Licensing Lysol: The 25th Annual Licensing Show

Yup, that’s right, Mr. Lysol strolled the Javits Center June 21-23, one of several seemingly incomprehensible brands (think RotoRooter) that are — or hope to be — turned into licenses.

Welcome to the 25th Annual Licensing Show, where 20,000 attendees gazed at the wares of 525 exhibitors, showcasing 5,700 properties — essentially on par with last year. In fact, comparisons with previous years were hard not to make, especially as retro-mania blanketed the halls (and in some places, literally carpeted the floors). The NYT termed it “throwback marketing” in their coverage of the show. Indeed, everyone from Mr. Magoo to dead singers were on display everywhere — hey Janis! Jimi! Elvis! Liberace!

At Disney’s big Consumer Products pitch, even Chairman Andy Mooney remarked on the Beatles’ soundtrack that greeted the two hundred invited guests. Speaking of retro, one of Disney’s biggest movies is CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, the boxed set of which HarperCollins has been selling in the trade paperback edition, with the tie-in coming in November to coincide with the December 9 premiere. Actually, books were definitely on Mooney’s agenda, as Gayle Carson Levine‘s book FAIRY DUST AND THE QUEST FOR THE EGG (a riveting story about Tinker Bell) has sold more than a million copies in 41 countries, before its US publication in September.

But books were in scant supply elsewhere in Javits — what a difference three weeks can make! Scholastic Point was there and actually had a small contest for its Philip Pullman books, and the Dutch were making a big deal out of Miffy‘s 50th birthday (Big Tent is her US publisher), while Thomas the Tank Engine celebrated his 60th. Wiley had a small Dummies booth as usual, and a bunch of cows reminded fairgoers of the glories of the Cow Parade (which books Workman publishes). The only other “books” that were prominent were endless magazines about branding, promotions, and of course licensing. Even Ira Mayer, publisher of the venerable newsletter, The Licensing Letter, had a hard time keeping them straight. But he shared with PT his take on this year’s show: “slow and steady.”

“Classics and evergreens,” he said, pointing across the aisle to two icons, Baby Gund and The Saturday Evening Post. He suggested that the result of this move away from the short-lived hit-driven products has been an increase in the general professionalism of the business, perhaps at the expense of the old-style razzle dazzle.

Still two big themes emerged from the dusting of nostalgia. One was kids’ everything — Nickelodeon, Ragdoll (with a curiously bland booth with barely a Teletubby or Boohbah in sight), ToddWorld (books published by Little, Brown), Barbie (paired with the retailer Benetton) — the list goes on and on; and Asian-created and inspired products. Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong and Taiwan each had “Development” areas, and Asian businessmen would pose in front of them, snapping digital cameras. The Japanese booth has a depressing chart which showed book sales plummeting over 10 years, from 1 trillion yen, to .91 trillion in 2003, and magazines downshifting from 1.49 trillion to 1.32 trillion. Animation in movies and on TV, meanwhile, had the reverse trend, and now tops 2.135 trillion yen. And then there were the myriad manga publishers like Tokyopop and Viz, publishers, licensors and licensees of books, videos, and games (the total manga market is estimated at $5.2 billion). You know you’ve arrived when — as Tokyopop does on their site — you offer CliffsNotes-style anime guides and newsletters for librarians.

International Bestsellers: Running for Cover

Swede Heads for the Hills, Plato’s PR at the Bar, Ultra-Marathoner Darts Through Europe

A long-forgotten hero of speed gets his moment on the proverbial winner’s podium in German author Marc Buhl’s biathlon of fact and fiction, RASHIDA or THE RACE TO THE SOURCE OF THE NILE. Mensen Ernst was born in the late 18th century in a small mountain village in Norway, the son of a sailor whom he would never meet. The villagers all believed that his father suffered from calenture, a fever that left him restless and unable to keep still. And proving their case, one day he vanished into Africa and never returned, leaving only a map, some geotechnical instruments and the very same restless condition to his son. Ernst makes it his life goal to retrace his father’s past and find the source of the Nile. He bides his time running through the valleys of his mountain home but eventually lands in England, where he finds a job as a foot messenger for the duke of Queensbury. In England, Ernst falls in love with Gwendolyn, a maidservant who is by chance famous for her lack of speed. The duke tries to break up the happy couple and Gwendolyn is shot as the two attempt to flee. Ernst leaves England, and, in time, arrives in Germany, where he becomes a messenger for the democratic uprising. In one of his more fantastic accomplishments, he runs from Paris to Moscow in fourteen days, followed by a nice short jaunt to Greece. He is sent to prison for several years after he’s caught carrying Georg Büchner’s revolutionary magazine DER HESSISCHE LANDBOTE. His punishment? To walk in place every day. He finally escapes and boards a ship to Africa, where he will meet with more heartbreak, but where he finally reaches his goal of standing at the source of the Nile. Compared to Peter Hoeg, Buhl has scored a hit with his “portrait of a young road runner as a dreamy fidget.” Rights have been sold to Phébus (France).

Also in Germany, Karen Duve, who authored the novel RAIN published by Bloomsbury USA in 2003, has switched gears and written a classic fairytale with an ironic twist in THE KIDNAPPED PRINCESS: OF DRAGONS, LOVE AND OTHER MONSTERS. The action starts in the poor and inhospitable country of Northland, where the men have no manners, the winter lasts eight months, and the fashion sense is not quite à la mode. The one jewel in Northland’s crown is their princess Lisvana, but no princes would court her because her dowry consisted of some weak reindeer and a rather malodorous slice of land. The tide turns when Northland’s king kidnaps a singer who composes a song in praise of Lisvana which instantly becomes a worldwide hit. Prince Diego of Bascaria (a wealthy kingdom full of very refined inhabitants) hears the song and is convinced that she is meant to marry him. In contrast to his fellow townspeople, Diego has a strained relationship with his parents and has no qualms about leaving blissful Bascaria behind. He finds Lisvana and all is going swimmingly until he begins to show off his dancing skills at a welcoming party, when an unfortunate accident leaves his ego bruised. Or was it an accident? Another man is vying for Lisvana’s attention and his battle with Diego will play out through a kidnapping and an action-packed journey. Rights have been sold to Dulnyouk (Korea) and De Geus (Holland). All other rights to Duve’s and Buhl’s books are available from Jutta Willand at Eichborn (Germany).

