Bookview

PEOPLE

Andy Martin has left Sterling for St. Martin‘s and the Minotaur imprint where he will be VP, Publisher, reporting to SMP President Sally Richardson. Martin had been Publishing Director at Sterling.

Raquel Jaramillo, longtime VP Creative Director at Holt, is moving to Workman as Director of Children’s Books reporting to Susan Bolotin.

Peter Ginna
has left OUP to join Bloomsbury as Publisher and Editorial Director of a new and as yet unnamed imprint. He starts at Bloomsbury in September.

Ann Binkley is returning to Borders Group (and Ann Arbor) as Director of Public Relations, a position she held until 2003 when she moved to New York to work for New York Is Book Country and subsequently Quills Foundation. Beryl Needham is leaving Random House to re-join Binkley at Borders as Director of National Events and Field Marketing. She is replacing Tracy Egan. Both Binkley and Needham will report to Michael Tam, Chief Marketing Officer.

HarperCollins announced that Jamie Brickhouse, recently at Basic Books, has been named Director, HarperCollins Speakers Bureau. He reports to Debbie Stier, SVP, Group Publicity Director. Julie Elmuccio, who is currently with the Speakers Bureau, has been promoted to Speakers Bureau Coordinator. Jennifer Sheridan will join HC as a sales Representative for the New York region, reporting to Jeanette Zwart. She worked for Bookazine and managed the Children’s Department for Unabridged Books in Chicago. Mary Albi has joined HarperCollins Children’s Books as Director of Marketing, reporting to Diane Naughton. Elizabeth Fithian has left the company. And Carrie Bachman ([email protected]) and Roberto De Vicq are leaving Harper in a reorganization of the cookbook area. Harriet Bell will go to a three-day work week.

ReganMedia, a division of HC, announced Elena DeCoste has been appointed VP of Television Development, reporting to Judith Regan. DeCoste, who comes from CAA, will be based in Los Angeles. . . . Justin Loeber has decided not to go with the PR company he originally planned on moving to after he left ReganMedia. He may be reached at [email protected] or 646 416 3046.

Rich Johnson, longtime VP for Trade Sales at DC Comics, is leaving the company. No details on his departure were given. He joined DC Comics in 1997. He may be reached at [email protected]

Andrea Glickson‘s job at Stewart, Tabori, & Chang has been eliminated. She has left the company and may be reached at [email protected] She was Director of Marketing.

Jesse Cohen has left Atlas Editions and may be reached at 212 888 1052 or [email protected] . . . Greg Constante has left Acanthus Press to move back to LA. He may be reached at [email protected]

Kevin Haas
has been named VP of North American sales at Ryland, Peters and Small. He was with Quayside Publishing Group.

Jofie Ferrari-Adler has left Viking, where he was an editor. He may be reached at [email protected]

Daniel Moreton
has joined Scholastic as Executive Art Director, Licensed Books and Cartwheel, reporting to David Saylor, VP, Creative Director. Most recently, Moreton was Creative Director for Nickelodeon’s Entertainment Products Group. He also is the illustrator of several children’s books. Paul Banks has joined Scholastic as Art Director, Licensed Books. Banks had been doing freelance art direction for Scholastic and for Macmillan/McGraw Hill and had previously been Global Design Manager for Disney Publishing Worldwide. He reports to Moreton.

Lucille Rettino has been named Director of Marketing SSE and Simon Pulse. Rettino came to S&S from Henry Holt, where she was Executive Director of Advertising and Promotion. Earlier Renee Fountain was named Licensing and Brand Manager for Children’s. She had been Harcourt.

Harry Kirchner National Accounts Director for PGW has joined the National Accounts team for Ingram Publisher Services.

And last, but certainly not least, Siobhan O’Leary, erstwhile Associate Director of Market Partners International, before moving to Berlin to study German, has been named Foreign Subsidiary Rights Associate at Crown, reporting to Karin Schulze.

