Gene Brissie, previously Editor in Chief at Prentice Hall Trade Publishing, has left to become a partner with Bert Holtje in the James Peter Associates Literary Agency. . . . Some changes in the S&S group: BJ Gabriel has been named VP National Accounts, with responsibility for sales of all S&S products, including adult hardcover and paperback, children’s, and audio at major national retail outlets and demand distributors. She was previously at Henry Holt. . . . Jane Rosenman has left Scribner. Jason Kaufman has left Pocket to become Senior Editor at Doubleday. (Shawn Coyne left Doubleday earlier.) And Seale Ballenger has joined Pocket as VP and Publicity Director (Ballenger was most recently communications director at Outside magazine, where he helped develop their book line).
Barnes & Noble Publishing’s Jennifer Grace moved to Crown to take the Subrights Director position vacated by Rebecca Strong when she moved to Harmony, as Senior Editor. . . . Valerie Garfield, most recently executive editor at HarperCollins’ HarperFestival, has been named to the newly created position of Publishing Director for Sesame Workshop, where she will oversee the Book Publishing Group.
Neal Goff, mostly recent SVP Marketing at BMG Direct, has left the company. He may be reached at 212 683 1643 or at email@example.com. Goff previously held positions at Bowker, Prentice Hall, and Time Inc.
Mariann Donato, previously Sales Director for Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, has been promoted to VP Sales and Marketing, following the resignation of Angus Killick, VP Marketing. . . . Hyperion’s Jill Sansone, Director of Subsidiary Rights and Special Markets, will oversee Hyperion AudioBooks, which launches this Fall, and the ebooks line, coming in July. Time Warner Trade Publishing, which distributes Hyperion’s books, will distribute the audio titles, and its iPublish will distribute Hyperion eBooks. . . . Rebecca Carroll, in charge of contributing editors at Contentville, is one of the casualties of the recent layoff. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) has hired Beth Harrison as Development Strategist for Literary Publishing, to provide information and services about foundation funding for CLMP publisher members. The organization also announced the launch of CLMP Newswire, a bi-weekly e-mail news dispatch covering the world of literary publishing. Leslie Schwartz has been hired to cover “literary publisher news including notable achievements, innovative marketing and fundraising programs, people news, e-publishing ventures, grant making and fundraising trends, politics and policy issues affecting small literary publishers, and awards and grants deadlines.” Go to clmp.org.
• Pen American Center is also in a launch mode, with the publication of Pen America, a literary journal edited by M. Mark, founding editor of VLS. Go to www.pen.org/journal.
• Spike Lee is writing a sports column and Elizabeth Manus, last seen at The New York Observer, is now responsible for the book pages in new monthly Gotham. They will regularly carry short reviews, author interviews, and industry stuff. She may be contacted at 212 496-1391.
• Columbia Journalism Review’s “The Shapers” list of 200 New Yorkers who shape the national media includes a number of book publishing folk, most of them the usual suspects like Morgan Entrekin, Jason Epstein, Alice Mayhew, and Phyllis Grann, but including the publicity director turned publisher (of One World Books), Ballantine’s Anita Diggs.
• Looking for a few good interns? We have received several impressive resumes from college students looking for summer jobs. If you have any need/interest, please contact us at 212 447-0855, or email email@example.com.
• Despite impressive sales increases of The Guinness Book of World Records in the last few years (more than 800,000 were sold last year in the US alone and the Financial Times estimates its profit at £8.6 million on revenues of £23 million) parent company Diageo moved the distribution from Mort Mint Publishing to Time Warner, even as it put the company on the block. The Guinness World Records business, which also includes a related website, spinoff TV shows, and The British Book of Hit Singles, is being shopped by Goldman Sachs.
Publishing Trends meandered back to April, 2000, to see what was happening in the premillennium. The digital scene was, of course, dominant, with Reed announcing at the LIBF that it had taken a stake in RightsCenter, Microsoft launching its new MS Reader, and Random announcing its stake in Xlibris. Meanwhile, to protect itself against the incursion of dotcoms into the talent pool, Random announced it would be raising its starting salaries to $30,000 a year.
Perhaps more important to the education and feeding of publishers was the launch of both Publisherslunch.com and Inside.com. As though that weren’t enough, PW Daily Online’s Steve Zeitchik announced he was leaving to go to The Industry Standard (he’s since left, in the company’s downsizing).
Some traditional publishing deals were still making headlines: S&S did a 5-book deal with Mary Higgins Clark, in the 25th year of publishing her, and at a moment when her novels were ranked #1 in hardcover and paperback.
Some of you may have met Amsterdam restaurateuse, Inez Bon, either at BEA or Frankfurt or maybe while hanging around Peter Mayer’s. She has just opened her Dutch restaurant, NL, at 169 Sullivan St. (Bleecker). A first, says the NYT, for the city that was once New Amsterdam.
A memorial service for Candida Donadio will take place on Tuesday, April 17, at 6 p.m. at All Soul’s Church, on Lexington Avenue and 80th Street. Call Donadio & Olson at 212 691-8077.
(Don’t forget to check our Calendar on page 8 for major worldwide events through Fall 2001.)
• The LA Times’ Festival of Books is held April 28–29 on the UCLA campus, with the 21st annual Book Prize awarded on the 28th. More information is available at www. latimes.com/festivalofbooks.
• The James Beard/KitchenAid Book Awards will be announced at a gala on April 30 at the Marriott Marquis. Thirty six books in twelve categories have been nominated; the KitchenAid Cookbook of the Year will be chosen from among them. More details are available at jamesbeard.org.
• The Third Annual Koret Jewish Book Awards will be presented on April 23rd at the Harvard Club. Art Spiegelman is the featured speaker. Call 212 629-0500 ext. 333 for info.
• A tribute to US Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz, presented by The Academy of American Poets, The New York Times, Poetry Society of America, Poets House, and YMCA National Writers Voice, will be held on Wednesday, April 11, at 8 p.m. at Town. For ticket information call 212 274-0343 ext. 10.
• The University of Virginia and the Library of Congress are hosting Publishing in the 21st Century: Managing Our Own Evolution, at the Library of Congress on April 19–21. Speakers include John Kilcullen, CEO of Hungry Minds, along with the epublishing trio of John Feldcamp, Chris MacAskill, and Richard Tam.