Who hasn’t dreamt of having a garden party straight out of THE GREAT GATSBY or based on a set designed by Shakespeare? German author Florian Beckerhoff wondered what it might be like to ask Boris Vian what to wear to a costume party or to get tips from Philippe Djian on how to heroically cope with a killer hangover. The result is an amusing collection of party tips culled from more than three thousand years of world literature from Plato to Virginia Woolf in THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO PARTYING. Hemingway sure knew how to enjoy a Feria, and F. Scott Fitzgerald was a pro at scoring the digits of anyone who invited him on a plane ride, boat cruise, safari, etc., while Vian warns party-goers to choose a costume they can handle (i.e. if you’re no Batman, you can still be Robin, and “not everybody is able to genderbend convincingly”). Plato opines on the benefits of wine while Cortazar hails the art of drinking in a small bohemian round. The book includes photos and sketches of how parties looked at the time each author was alive, cocktail recipes from these same literary icons (not to mention, tips on how to crash parties to which one is not invited). French and Dutch deals are in the works. Contact Thomas Hack at [email protected]

A woman caught up in the daily grind of urban lifestyle is suddenly afflicted by an inexplicable allergy – to her own chaotic life in Swedish author and former ballet dancer Madeleine Hessérus’ debut novel, TO ISOLA. Constantly battling a barrage of emails and phone calls, and dissatisfied with a marriage characterized by a lack of time, her physical symptoms become more and more alarming. Driven by a revulsion for her own past, she hits the highway on foot seeking out evermore desolate areas. She meets a number of odd characters along the way, along with some animals that observe her living beside them in the woods. Little by little, she is tranformed, not only into a recluse, but into something essentially different from a human being. Compared to Anton Chekhov and to Swedish greats like August Strindberg, Hessérus offers “a literary voice in the debate of stress and the psychological problems it causes.” Rights have been sold to Natur och Kultur (Sweden), De Geus (Holland), and People’s Press (Denmark). Contact Maria Enberg at the Bengt Nordin Agency (Sweden).

Ever since her childhood, Johanna, now a young and brilliant archeologist, has been haunted by recurring dreams involving murders and love affairs in the monastery of the intriguing sacred monument, Mont Saint-Michel. Each ends in the same way with a headless monk uttering a cryptic phrase: ad accedendum ad caelum, terram fodere opportet (“To enter heaven, one must dig into the earth”). Johanna does just that, embarking on an archeological journey into the depths of Mont Saint-Michel, in THE ANGEL’S PROMISE by French authors Frédéric Lenoir and Violette Cabsesos. A thousand years after the spectacular edifice was erected, Johanna finds herself trapped in an enigma where the past and present, and the imaginary and real become blurred. Science mingles with the supernatural as she desperately tries to maintain her grip on reality, especially when suspicious events happening around her begin to mirror those of the distant past. Hailed as “a novel as grand as a cathedral, as powerful as Roman art and medieval faith,” and “an erudite promenade through Romanesque art, architecture, and the Benedictine order,” the novel was awarded the Prix des Maisons de la Presse and has already sold 80,000 copies in France. Rights have been sold to Piper (Germany), RH Mondadori (Spain), Yedam (Korea), Albatros (Poland), Circulo de Leitores (Portugal), and Electra (Greece). Contact Lucinda Karter at the French Publishers’ Agency.

Bookview, July 2005

A surprising number of higher profile industry folk moved around this month. The one that garnered the most ink was Jon Karp, who left Random House for — to hear people tell it — any number of places. Bill Barry left DK to return to Doubleday, as Publisher of the religious imprints. That news came out as Michele Rapkin‘s departure from Doubleday (where she was Director of Religion Publishing) was being announced.

Meanwhile, after four months — and in light of JR‘s decision to move to LA, Tracy Carns left ReganBooks, as did Chris Min Park, who joined Warner’s Center Street as a Senior Editor. Maureen O’Neal and Elizabeth Bewley have came to the company (in New York), as Senior Editor and Associate Editor respectively. O’Neal was most recently at Ballantine, and Bewley came over from St. Martin’s.

More moves include that of Dan Harvey, who after 17 years, left Putnam, where he was SVP Publishing Director, though he continues to consult through the end of the year.

And Michael Murphy left F+W where he was VP Sales, shortly before the announcement that it was being acquired by Abry Partners, the private equity firm in Boston. He is joining the Lisa Queen Agency, working from Cincinnati. Queen was Editor-in-Chief at Morrow when Murphy was Publisher.

Perseus Books Group just announced a reorganization of Client Distribution Services (CDS), which includes the promotion of COO Steve Black to head up client services. Meanwhile Gilbert Perlman, President of CDS (and co-founder with Black) has left the company, but will be consulting “over the next several months.”

Daniel Blackman has left Barnes &, where he was VP General Manager, for Google, where he will be working on “a new multimedia search initiative called Google Video.”

Random’s Director of Adult Sales, Madeline McIntosh, will take over from Scott Matthews as Publisher of the Random Audio Group beginning in September, reporting to David Naggar. Matthews is leaving “for family reasons.” And Anika Streitfeld has rejoined Ballantine as Senior Editor, effective August 1st and reporting to Editor-in-Chief Nancy Miller. She will be based in San Francisco, where she previously worked for MacAdam/Cage.

In agency news, Kevan Lyon, who left AMS is now working with Sandy Dijkstra, as an agent.. . . . At Trident Media Group, Claire Roberts has joined the agency as Associate Director of foreign rights. She was Assistant Director of sub rights at Doubleday/Broadway for six years. . . . Eileen Cope has left Lowenstein-Yost and joined Trident Media Group as an agent, and former MD of William Morris‘ UK office Stephanie Cabot joins The Gernert Company.

Craig Herman has accepted a job at Spier-NY as VP, Account Director, a newly created position within the marketing services group. He was most recently at S&S. Michelle Lewy recently left Spier.

Suzanne Murphy, VP of Marketing at S&S‘s children’s group, has moved to Scholastic in the same position.. And Jon Rosenburg has joined S&S Children’s as the Editorial Director for the newly launched Simon Scribbles. Meanwhile Kathy Malloy has left Workman for S&S as Marketing Manager, reporting to Michael Selleck.

Elizabeth C. Mackey has moved from Franklin to where she is VP, Content Business Development. . . . Gianfranco Monacelli has hired Stephanie Emerson as Senior Editor starting 8/1. She was Publishing Director at the LA County Museum of Art. . . . Columbia University Press announced that Myles C. Thompson, founder and former Publisher of Thomson Texere, will join the press as Publisher of Finance and Economics.

McGraw-Hill Professional named Jack St. Mary VP of Group Sales, overseeing national sales strategy and reporting to Keith Fox. St. Mary was most recently VP, Director of Sales at Random House Children’s Books.
Creative Publishing International, a division of The Quayside Publishing Group has hired as its new Executive Editor, B.J. Berti. She was most recently Editor-in-Chief of Bookspan’s Crafter’s Choice Book Club.