PROMOTIONS

At HC, Andrea Pappenheimer has been promoted to the title of SVP, Sales and Associate Publisher of HC Children’s Books. Brian Grogan has been promoted to SVP, Sales for General Books. He formerly was SVP, Director of Distributor Sales. David Sweeney has been promoted to Senior Director, Mail Order, Retail and Wholesale. He joined Harper in 1996. Marie Hergenroeder has been promoted to Senior Director, Premium, Proprietary and Display Marketing. She joined Harper in 2000. Doug Menake has been named VP, Director of Inventory Management for the Adult Trade division. He recently took over management of the Overstock Sales initiative for the company. David Toberisky has been named VP, Director of Inventory Management for the Children’s division. He also participates in the Children’s Executive Committee. Diane Naughton announced the promotion of Cristina Gilbert, to Senior Director of Marketing at HC.

James Kimball was promoted to Vice President, Sales Director, Knopf Publishing Group, by Jaci Updike. He has been at Knopf since 1998. Ruth Liebmann has also been promoted to VP and named Director, Retail Field Marketing and Merchandising. She had been Director, Independent Bookselling.

Hilary Redmon has been named Editor of Penguin Books. Most recently an Associate Editor, she joined the company as an editorial assistant in 2002 and became an assistant editor for Viking in 2003. Alessandra Lusardi has been named Associate Editor. Most recently an Assistant Editor, she joined Viking in 2002 as an assistant to Clare Ferraro. She was promoted to Assistant Editor in 2003.

JULY EVENTS

Pete Hamill, Molly O’Neill, Kevin Baker and others gather in July at Mad. Sq. Reads, the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s new free series of summer readings by notable authors. Each Thursday evening program will be devoted to a different aspect of New York life and history. The readings will be presented at the foot of Augustus Saint-Gauden‘s Farragut Monument, located mid-park at 25th Street. Each program lasts about one hour except as noted. For information call 212 538 6667. Books will be available for sale at each reading courtesy of Borders.

Project Gutenberg, will hold an annual World eBook Fair beginning July 4th and running through August, during which 300,000 e-books will be available for free download, together with some classical music scores, recordings and films. The vast majority of the books are in the public domain, and the rights holders to the remainder have granted their permission. Though 20,000 titles are already permanently available from the site, the rest will be loaned for the month of the Fair from other e-book libraries, some of which normally charge, and some of the loans will remain after the end of the Fair. Project Gutenberg plans to increase the number of titles available during the Fair to 1 million by 2009. Over 100 languages will be represented for worldwide readers and that total is expected to increase. Go to http://www.gutenberg.org for further information and downloading.

DULY NOTED

Intellectual property or real property? Mary Hall Mayer seems to be working at both: While recently selling world rights in a six-figure pre-empt to Dr. Nicholas Dodman‘s What Every Good Dog Owner Should Know to Houghton Mifflin‘s Susan Canavan, she has also – as a broker with Halstead Property – just concluded the sale of a Tribeca loft for over $1.5 million and a high end rental also in Tribeca.

An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore‘s new book, produced for Rodale by Melcher Media, is printed on paper that is 30% “post consumer waste,” (which Chelsea Green doesn’t consider, mmm, green enough). However, according to the description in the book, it is the first book produced to offset 100% of the CO2 emissions generated from production activities with renewable energy. “By supporting a new Native American wind farm and a new family farm methane energy project through NativeEnergy, this publication is carbon neutral.” For more information – “and to offset your own carbon footprint,” go to nativenergy.com. For information on RH and other industry publisher initiatives, go to greenpressinitiative.org/

IN MEMORIAM

Lyle Stuart, founder of the eponymous publisher and later, of Barricade Books, died on June 24th, at the age of 83.

What I Know Is Wiki

The biggest and arguably best general online encyclopedia, Wikipedia started in 2001 and now includes millions of entries, in 229 languages. It is not infallible, but then again, as Nature magazine pointed out in a head to head comparison, neither is the Encyclopedia Britannica. In the course of researching an historical memoir, I have logged many hours in libraries and archives, but Wikipedia is usually one of my first stops for some new thread of inquiry or a quick fact check. My informal and unscientific sample of inquiring minds among the Net generation strongly suggests that their research inevitably starts with Google and Wikipedia; and it usually ends there, too.
This is why I found myself thinking about authoring a Wikipedia entry on Ala Gertner, a central figure in my book because of her connection to my family and her role in the Auschwitz uprising of 1944.

