publisher.  Long was previously at Penguin as Head of Customer Service.  Kathryn Belden will join Scribner as Executive Editor in mid-March.  Previously, she was Executive Editor at Bloomsbury.  Additionally, Sanjay Doraiswamy has joined the company in the newly created position of Data Scientist.  Previously, he was Data Scientist at Agilex Technologies.

Helen Atsma will join Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as Executive Editor.  She was previously Senior Editor at Grand Central Publishing.  Leigh Zarelli joined as SVP, Consumer Brands. She was previously SVP, Commerce at AOLCaroline Fraser joined as VP of Program Development and Acquisition and Alex Littlefield is now Senior Editor.  Previously, Fraser was VP, Digital Products and Production at Scholastic Media and Littlefield was Senior Editor at Basic Books.

Alexander Galan has left his position as Vice President, Communications Director at ARTBOOK | D.A.P. to start a new company.  He can be reached at [email protected].

William Smith joined MIT Press as Director of Intellectual Property Licensing.  He was formerly Director of Subsidiary Rights for Perseus Books and Director of Digital Business Development for Constellation.

Michael Green is now Head of US Operations at ePubDirect.  Formerly, he was Director of E-Content Development at Baker & Taylor.  Additionally, Emilia Pisani is now US Account Manager.  She was previously Acquiring Editor at Gallery Books.

Tim Murray was named VP, Sales at Bookshout.  He was most recently Director, Premium and Custom Publishing at Simon & Schuster.  Additionally, Timothy Cheng joined as Director, Sales.  Previously, he was Special Sales Manager at Perseus.

Sonya Cheuse will be joining HarperCollins as Director of Publicity for Ecco in March. She was at Grand Central Publishing, where she served as Deputy Director of Publicity since 2012.  Zachary Wagman joined Ecco as an Executive Editor.  He was previously Senior Editor at Crown. Meanwhile, Michael McKenzie is leaving his position as Senior Director of Publicity at the imprint after 15 years with the company and can be reached at [email protected]Julia Pastore is joining as Executive Editor at HarperOne.  Previously, she was Executive Editor at Demos Health Publishers. Additionally, Christina Tomasulo was named Senior Manager, Proprietary and Display Marketing Sales.  She was previously Director, Special Sales at Downtown Bookworks.

Mark Hillesheim joined Legato Publishers Group as National Accounts Manager.  Previously, he was VP of National Accounts for HarperCollins.  Additionally at Perseus Books Group, Jessie Borkan and Kim Highland joined as Managers, Client Services at Perseus Distribution. Borkan was previously Director of Rights, Contracts, and Finance at Kuhn Projects Literary Agency and Highland was Director of National Accounts and Director of Amazon Sales at Penguin Young Readers Group.

Robyn DesHotel will start as CFO at ABA in the beginning of March, replacing Eleanor Chang, who is retiring.  DesHotel was Director of Finance and Administration at PEN American Center.

Michele Cobb joined the Audio Publishers Association as Executive Director.  She also owns MLC Consulting.

Ted Heinecken will retire as Sales Rep at Fujii Associates at the end of the month after over 50 years in the publishing industry.

Soshana Gutmajer joined Artisan Books as Senior Editor. She was formerly Editor at Assouline.

In children’s publishing, Bethany Buck joined Sanford J. Greenburger Associates as Literary Agent. Previously, she was VP, Publisher of Aladdin and Simon Pulse at Simon & Schuster. . . Timothy Travaglini has left his position as Director, Children’s Acquisitions at Open Road Integrated Media.  He can be reached at [email protected]. . . Jordan Hamessley joined Adaptive Books as Editorial Director.  Formerly, she was Editor at Egmont USA. . . Traci Todd joined Abrams Books for Young Readers and Amulet as Executive Editor, Children’s. She was formerly Senior Editor, Children’s at Viz Media. . . . . . Veronique Sweet joined Little, Brown Children’s as Senior Designer, Brand, Licensed, and Media Tie-Ins. She was previously Designer at Macmillan Children’s.  Ching Chan joined as Senior Designer. She was previously at Penguin.  Kumi Hayase also joined as Senior Designer. . . Jennifer Abbots will join Scholastic Trade as Publicity Manager.  She was previously at Harlequin.  Michael Petranek is now Senior Editor, Licensed Publishing.  He was previously at PapercutzMaya Frank-Levine is Production Editor.  She was previously at Rockefeller University Press. Meanwhile, at KlutzOwen Keating is now Senior Packaging Designer.  He was previously at Alex Toys.  Julia Romero is Key Account Manager and was previously at Kid O.  Kim Ryan is now Specialty Sales Manager.  She was previously at Splash. . . Chelsea Hassman joined Random House Children’s as Social Media Manager.  She was formerly Social Media Manager and Photo Editor at Pitchfork. . . Whitney Leader-Picone joined HMH Books for Young Readers as Senior Designer.  Previously, she was Designer and Ebook Conversion Manager at Charlesbridge. . . Alison Weiss is now Editor at Sky Pony, focusing on middle grade and young adult.  Previously, she was Associate Editor at Egmont USA. . . Paul Von Drasek will retire from his position as Trade Sales Manager at Capstone after six years with the company.  He can be reached at [email protected].

Tara Gavin joined Kensington as Executive Editor. Formerly, she was Senior Executive Editor at Harlequin.

Matt Kaye joined Inkshares as VP, Marketing.  He was previously Senior Product Manager at Amazon.

Kendall Hinote joined JKS Communications as Director of Special Projects, Lynn Milner is now General Manager, and Chelsea Apple is Publicist and Angelle Barbazon is also Publicist.  Hinote was Family Literacy Cooridnator at Nashville Public Library’s Bringing Books to Life! and Milner was Office Manager at Roussel and Associates. Apple was Editorial Assistant at the Hachette imprint Jericho Books and Barbazon was Reporter for The Elkhart Truth.

Megan Beatie launched Megan Beatie Communications, a book publicity and marketing agency that will be based in Los Angeles.  Beatie was previously VP, Director of Publicity at Goldberg McDuffie Communications.

Ron Longe started his own boutique PR firm, Ron Longe Public Relations.  Previously, he was Executive Account Director at Media Masters Publicity.

At David C. Cook, Tim MacDonald is now Chief Advancement Officer and Alice Crider is now Senior Acquisitions and Development Editor.

James Schneider is joining Princeton University Press as Senior Publicist.  Previously, he was Writer and Television Producer at Fox News.

In religious publishing, Donna Hunter joined Family Christian as Chief Merchandising Officer.  She was previously VP, Merchandising at Kayser-Roth Corp. . . Jeff Hamilton left Church Publishing Incorporated and can be reached at [email protected].

Matt Mullin will join The Reading Room as Sales Director.  Previously, he was Senior Manager, Digital Content at Nook.

Francine Leinheiser will retire from her position as Director of Order Management at Simon & Schuster at the end of the month after 38 years with the company.

George Lossius joined Midas Public Relations Board as Non-Executive Director.  He was previously CEO at Publishing Technology.

Nicco Mele is now Deputy Publisher at Tupelo Press.  He will continue as Deputy Publisher of The Los Angeles Times.

Liza Paderes is now Acquisitions Manager at IPR License.  Previously, she was Export Sales Account Manager at Quercus Books. Read More »