Althea Spellman has joined Atria as Publicity Manager. She ran SpellBound Media, a publicity business for the music industry and replaces Michelle Hinkson, who has returned to working as a freelance publicist.


Random’s Libby McGuire has been promoted to Deputy Publisher, from Associate Publisher. She is a Senior Vice President and reports to Gina Centrello.

Tami Booth Corwin has been named President of Rodale Books; she continues as Editor-in-Chief. Following Amy Rhodes‘ departure, a new Publisher will be hired.

At Scholastic, Ellie Berger has been promoted to SVP, Trade Publishing. She reports to Lisa Holton. And Alan Boyko has been promoted to President for Scholastic Book Fairs. He takes over from David Krishock, who has joined Vista Management as a partner.

Hyperion announced that Editor-in-Chief Will Schwalbe and Publisher Ellen Archer were both promoted to SVP.

Marta Schooler has been named VP and Publisher of Collins Design. She has been associated with what is now Collins Design for more than 25 years, originally coming to HarperCollins in 1999 with the acquisition of Morrow. For the last six years she has served as Creative Consultant . Also, John Williams has been promoted to Editor of Harper Perennial and Harper trade paperbacks, reporting to David Roth-Ey.

Yet more promotions at S&S Children’s Publishing: Justin Chanda was promoted to Executive Editor of Atheneum.


Bloomberg News is stepping up its coverage of the global publishing scene, and tells PT that it will be “dishing out an eclectic mix of book reviews and author interviews. The package is part of Bloomberg Muse, a year-old arts service spearheaded by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Manuela Hoelterhoff, a former Books and Arts Editor of The WSJ. Muse has named a full-time books editor and columnist, James Pressley, a former Page One Editor of The WSJ Europe. He can be reached at [email protected] or at:
Bloomberg News
International Press Center
Boulevard Charlemagne 1 / 28
B-1041 Brussels BELGIUM


The Book Standard and Nielsen BookScan announce “Book Summit & Bestseller Awards 2005,” to take place on September 22 at The Roosevelt Hotel, in NYC. Panel discussions will include “The State of the Book Industry: 2005 By The Numbers,” “The Big Debate: New Technologies Invade The Book World,” “Reclaiming Readership: How To Get In Front Of Tomorrow’s Book Buyers… Today,” and “The Retail Channel.” The day will end with The Bestseller Awards 2005, “the first-ever, Nielsen-data-powered Bestseller Awards Ceremony for books.”

The Bookseller has launched a site that offers profiles of “the top 100 UK publishing companies,” the first four of which can be downloaded for free. The report is called The Consumer Book Report UK – UK Publisher Trends, Growth and Analysis, and can be accessed at

The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) has established the Classroom Publishers Alliance (CPA), a special interest group within AEP’s government relations program, according to Charlene Gaynor, Executive Director of AEP. The goal of the alliance is to continue the agenda outlined by the Classroom Publishers Association, which was successful in lobbying government officials to establish and maintain a discounted postal rate for publishers of classroom magazines.


Friends and family gathered at the Century Club for a remembrance of Ruth Wilk Notkins Nathan — movie executive turned literary agent who died June 7th. Presided over by brother Max Wilk and husband (and long time PW contributor) Paul Nathan, and accompanied by a lusty rendition of Brush Up Your Shakespeare (from Kiss Me Kate) were publishing and motion picture vets such as Gene Young, Larry Hughes, David Brown, Roz Targ, Sue Pollock, Caron K and nephew David Wilk.

Congratulations to Morgan Entrekin and Rachel Cobb on their nuptials.

Bed, Bath, Books and Beyond

Specialty Distributors Dominate Markets Publishers Can’t Touch

Last month’s profile of distributors into the traditional book market only revealed the tip of the sales iceberg, as publishers expand their special sales departments in hopes of reaching a broader (read non-bookstore) array of consumers.

Enter the specialty distributor.

In a retail landscape where books are accessories to cabinets, carburetors, cutlery, and Cabernet rather than destination items, distributors wheel and deal their way through a maze of conflicting policies to deliver their clients’ titles.

As books continue to crop up everywhere from Kroger to Bob’s Feed Barn, these distributors are coming to terms with retailers’ demands. While Borders introduced publishers to “category management lite,” in the non-traditional market, specialty distributors and their retail partners have been effectively practicing it for years. Many of these distributors carry ancillary non-book products and operate in an arena where consignment terms — and therefore returns — are not the norm. The real problem is often getting the retailers to pay attention to a segment of the business that doesn’t fit their traditional model. Here’s where specialty distributors, in all their glorious complexity, come to the rescue.

Who’s Who

Sterling, a frontrunner in the craft and how-to publishing arena, deals with specialty distributors in order to service certain mega-retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Jo-Ann’s, and Bed, Bath & Beyond (all of which operate through one, or at most two, distributors for books and magazines). In an interview with PT, Ron Davis, VP Special Sales, quickly rattled off some of their distributors, forming a list of the major players in the field — HDA, Select, Time Media, CHP (Creative Homeowner Press), Soho, Wine Appreciation Guild. “The retailers are looking for service and ease, and don’t want 15-20 publishers attacking them,” Davis said. Because a single distributor for every chain predominates, each retailer has a distinct relationship with its distributing partner, in turn affecting the relationship between the publisher and the store. Davis said, “For example, with Michael’s, where we distribute through SLS, we have a direct relationship with the buyer. Select Media, however, works much more closely with A.C. Moore on product selection.”

There are as many models for doing business as there are chains — although the better the relationship between publisher and distributor, and distributor and chain, the better the sell through; and as most titles are sold non-returnable, and given the low margins, this is key. With Soho (the primary distributor of 100+ publishers into 900+ Jo-Ann’s fabric stores, and soon, Hancock stores too), there are no sales reps — the entire process is maintained by vendor managed inventory (VMI) software originally developed in conjunction with Mike Shatzkin of the Idea Logical Company. “We buy and merchandise based on consumer demand,” said Carrie Kilmer, Managing Director of Book and Quilt pattern distribution, “so there is no buyer or editor making the decisions about what should be bought or sold.”

In another model, HDA is the primary distributor of books and magazines into Lowe’s. “We started as a home plans publisher who developed house plan books that were distributed into lumber yards and home center retailers,” said Michael Kirschwehm, VP Sales and Marketing.
In 1997, HDA acquired National Plan Service which was distributing into independent stores like ACE Hardware and True Value, providing the first major push into expansion by helping them to forge relationships with publishers like Sunset and Meredith. The following year, HDA became Lowe’s overall book supplier after making a bid and beating out other publisher-distributors in a review. “From there we figured that if we can do it with house plans, we can do it with other books,” said Kirschwehm.
HDA now has a full team of national account managers, 12 regional sales managers, and a service merchandizing force of 425 people, who service stores, stock shelves, run promotions, handle returns and so on. Their reps spend about four hours a week improving displays and training employees. Not only the main supplier to Lowe’s, HDA is also Lowe’s category manager (for about 85% of the 1,070 Lowe’s stores. Creative Homeowner, who used to act as category manager and primary supplier to both Lowe’s and Home Depot, now handles about 15-18% of Lowe’s stores).