I didn’t need to ask an editor’s permission. Anyone can author an article on Wikipedia. And “anyone” does, since the writers are anonymous. Amateurs or scholars, they are all people who care passionately about a subject and want to share their knowledge. In fact, if you look up a name or subject that comes up empty on Wikipedia, you are invited to fill the gap.

My first cautious step was to cruise around Wikipedia to observe the “house style,” which seemed remarkably consistent in its neutral and factual tone. So far, so good. I found tutorials and references to help me get started, but when I actually started to write, I was caught in the quicksand of html codes. As soon as I tried anything fancy, the page was a mess. Many hours later, I had succeeded in posting the equivalent of a sloppy freshman draft. But at least the words were there. My entry on Ala Gertner now sounded like a Wikipedia article, even if it didn’t look like one.

I returned to the site a few days later and behold, I had been Wikified! My words had not changed, but the entry now looked professional. By clicking on the “history” tab, I could see that the article had been scrubbed several times by automated Wiki bots and also by human beings who had fixed my formatting mistakes and added subheads, paragraphs, and proper fonts. These editorial elves were drawn to the task by a Wikipedia alert that identifies all new entries (and probably red-flagged mine as a struggling neophyte) There are reportedly thousands of volunteers who review these entries for the sheer fun of improving them, like the successful investment banker who specializes in editing entries on baseball. He describes his daily edits and fact checks as his “solitaire,” a relaxing brain game for multitasking moments.

It is this process of collaborative editing that is the heart and soul of Wikipedia. So far, no one had edited my words or challenged my facts – but such controversies are not uncommon, and some entries have triggered long and complex arbitrations within the Wikipedia community. But in my maiden voyage, I was charmed by the swarm of nano editors descending upon my page to polish its rough edges until it was fit to join the other 1.6 million English-language entries in Wikipedia.

Emboldened, I tuned up the language in the article and discovered that I could overcome being html-impaired by copying the formatting in other entries, literally cutting and pasting the html codes. Soon I had learned the most important trick of all: how to add hyperlinks to and from relevant Wikipedia articles. Ala Gertner is now in the virtual company of Roza Robota, another extraordinary heroine of the Auschwitz uprising; and of Oskar Schindler, whose labor camp was part of the same Nazi bureaucracy that enslaved Ala. She is also linked to the category of Women in World War II, Holocaust, and featured in the long and excellent Wikipedia article on Auschwitz.

Wikipedia is free, its entries part of the global digital commons. This open source approach to intellectual property was fine until I tried to enhance my article with photographs and images. It was difficult to choose which of Wikipedia’s copyright options made sense without going to the trouble and expense of consulting a lawyer and besides, I couldn’t figure out how to upload and format the images. So for now, my article remains unadorned for legal and technical reasons. But Google Ala Gertner, and you’ll see my entry. It may be different by the time you get there, since it’s no longer mine. Now the article belongs to Wikipedia and to anyone who chooses to read it or improve it.

Ann Kirschner is the author of the forthcoming Sala’s Gift (November, Free Press)

International Bestsellers: Bigger Than a Billion

Frankfurt’s Honoree Gets Into the Fast Lane

Technology. Textbooks. Jhumpa Lahiri. Western book publishers have learned what to expect from their Indian counterparts. The industry has delivered, literally and figuratively, on much of what the Frankfurt Book Fair promised when they named it Guest of Honor in 1986. Presumably bestowed on a culture that could use a helping hand joining the international industry, the honor goes to India again this year, making it the only culture to be showcased for a second time and raising questions as to why exactly India needs another push.