On the other side of the home improvement divide, Meredith is category manager for Home Depot, but not the main distributor (although many refer to it as such). Respecting each other’s domains, Meredith and HDA operate without considering themselves direct competitors. Rather, Kirschwehm listed Time Media Direct, Media Solutions and Select Media (who are the wholesalers from Home Depot, handling distribution, restock and general maintenance) as competitors.

When asked how a particular distributor comes to dominate a store, and whether or not publishers could sell directly, Kirschwehm gave Bed, Bath & Beyond as an example — a store in which HDA doesn’t have the “full, main-line program” but where they are the chosen wholesaler. “[With] the amount of time it takes to understand the supply chain and publishing industry,” he said, “for a retailer to take the time to buy one book from Chronicle, for example, it’s just not worth it. Our retail partners therefore push publishers to us, and in turn, we bring publishers to the retailers. We’re a facilitator.”
Still other distributors find that a large chunk of their business is comprised of catalog sales. Both Wine Appreciation Guild (WAG) and MBI (Motorbooks) — the largest specialty distributors into the wine and transportation markets, respectively — conduct a high percentage of sales through catalog. Mike Hejny, VP Sales and Marketing said, “There are companies that distribute, say, all things Corvette, for example. Mufflers, transmissions, key chains, calendars — but they don’t necessarily have a storefront.” Elliott Mackey of WAG (who noted that retail sales comprise less than 1% of their total revenue) said that even without a retail presence, WAG will frequently sell more copies of a wine book than “all of the other publishers’ outlets combined,” 5,000 to 10,000 copies not being unusual.
Booklegger, distributor of all things golf (including an array of non-book golf related items) once had about 40 commissioned reps, but now handles all of their sales through a telephone call center. “The industry has changed a lot, and we’ve found that we can handle things better internally,” President Robert Kraut said. “Retail is a tough business and books in these stores are impulse items, not destination products, so the retailers don’t have to know very much about them, which places an enormous emphasis on display and placement within the store.” Booklegger advises on book displays and sends a listing of top sellers to all of the stores. It is then the job of the telephone division to follow up, sell, restock, etc. Numerous specialty distributors noted that their highest sales come from cross-marketing books with related products.

“These retailers don’t think of books as a product line, it’s the lowest thing on the totem pole,” said HDA’s Kirschwehm. “We’re out trying to change that. We emphasize that it’s not about selling books, or selling magazines, it’s about inspiring, instructing and enriching consumers’ lives. People that have more information do more projects and buy more products and we try to emphasize that to our retail partners.”

The Mystery of Modell’s

In the world of distribution into sporting goods stores, Booklegger is a prominent presence in this notoriously difficult market. Although numerous publishers say flat out that sporting goods stores are impossible to reach (especially since the demise of Contemporary Specialty), golf books (thanks to Booklegger) have been widely distributed into stores like Gaylan, Copeland Sports, Sports Chalet, and Dick’s for up to 15 years in some cases.

Online, the selection of both partner stores, as well as Booklegger titles, is even greater. Thirty-four titles stocked by Booklegger can be found at Modell’s on-line, for example, even though Booklegger doesn’t distribute into Modell’s stores. In fact, in a curious turn of events, Booklegger doesn’t technically distribute into Modell’s on-line either. Confusing, as Booklegger titles are easily searchable and purchasable not only at Modell’s, but at other on-line, non-partner stores as well. Unsure exactly how they got there, Kraut and Director of Special Sales Libby Bonomolo guessed that they were placed there by an e-marketer that Booklegger uses: Global Sports (

Further virtual-sports browsing makes it apparent that Booklegger wasn’t the only one with mysteriously distributed books. Other than golf, one of the most widely accessible categories in the on-line offerings of Dick’s and Modell’s is hunting — with all available titles from Creative Publishing International (formerly Cy de Cosse) and now owned by Quayside (formerly Rockport) listed. CPI’S Kevin Haas believes that sporting goods stores may be setting up their websites with information from Ingram. CPI also distributes some Quayside titles directly into some sporting goods stores including Modell’s, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro and Cabela’s.

Other virtually represented publishers like Rodale (whose South Beach Diet was found in nearly all on-line sports stores, along with one or two select titles) had no idea how the books got there, claiming repeatedly that they couldn’t, and had never been able to, get into the sporting goods market.

And the last word from special sales consultant Elaine Panagides, “The benefit of working with these specialty distributors is an unparalleled gift to publishers in selling their backlist.”

The Warehouse Boogie Woogie

Distributors Reshuffle the Deck – Signing Up Clients As Publishers Proliferate, Ingram Jumps In As Baker & Taylor Gets Out

Bowker reports that 2004 saw the birth of 11,000 new ISBNs in the US, bringing the grand total to a whopping 81,000 publishers. From the largest to the smallest, everyone’s looking to get to market, and (as always in the distribution biz) the only constant here is change.

As margins continue to shrink, distributors and publishers alike are looking to extract whatever they can wherever they can – witness the re-entry of publishers into distribution to fill capacity in their warehouses (and add to the bottom line). With the invariable push and pull of every loss creating a void that needs to be filled, distributors faced another year of musical chairs – The Perseus purchase of CDS earlier this spring shook things up; Random House charged back into the game with very generous terms, picking up clients right and left, and the see-saw dance between wholesaler giants Baker & Taylor and Ingram continued with Ingram’s re-entry as the new-and-improved Ingram Publisher Services following B&T’s hasty entrance and exit.

As distributors step in and out of the ring, and client-publishers shuffle and shuttle between, others are cobbling together unorthodox options – like veteran Neil Levin who is selling the UK Octopus Group in the US, with back office functions at CDS.

Publishers often retain a greater credibility with accounts, so distributors are meeting their competition by offering expanded services (e.g. international options, entrance into non-traditional markets). This bustling competition includes printers as well. Banta, who has been in the business forever, with Workman as their first client, is actively promoting back office services and hawking their systemic advantages, as president Dave Shanke put it, of getting the book to market faster and cheaper by streamlining procedures.

However, even with the rising competition between distributors, there remains a chasm between the traditional publisher/distributors who only represent a select number of larger publishers, and the growing number of distributors (both large and small) who have hundreds (and sometimes hundreds upon hundreds) of clients.