After all, what India does well, it continues to do well, earning its reputation as the go-to place for inexpensive outsourcing of digital technology and more recently, academic scholarship. SparkNotes and McGraw-Hill, among others, contract digital services as well as printing to Repro India, Ltd., a ten-year-old design and data conversion company led by Sonia Mehta, herself a champion of the Friedman-ian flat world that has brought foreign money to the country. Andrew White, president of UK STM publisher Anshan, successfully mines the largely untapped reserve of Indian scholarship and distributes the titles, which he co-publishes with Indian publishers, to the global market.

Repro, however, seems to be an anomaly in terms of quality printing and timely delivery according to many other publishers who have tried it and rue the unpredictable norms. Mapin, an Indian art book publisher focusing on the country’s art, culture, and literature, outsources its printing to Singapore, reports publisher Bipin Shah. Similarly, White says “books are ‘put through the system’ from receipt of manuscript to publication in just a few months — consequently there are often spelling mistakes, faulty binding, blurred images, poor paper — all things unacceptable to us,” though he also remarks on how quickly the print quality is improving.

The synergy between the two industries has been advancing in fits and starts with the US/UK tapping into some rich veins and not others. Appropriately enough, one critique of the lopsided exchange comes in the form of a bestselling novel, One Night @ the Call Centre (Rupa & Co.), written by Chetan Bhagat, a graduate of the country’s best technology school. The satirical look at the wasted potential of six young workers fielding phone calls from stupid Americans revolves around a late-night call from God. In the first month of publication, it sold 100,000 copies in a country where one of the biggest blockbusters (the latest Harry Potter, of course) has sold 160,000 to date.

With India’s population of over one billion, ninety-five million people who speak 24 official languages and 800 dialects, it makes sense that India has more to offer US/UK publishers than just skilled labor. The West is fascinated by Anglo- and American-Indian writers such as Vikram Seth and Salman Rushdie, but relatively few know any of the hundreds of authors who write in the vernacular. At the PEN World Voices panel on Translation in South Asia, Ritu Menon, co-founder in 1984 of the respected independent feminist press Kali for Women, commented on the dearth of international interest in regional Indian literature, citing foreign publishers’ fear that novels from Indian authors who don’t write about the easily transferable values and lifestyles of middle-class city dwellers won’t sell. Menon said the cost and time-intensive process of translating a “high risk” regional-language title also plays a role.

Hoping to alleviate at least the financial obstacle on vernacular writing’s rocky path to international publication, the National Book Trust India established a translation fund this year in conjunction with the Guest of Honor Presentation (GHP). The Trust, a state-sponsored publisher of regional language books established in 1957, has chosen 151 Indian titles across various categories whose translation into German, Spanish, and French will be subsidized at Rs 2 per word (approximately four cents) and participating foreign publishers can translate in their own country or India. To kick off Frankfurt’s Indian awareness campaign, twelve prominent vernacular writers represented their country at the Leipzig Book Fair in March before embarking on a two-week reading tour throughout Germany. So far, only a handful of titles have been picked up by foreign publishers.

Now that the promotion of regional language titles abroad is underway, it seems the industry in India could use a promotional campaign for its own publishers. The outrageous pricing discrepancy between English and regional language titles plays a fundamental role in determining what gets published and according to Harkin Chatlani, Chairman and Managing Director of India Book Distributors, imported English titles of all categories have higher price points there, sometimes five to six times as much as regional ones, causing many publishers and distributors to focus only on English. Incidentally, Mapin hopes to challenge the status quo with its children’s publishing program to be launched this fall. R. Sriram, CEO of the major Indian bookstore chain Crossword, puts the average price of an imported English title at Rs 250 (approximately $5.40) and Indian language and locally published English titles both at Rs 125 (about $2.70).

English books make up roughly 29% of the 70,000 new titles published annually in India. Bipin Shah estimates India’s book-buying middle class to be at least 300 million people, for whom English is an official language, but most of whom speak a regional language as well, and all of whom, he surmises, would buy lots of books in their mother tongues if they were more readily available.