Notwithstanding today’s declining book industry stats, Ingram Publisher Services’ VP Phil Ollila said, “It’s a good time for distribution. I’m an optimist.”

International Bestsellers: The Iran-Coelho Affair

Book-Banning Scare in Iran, Expats Unite in Turkey

Despite having completed all of the normal and rigorous procedures required to get permission from the government, Arash Hejaz, the Iranian publisher of Paulo Coelho‘s latest international sensation, THE ZAHIR, was threatened and terrified last month by the authorities. The novel was the first foreign title to be protected by copyright in Iran since 1979, and Iran was in fact the first country in which the book was published (24 hours before it was released in Coelho’s native Brazil), a condition imposed in order to obtain this copyright protection. Last month, however, it was banned by the powers that be in dramatic fashion “because the main character has a behavior that is not proper,” according to Hejaz, of Caravan Books.

What followed was a series of dramatic emails from Hejaz to Coelho, in which he detailed concerns about his own safety and the safety of his family.

“I have not slept during the last 48 hours, trying to contact people in charge, no answer. But today, someone from the ministry of culture came to me and told me that they have become extremely afraid of the increased popularity of Paulo Coelho after the release of THE ZAHIR.” Coelho’s book drew particular attention as thousands of people gathered around the Caravan stand at the Tehran Book Fair in early May, to buy the book, watch an interview of Coelho with Persian subtitles, along with a documentary on his visit to Iran in 2000.

Hejaz also distributed tie-in posters featuring Coelho with the heading “Freedom is not being uncommitted; it is to choose, and then commit to that choice,” and the words “Man, Knowledge, Freedom” along the bottom. The Government Intelligence Service soon sniffed out the stand and confiscated remaining copies of the book, threatening to burn down Hejaz’s office if he refused to stop selling books and distributing posters. Hejaz’s fear was evident in further emails: “The presidential election is near. They are doing everything to keep things under control. People are disappearing; it is exactly like year 1976 in Argentina…They can do anything.”

At the same time, another title attributed to Coelho was also released in Iran, with the title ON THE WINGS OF LOVE. “It seems there’s a conspiracy going on,” Hejaz wrote to Coelho, “as this book has not been written by you.”

In a sudden and unexpected change of events, (and presumably a result of pressure from the international press), representatives from the Ministry of Culture returned the confiscated books, explaining the threats away as a simple misunderstanding on the part of the police.
Meanwhile, despite these trials and tribulations, Coelho has already beaten his own sales records in each and every one of the 30-plus countries where THE ZAHIR has been published to date.

On a recent sojourn through the bustling bazaars of Istanbul, our very own Constance Sayre had a fortuitous encounter with the husband of US expat, author Catherine Bayar, who recently contributed two stories to an impressive anthology featuring 33 international women and their stories of Turkey, its people and its culture.

TALES FROM THE EXPAT HAREM: FOREIGN WOMEN IN MODERN TURKEY T is the brainchild of two editors, Anastasia Ashman and Jennifer Gokmen, who sailed off on the internet searching for women with stories to share. The two wanted to bring together “a modern view of how women live in this much misunderstood place… “how [they] each react and adapt to [their] adventures in Turkey.” Like a modern day metamorphosis of the writings of Lady Mary Wortley Montague, these “reflections of foreign women on their Turkish lives bridge the gap of understanding that seems to exist between the Western world and continent-straddling, paradoxical Turkey.”

The wheels were set in motion in an Istanbul writing workshop, attended by American women who realized that they were all writing about their Turkish experiences. Soon afterward, a small Turkish-American press bought their proposal for an anthology and over the course of a year Ashman and Gokmen called for submissions through expatriate, writing, and women’s groups.

“We heard from more than 100 storytellers from the worldwide diaspora of foreign women whose lives have been touched by Turkey and worked with many, most not professional writers, to fashion a personal tale that revealed as much about the woman and her own culture as the country she uncovered,” said Ashman. This spring they delivered a manuscript with settings “as diverse as the country itself, through the voices of artists and scientists and Peace Corps volunteers, among many others.”

As the project continued to grow, the small press allowed the editors to move the anthology to a larger publisher, Dogan Kitap, which would be better equipped to promote the book through its media conglomerate of television and radio stations, magazines and newspapers as well as sell the volume in its nationwide chain of bookstores.

Advance reviews have been pouring in from prominent voices in Turkish culture and politics, along with experts in expatriatism and acculturation, and so far everyone likes what they see. Ashman reports that the latest praise comes from Elif Shafak, the award-winning Turkish novelist (THE SAINT OF INCIPIENT INSANITIES, FSG 2004), and a feminism and Near Eastern studies scholar at the University of Arizona (whom Orhan Pamuk called the best author coming out of Turkey in the past decade). Shafak praised the book for “successfully transcend[ing] the cultural stereotypes so deeply-embedded in perceptions of the Eastern harem…”

The manuscript is now being submitted in Europe by Jonathan Lyons at Curtis Brown (NY) and the book has found a home with Seal Press (the feminist imprint of Avalon Publishing Group) which will publish the book in the USA and Canada in March 2006.

Hoping to build upon the success of their first major writing endeavor together, both Ashman and Gokman are preparing proposals for their own memoirs, and are also hard at work planning a second volume of EXPAT HAREM. In their spare time, they are working to expand the Expat Harem brand to other countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Visit for more information about the editors and contributors.

As Turkey continues to knock on the door of the EU, a contentious issue for EU member nations (see France’s recent “Non!”), they lead the way in reconciling the many conflicts and misunderstandings between east and west. We hoped to bring you a Turkish bestseller list, but our moles tell us that current lists bear a striking resemblance to product placement.

Hold Onto Your Freedom Fries, Paris Fait Son Retour

The 60th Annual Stationery Show

At this year’s 60th annual Stationery Show, held at the Javit’s Center from May 15-18, it seemed as if style was returning to its source, with retro-chic 1940’s and 50’s designs – and an emphasis on vintage Paris – flooding the floor. An especially slow year, Sunday kicked off to a crawling start that gave way to a hopeful pick-up on Monday, only to fall again Tuesday. Even with the less than impressive turn-out, (estimated buyer attendance was down to 14,000) exhibitors and attendees alike seemed blithely entertained as they wandered through the tchotchke laden aisles (disregarding the one small, suited man at the entrance who was screaming into his cell phone: “What do you mean the pencils are too soft?!”).