But not all major publishers are avoiding the vernacular. Last year Penguin India launched an unprecedented publishing program in Hindi, Marathi, and Malayalam. Of the 180 annual new titles, around 62 are in these languages. By the end of the year, there will be 35-40 Hindi, 18 Malayalam, and four Marathi titles across various categories. “In lots of ways what we’re doing is very similar to 1987 when we began English publishing. So right now the numbers are small; but they’re bigger than our English mid-list numbers,” says Thomas Abraham, CEO. “Our top seller is just 3,000 copies.”

In another typically ironic instance of globalization, the disaffected readers of Bhagat’s call center exposé are buying his work at Landmark and Crossword, the thoroughly American Barnes & Noble-esque super bookstore chains that have flourished in the past ten years and cater to the country’s English speakers. Founded in 1992, Crossword is a far cry from the 1500 to 2000 average square foot Indian bookstore of twenty years ago. Today, readers can attend a reading, drink tea, and browse through roughly 8,000 to 15,000 square feet of retail space at a typical Crossword (28 stores) or Landmark (five stores). According to R. Sriram, this brand of bookstore experience has taken hold: “In the last three years, growth at Crossword has been 50% to 60% per year due to addition of new stores, and 12% to 15% on a like to like store basis.” Both chains sell online.
Anshan’s White, sums up the Indian publishing industry thus: “It is still pretty chaotic to our eyes, but everyone knows their place and role, and despite our incredulity the publishing and bookselling industry in India continues to thrive.”

Capture the Customer: Publishers & Other Book Businesses Look to Subscription To Supplement Sales

Last year, Bookreporter.com‘s Carol Fitzgerald had the novel insight that if there isn’t an audience for a book, perhaps it shouldn’t be published. The publishing palooza has subsided a bit (Bowker recently reported that total titles were down to 172,000 last year – an 18,000 title drop from 2004), and Chris Anderson mania has everyone chanting the importance of innumerable niche markets. Increasingly segmented audiences allow marketers to tailor their product and their pitch, but with pockets of consumers splayed in all directions, how can publishers lock in their audiences after the initial pitch has been thrown?

With the help of the web, and an eye on the success of music, DVD and even book distribution models like Harlequin or, now, Audible, publishers are re-testing the idea of subscription as a way to build and secure audiences. The choices are myriad, including up-front flat-fee subscriptions, automatically deducted micro-payment subscriptions, bi-monthly, bi-annually, and hybrid combos of all of the above Still, as Don Katz, CEO and Founder of Audible puts it, “Businesses love the recurring revenue model, but there has to be a reason for people to want to make a regular payment.”

Small Presses Use Subscription As Seed Money

In 2001 when Richard Jensen and Matthew Stadler first started talking seriously about launching a small press, the publishing industry was high on e-book hype. “We were marveling at the quality of the physical book, and we thought hey, if everyone else starts doing e-books and we’re the only ones left, it will be great for business,” Jensen laughed.

The tide turned, of course, but Jensen (as Publisher) and Stadler (as Editor) went forward with their first book, The Clear Cut Future – an assemblage of fiction, memoir, poetry, polemical essays, and art by writers and artists from the Pacific North West – mapping out the style that their budding Clear Cut Press intended to adhere to.

From the start, the duo went into publishing wanting to launch a subscription based press. They believed that if they made attractive books with unique physical qualities, people would trust their taste, and subscribe. They also believed that many publishers had lost sight of why books should be published, so they decided to publish all of their books as non-exclusive joint ventures, going 50/50 with the authors “in traditional punk rock fashion,” as they put it. “It seemed to be a fair way to share the risk,” Jensen said.
Pre Clear Cut, Jensen spent 20 years working in the independent music industry at companies like Sub Pop Records (a label credited with helping to launch bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden) and Up Records. He says when starting Clear Cut he “stole a page from the Sub Pop playbook” by getting members to pay up-front for future content. “We used to have a single of the month club,” he said. “The beauty of subscription is that you can float an idea out there and find out if you’ve got a market for it. They send in the money, and then you can begin to put the product out there.” Jensen went on to say that the subscription models used by record companies have their historical antecedents in literary publishing and distribution, making Clear Cut dually inspired by both indy music and by early 20th-century subscription presses like Hours Press and Contact Editions.