Chronicle, a perennial Stationery Show king, was packed – the epitome of the 50’s chic retro fad, where vintage Marvel Comics‘ superheroes were big. Some displayed titles included: ROMANCE PULP POSTCARDS, THE STRIPTEASE KIT:EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO TAKE IT ALL OFF, and NEW PARENT APLOGY CARDS: 30 WAYS TO APOLOGIZE TO YOUR CHILD ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. The spread also included Yoshitomo Nara journals, along with a variety of products from Anne Taintor who is known for her re-use of 1950’s Polaroid shots with added, cynical captions, like the 1950’s smiling, tiara-wearing debutant that reads “Domestically disabled,” and the inquisitive blonde in a pill box hat that asks, “Has anyone seen my hormones?”

S&S, HarperCollins, Abrams, Sourcebooks and Random House booths, on the other hand, were all next to empty. Random, like Chronicle, went retro with their vintage Wizard of OZ notecards, A Woman of Affairs journal – embossed with the original Gilbert/Garbo MGM cover, and HOW TO EAT LIKE A REPUBLICAN – OR, HOLD THE MAYO, MUFFY, I’M FEELING MIRACLE WHIPPED TONIGHT. Even Andrews McMeel, who had an enormous corner-wrapping spread near the front entrance, couldn’t draw in buyers, and stood similarly sparse. Susan Gaffney, Manager Special Sales, says TWBG returned to the fair after an extended absence, but will not return next year. “It’s a lot of work, very expensive and there is no way to track if we’re getting any new buisness,” she said, citing that sales were down across the board – not just within the book business.
As for the non-book booths, a steady stream of traffic flowed into Dave and Kelly Sopp’s Wry Baby – a chic all-white booth (replete with shag rug) displaying the company’s hilarious infant and toddler wear. White onesies and t-shirts displayed slogans like: “Not an elf,” “I can’t read,” “Ate my dreidel,” and “I’m not a boy,” along with their #1 bestseller: “I might barf.” In addition, the company also has a Safe Baby Handling Tips line that features instructional line drawings that explain how to do things like “Calming Baby” (mother patting baby’s back: “Good,” baby drinking bootlegged liquor “Bad”). Wry Baby is collaborating with Running Press (who was notably absent from this year’s show) to publish a Safe Baby Handling Tips board book due to appear this summer.
On a more serious note, Amazon Paper, a first-time exhibitor, displayed their handcrafted, natural, tree-free stationary and gifts. The beautifully delicate products are made by rural farmers, craftsman and urban workers as part of a “social sustainable-development project” in Brazil, generating jobs, and creating income, for families throughout the Amazon. For more information, visit their website at

Bookview, June 2005

As we move into summer, some job changes include geographic movement, along with the usual hopping across town:

Close to home Laurie Rippon, Publisher of CollinsDesign, is leaving HarperCollins effective July 31. She may be contacted through the company until then. Meanwhile, Steve Wasserman, fresh from his LA Times gig, is once again a New Yorker, running the Manhattan office of Boston-based agency Kneerim & Williams, alongside agents Brettne Bloom and Elisabeth Weed. (The industry awaits word of which literary agency will be lucky enough to snag Time Warner‘s Larry Kirshbaum when he retires from the company.)

Further afield, Will Kiester, Publisher of Eye Quarto is relocating to Australia where he has been named Publisher of Murdoch Books. And John Kelly, ex-B&N but most recently head of Book Creation, will consolidate his operations in New Zealand (where he has spent much of the last two years) by the end of 2005. His email address, [email protected], works in both locations.

Meanwhile Y.S. Chi, worn out by endless traveling, is leaving RH Asia, but will remain on several Random House boards. His replacement as President and CEO is Eric Yang, who will sell his interest in the Eric Yang Agency.
In more travel-heavy switches…Chronicle publicist Debbie Matsumoto is leaving the job after nearly twenty years, for North Atlantic Books, where she’ll serve as Publicity Manager of North Atlantic and Frog Ltd, ex-PGWer Mark Ouimet‘s new haunt.

And speaking of former Chronicle people, Jason Mitchell, who worked at the publisher before moving East as Quirk‘s first publicity and marketing director, is heading back west. He’ll be going to Taschen in L.A, taking the Publicity Director spot vacated by Laura Howard.

Maureen O’Neal has joined ReganMedia as a Senior Editor. She was most recently at Ballantine. . . . Allison McCabe has left Berkley for Crown, where she will be Senior Editor. . . . Philip Revzin has joined St. Martin‘s as Senior Editor. He had been at Dow Jones for most of his career, including positions as VP International and Business Development for the WSJ, and Editor and Publisher of WSJ Europe.

Bill Corsa has severed his relationship with Osprey UK and is relaunching his special sales business, Specialty Book Marketing. He may be reached at 718 849 5131.

Peter Molinari joins the National Book Network as Director of Mass Markets. He will report directly to Patricia Kelly, Senior Sales Director, who joined NBN from PGW in April. He was Mass Merchandising Sales Manager at PGW.

Following Anne Larsen‘s departure Elaine Szewczyk has been named Editor, Kirkus Reviews. She may be reached at [email protected] or 646-654-5720. She previously oversaw the website. Eric Liebetrau has been named Associate Editor, Kirkus Special Projects, including Kirkus special sections, the Virginia Kirkus Awards, etc.

In ongoing after-effects of the Bloomsbury acquisition of Walker, Stephen Morrison (who went to Penguin last month) has been replaced by Eileen Pagan, who had been Rights Director for Walker. And Bloomsbury’s Director of Publicity Marian Brown is now Marketing and Editorial Director, paperbacks. Others promoted and/or reassigned to positions at Bloomsbury include Director of Marketing Maya Baran now Director of Publicity, and Sales Director Josh Wood, who is now Director of Sales Planning and Inventory. However, Art Director Krystyna Skalski has left and may be reached at 212 260 9182. Other cutbacks include Walker’s CFO, Director of Production and Design, and Production Manager as well as a number of customer service employees. Walker has relinquished its relationships with its commission sales reps.

Christina Noriega has been named Manager, Special Markets at Scholastic reporting to John Illingworth. She was at DK.

Kate Travers is moving over from Harper Perennial to be Director of the Houghton‘s paperback program including Mariner and HM paperbacks. Susan Canavan steps down as Managing Director of trade paperbacks to focus on editing.

The Ingram Book Group has formed a new proprietary and bargain merchandise operation and appointed Tom Jourdane to direct the unit. Jourdane moves to Ingram from and before that the AMS imprint Thunder Bay.


David Goddy moves from VP of Scholastic Education to VP for Strategic Development at E-Scholastic, reporting to Division President Seth Radwell

In the wake of Pete McCarthy‘s departure, Jason Kincade has been promoted to Online Editor for the Penguin Group, reporting to Sandy McCarron, Content Director.