Overall, the venture is small, but picking up speed. In spring of 2004, Clear Cut touted 300 subscribers. A little over a year later, they’re up to 800. “The beautiful point where everything can pay for itself is right under a 1,000 subscribers,” Jensen said. On average, subscriptions sell about 60% of the books, with the remaining 40% being sold direct from Clear Cut’s site (www.clearcut.com), and through standard channels (distributed to the trade by SPD Books and Partners West).

Right now, Clear Cut is in the process of finishing up their first subscription cycle of 8 books and is about to make a pitch for the second series. Even so, Jensen conceded that it’s challenging to run a publishing business where books are profitable. “Tell the publishers they can hire us as consultants,” he said. “We’re looking to make money any way we can.”

Another small press, Hard Case Crime, publisher of both old and new crime fiction, started their subscription book club as a way to supplement their pre-existing single sales business. Founded in 2004 by Charles Ardai and Max Phillips, it was Dorchester, Hard Case Crime’s producer and distributor, who introduced them to a subscription option last fall. Dorchester, the mass-market publisher, was already running various genre based “book clubs” similar to Harlequin’s on their site, and offered to handle all of the distribution and back office for Hard Case’s book club. Ardai thought that the subscription supplement would be great opportunity to increase sales. “We had a leg up with a partner who had already experimented with the model,” he said.

The Hard Case book club differs from Clear Cut in that there are numerous subscription options, and subscriptions currently make up only about 10% of overall sales. To join the club is $6.99 a month for one book – the same price as the books sold individually, plus $2 s&h – with the added incentive that subscribers get a free backlist title with every new book they receive. There are various other subscription offers – $58 to receive all books at once, or a mix and match option that allows any reader who wants to buy retrospectively to create her own package. Similarly, any reader who wishes to buy prospectively can place their order and receive a special discount.
Although it’s difficult to judge which model will work in advance, Ardai ventured to guess that the secret lies in the price point. “The pay up front isn’t necessarily a bad model, but it really depends how much it costs,” Ardai emphasized. “$30? ok. $40? a little much, but still maybe. $50? $60? $70? That’s a lot of money to subscribe to something you’re unsure of.”

Ardai doesn’t have any hard numbers, but his impression is that almost everyone who subscribes to Hard Case has bought at least one book à la carte, first. “The classic e-mail that we gets goes something like – my brother/mother/uncle gave me one, I read it, loved it and signed up,” Ardai said. Other than on the Hard Case and Dorchester websites, the subscription offer is only advertised on bind-in cards inside the books.

Hard Case’s edition of Stephen King‘s The Colorado Kid launched the book club, and the subscriber base grew rapidly, jumping to a few thousand subscribers overnight. Since then, subscriber rates have slowed, but are still coming in steadily.

In addition to Clear Cut and Hard Case, there are a handful of other small presses turning to subscription as a means to supplement sales. Nearly all of them operate on a flat-fee up-front payment, with the incentive that shipping and handling are free, and books are delivered before they are made available to the general public. McSweeney‘s began the McSweeney’s Book Release Club this year offering 10 books (one-a-month as they’re published) for a pay-up-front flat fee of $100, and Soft Skull Press began a poetry subscription earlier in the year (see chart). Other subscription small presses include Ugly Duckling Presse (offering a mixed book and magazine subscription); Wave Books (offering limited subscriptions to signed first edition poetry books); Les Figues (offering a prose, poetry, and plays package); and Kelsey Street Press (women’s poetry, with special student subscription rates).

Susan Weinberg, Publisher of Public Affairs, who began her career at BOMC, thinks that although the subscription option is an interesting idea for small presses, it is difficult to implement with a larger publisher since lists tend to be broad. “I think that even the most avid Public Affairs’ reader would have difficulty keeping up with all of our books,” she said. However, she noted that if a reader likes one Public Affairs’ book, they usually like the other titles Public Affairs has published. To that end, Weinberg says they’ve been making a push to build the subscriber base for their free e-newsletter. “So far, we’re extremely pleased with the response,” Weinberg said. “Hardly anyone opts-out.”