Goldberg McDuffie Communications announces that Angela Baggetta Hayes has been promoted to Deputy Director of Publicity. Hayes has been a Publicity Manager at the firm for two years, and previously at Basic.
Michelle Howry has been promoted to Senior Editor Perigee Books, which she joined in 2002.

Harper Perennial associate publisher Jennifer Hart will add the title of Associate Publisher for Ecco, as Amy Baker is promoted to Associate Director of Marketing for Ecco and Perennial. Hope Innelli is moving from Executive Editor at Harper Entertainment to Associate Publisher for the Harper trade paperback line, and now runs the Simpsons book line.
Kris Puopolo has moved from Broadway to assume the new position of Senior Editor for Doubleday Broadway, reporting to Bill Thomas with the responsibility for acquiring “serious nonfiction” for the Doubleday list.


MPI‘s own Constance Sayre moderates a mock negotiation of a publishing contract, at 4:30 pm on June 4th at Javits (Room 1E 03), and featuring agent Michael Carlisle, S&S Publisher David Rosenthal and Steve Sheppard and Ellis Levine, well known publishing lawyers.

National Book Foundation will be holding a raffle throughout BookExpo‘s four days at booth # 1425. Visitors to the booth who wish to enter will be asked to leave their business cards or give their email address for the drawing that will take place the following week. First place winners will receive two free tickets to this year’s National Book Awards Dinner and Ceremony and will have the opportunity to meet the 2005 Finalists. The second place winner will receive a bomber jacket brief bag, courtesy of Levenger. Winners will be announced on the National Book Foundation’s web site, www.national the week of June 6.


Joyce Stein tells PT that Raab Associates Inc. is launching of Reviewers, an online search database for media and others looking for new books for children, teens and families. This one-stop resource provides reviewers, editors and producers a quick and easy way to locate and request new and forthcoming titles by topic, author, illustrator, publisher and seasonal interest, and it provides publishers with new ways to get the word out on their books. The site, which currently houses more than 5,000 titles from more than 40 publishers, includes Random House, Simon & Schuster, National Geographic, Scholastic and Harcourt. It is also a public resource for booksellers, educators, librarians and others interested in new children’s books.

The Academy of American Poets has unveiled a completely revamped, redesigned, and expanded version of its award-winning website, Tree Swenson, the Academy’s Executive Director, said, “More poems, more articles, more links, more ways to immerse yourself in poetry-welcome to the brand new” In April 2005, received 1.15 million visits, 570,000 unique visitors, and 7.8 million hits, with an average visit length of over 13 minutes.


Cliff Becker, Director of Literature at the National Endowment for the Arts, died on May 17, 2005, of a heart attack. Becker began his career at the NEA in 1992.

Arnold Robert Bolka
, founding publisher of The Licensing Letter, a business periodical that serves the worldwide licensed merchandising community, died at his home in Scottsdale, AZ Tuesday May 31 after a short illness. He was 81 years old.

Book View, May 2005


April began with the front page NYT story about Judith Regan’s move to LA – a story whose significance is still somewhat unclear. Then real news came of Scholastic‘s Barbara Marcus leaving in June and being succeeded by Disney‘s Lisa Holton.

Changes at Rodale include the just announced resignation of Amy Rhodes, Publisher of Trade Books, and the earlier resignation of Executive Editor Jeremy Katz (see below). Louise Rice has been named as Rodale’s International Managing Director, based in the UK office. and Jennifer DeFilippi has been hired as an editor, acquiring general lifestyle books and reporting to Margot Schupf. She was at Clarkson Potter.

Mary Ellen Curley has left HarperCollins, where she was Associate Publisher for Resource and Business. She may be reached at [email protected] . . . Sally Wood has left her position as President of Pearson‘s Family Education Network and may be reached at [email protected]. . . . Peter McCarthy, VP Executive Director of Penguin (US) online has resigned.

Workman has hired Steven Pace, formerly VP of retail sales at Baker & Taylor, as its trade Sales Director. And Chris Pavone is leaving Clarkson Potter to join Artisan as Associate Publisher.

In the literary agency maelstrom, Laura Nolan who left B&N Publishing has joined Creative Culture, the literary agency run by Mary Ann Naples and Debra Goldstein. . . . Curtis Brown agent Ellen Geiger has joined the Frances Goldin Literary Agency. . . . Jeremy Katz, has left his job as Executive Editor of Men’s Health and Sports books at Rodale to join Greenburger as an agent, dividing his time between Pennsylvania and New York. He can be reached at [email protected] or 212 206 5621. . . . Gail Fortune has left Berkley after 15 years there as an editor to join John Talbot in a new venture, The Talbot Fortune Agency.

Kathy Schneider, Associate Publisher at Miramax, is following her boss Jonathan Burnham, to HarperCollins. Emily Takoudes, formerly an associate editor at S&S, is joining HarperCollins’ Ecco imprint as an Editor on May 5. Lee Boudreaux joined in February. And at Regan Books, Chris Min Park has joined the imprint as a senior editor, effective immediately. She was at Rugged Land.

Stephen Morrison returns to Penguin as Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher, reporting to Kathryn Court, President and Publisher of Penguin and Plume. Morrison will be responsible for Penguin Trade Paperbacks and the execution of the Penguin Publishing Program. He was most recently at Bloomsbury USA.

Patricia Kelly has become senior Director of Sales as well as Director of NBNKids. Kelly, who was Director of Sales for children’s and special-markets at PGW, will remain based in the Bay Area and will report to VP of Sales, Michael Sullivan.

Larry D. Chilnick has been appointed Editorial Director of the Cleveland Clinic Press, a new commercial publishing arm of The Cleveland Clinic. Chilnick has most recently been a book packager and agent.

Elisabeth Dyssegaard joins Smithsonian Books, as Executive Editor. She was most recently at Ballantine and before that, at FSG. She may be reached at [email protected] Also joining the editorial department is T.J. Kellerher, most recently senior editor at Natural History magazine.

Louisa Ermelino has joined PW as Reviews Editor, a new position. Ermelino, most recently chief of reporters at InStyle magazine, has been a reviewer for both trade and consumer magazines. She is also the author of three novels, and teaches creative writing at Columbia.

David Brown joins Atria and Washington Square Press as Publicity Manager. He was at Morrow/Avon.

In children’s books: Jeanne Mosure moves into Lisa Holton’s place at Disney. Brenda Bowen has been promoted to VP, Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, and Lynn Waggoner was promoted to VP, Global Books & U.S. Associate Publisher. Mark Maxwell has been promoted to Director of Sales for Disney Children’s Book Group and Jim Conlin comes over from Scholastic and Borders as Senior Account Executive. Meanwhile, Catherine Daly has left Disney for the position of VP Editorial Director of S&S’s Simon Spotlight. . . .

Ellen Stamper has joined HarperFestival as Editorial Director, reporting to VP Publishing Director Emily Brenner. Stamper was Publisher of Paint Chip Productions, a packaging division of Walter Foster Publishing. . . . Harcourt announced a restructuring of their children’s editorial department: Allyn Johnston has been promoted to the newly created position of Editor in Chief, while Elizabeth Van Doren takes an “enhanced” Editorial Director position. And Kathy Dawson has joined as Associate Editorial Director. She was at Putnam. Jeannette Lawson has been promoted to Executive Editor. . . .

Jennifer Gonzalez has been hired by Candlewick as National Account Manager – she was formerly at Levy Home Entertainment where she was a Senior Account Executive on the Target Account.

Running Press Publisher John Whalen has left and Jon Anderson, who had come into the company late last year, will take over the position. He had succeeded Carlo DeVito, who went to Penguin.


Suzanne Herz, VP Associate Publisher and Executive Director of Publicity for Doubleday Broadway, has been named Publisher of the new imprint she has formed, Flying Point Press. Her publicity responsibilities will be assumed by Alison Rich and David Drake, who will head respectively, publicity at Doubleday and Broadway.

Kate Medina, Executive Vice President and Executive Editor of the Random House editorial imprints, has been named Executive Editorial Director.

Hyperion’s Director of Marketing Jane Comins has been given the additional title of Associate Publisher, while Director of Publicity Katie Wainwright adds responsibility as Associate Publisher for trade paperbacks. National Accounts Manager Sarah Schaffer has been promoted to Director of Sales.

David Roth-Ey has been named VP, Editorial Director of Harper Perennial and Harper trade paperbacks.

Following Emi Battaglia‘s promotion to Associate Publisher, Warner has named Jennifer Romanello as Director of Publicity.

At Rodale, Cathy Lee Gruhn has been promoted to Executive Director of Publicity, and Louise Braverman steps up to Associate Director. Mariska Van Aalst and Susan Berg have both been promoted to Senior Editor


Women’s National Book Association presents a May 10th panel on Young Literary Agents on Publishing: Changing the Industry One Book at a Time. Panelists include Andrea Barzvi (ICM), David Black (David Black Agency), Jay Mandel (William Morris Agency) Jim Rutman (Sterling Lord Literistic). The panel takes place from 6 – 8 p.m. at Small Press Center, 20 West 44th Street. Meanwhile, as of May, all NY Chapter panel events will be available to members as streaming audio and PDFs. For info:

The Publishing Triangle‘s 17th Annual Triangle Awards, honoring the best lesbian and gay fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in 2004, will be presented on May 10 at the Tishman Auditorium of the New School for Social Research (66 West 12th Street) from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Avalon Publishing Group, the ceremony is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.

• FSG’s John Glusman will appear at 192 Books (192 Tenth Avenue at 21st Street) on May 12 at 7 pm. He will talk about his book Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese, which Viking is publishing. Call 212.255.4022 to reserve a seat.


Marsha Melnick reports a change of address for the offices of Roundtable Press, Inc: 102 Blooms Corners Road, Warwick, New York 10990. Roundtable’s telephone number remains the same, 212-691-0500. The company will continue to handle reprints, revisions, and royalties of its backlist titles. In a related note, Marsha Melnick and Susan E. Meyer announce the formation of Melnick & Meyer Books, a book packaging company to develop new projects. The new company will be located at the same address in Warwick, New York. Melnick and Meyer can be reached at 845-986-1811.


Carie Freimuth and John Hughes announce the arrival of Joseph Freimuth Hughes on March 19th in Denver.

More BC at BEA

BEA‘s back and Blackberrys are buzzing as everyone gears up for yet another three-day extravaganza chock full of authors, agents, air kisses and an international invasion. To help you get quadruple booked in all the right ways, Publishing Trends checked in with a number of show veterans and got the low down on this year’s book fair behemoth.

The new BEA show manager Chris McCabe reports that there are “no major changes” to this year’s event, (except for him, of course), but he’s very excited. “Not brand-spanking new, we’re building on things that have been successful in the past,” he said, noting a focus on librarians and increased international activity.

The Rights Center will be back on the show floor this year after its successful debut in Chicago in 2004 – with over 200 tables up from last year’s 140. “It speaks to increased international activity,” McCabe said. “We’re seeing more selling in both directions.”

Jürgen Boos, the new director of the Frankfurt Book Fair will be hanging out at booth #2225 – the German collective stand – with 31 other exhibitors. “I am really looking forward to my first BEA in my new role. I am very excited to meet our clients and to get their feedback so that we can further improve our services at the Frankfurt Book Fair.” The annual reception of the Frankfurt Book Fair in cooperation with Le Bureau International de l’Édition Française will take place on Friday, June 3rd at 5 p.m. Boos will be there.

Ornella Robbiati, Editor-In-Chief of Sonzogno said, “BEA is not a rights fair, it has been more and more taken over by LBF.” (But PT notes she couldn’t stay away!)

In another exciting staying-the-same-only-better development, McCabe also notes that the successful editorial Buzz Forum will be back again this year. There will also be a panel, designed to highlight two or three hot-button contractual issues – libel, decency (could be smut, homosexuality, gay marriage), payout schedules, and the like – lawyers Ellis Levine and J. Stephen Sheppard, of the firm of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams and Sheppard, will join with literary agent Michael Carlisle of InkWell Management and S&S Publisher David Rosenthal in inventing a non-fiction book and conducting a mock-negotiation.

As usual a 1000 plus authors will be in attendance, with 700 signing copies of their latest works.

In addition, “We have another BC as our opening night act,” says McCabe, “last year it was Bill Clinton, of course, and this year it’s Billy Crystal.” And the Saturday night benefit adds yet another Bill to the mix with Bill Maher hosting Real Time at the Town Hall.

The one addition that is “spanking new” this year is The New Title Showcase which will allow everyone from existing exhibitors to small independent publishers the chance to buy shelf space to display their newest releases at the entrance. Space is limited, but McCabe adds that they can always squeeze in more, so if you haven’t signed up yet, do so immediately.

But enough about Javits happenings, where are the parties? On Thursday, S&S is throwing a party for Gigi Levangie Grazer, author of The Starter Wife at Soho House, but Friday, June 3 seems to be party day, with Broadway throwing a party for Mark Bittmar, Houghton’s children’s paperback imprint Graphia is hosting a party at Amuse to celebrate its books, and a 1745 Broadway shindig for Random authors is in the works. Henry Holt will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Metropolitan Books sometime during the weekend, and Harcourt is hosting a luncheon for Umberto Eco.

Only in New York, kids. Only in New York.