Furthermore, publishers have not previously had the opportunity for direct contact with their customers, so targeting or retaining them has not been a priority (though the larger houses such as Random and Penguin are tentatively moving in that direction).

The Book Related Biz: Audible & Zoobafication

Audible has fiddled with its subscription model since its inception, molding it to fit with both consumer desires and company needs. In the beginning (a now unimaginable pre-iPod world) Audible gave a free digital device to subscribers so that they would be able to listen to the content. In order to make the give-away worthwhile, Audible made consumers subscribe to their content for a year to ensure a long-term commitment. As devices became more readily available, and ease of use increased, Audible upped the price of subscriptions, and dropped the free device. As CEO Katz explains it, “Originally, we invented [subscription] as an expediency. With time, however, the membership sensibility created for a more habitual relationship.”
Audible employs numerous subscription models – with the most popular Audible Listener (started 4 months ago) charging $9.95/yr. for a 30% discount on all Audible titles. Other plans offer varying rates over varying amounts of time, giving members the option of more or less content. (see chart on page 6).

“A lot of our growth comes from membership sensibility because of the character of the product,” Katz said. “It’s a different mindset than many people in the publishing industry have about their wares. The publishing community has a single unit sensibility. This is a service that people wake up and use everyday – in 2005, the average member consumed 17 books. When I tell publishers that, they can’t believe it.”

According to Katz, the majority of Audible’s revenue comes from its members (the subscriber to à la carte purchaser ratio is about 3 to1), although significant sales come from Apple (where individual downloads are sold through iTunes). Although no official numbers are given out as to how many subscribers were previously just a la carte users, Katz says that there’s been a “really significant migration.”

“A single user is incredibly productive,” Katz says, since every listener is paid for, and content can’t be shared. “I’m always getting calls from people trying to get into [a subscription based business], but what they don’t realize is that there’s a lot of overhead. It’s a service, and a service requires energy to maintain, the customer has a sense of entitlement.”

Zooba, the latest Bookspan spawn, launched their website at the beginning of 2005 as a Netflixian club for hardcover books. Like Netflix, Zooba’s subscription model revolves around members maintaining an online queue – or “reading list” in Zooba-speak. Also, like Netflix, Zooba operates on a micro-payment model that automatically deducts $9.95 from your credit card each month. Unlike Netflix, Zooba members buy their books rather than rent – with no extra charge for shipping and handling.

“We’ll be truly launching the product this fall,” says Michelle Berger, head of the Zooba initiative and SVP Chief Innovation Officer at Bookspan. The full-scale launch proves that the past year and a half of beta testing has shown Zooba to be a sustainable subscription model – according to Berger, the site has exceeded expectation and was profitable in its first year. The official large scale ad push will coincide with the all-around Bookspan makeover and website re-launch. The ads (both print and online) will include a direct mail push and FSIs, although Zooba is currently an exclusively online venture.

One Zooba perk, is that in addition to the monthly book, subscribers can also purchase an unlimited number of individual titles at the same $9.95, with no s & h charge. The books are club editions, funneled into Zooba from other Bookspan clubs. At this point, Zooba carries about 8,000-9,000 titles, primarily hardcover (the draw to the low price point), as well as a small percentage of softcovers. In order to ensure that the venture is profitable there is a “cost cut-off” in choosing the books (the majority are black and white, with only a few illustrated 4-color), but there is no editorial selection – the goal is choice for the consumer, not choice by an editor.

With a subscription model that breaks away from traditional Bookspan clubs, Zooba is shooting for the “club-resistant” demographic – both ex-members who fell by the wayside due to negative option aversion, and a younger generation of readers which has never been enticed by standard book clubs.
Although at this point Zooba offerings are strictly print editions, there are plans in the works to sell both ebooks and audiobooks in the future. Currently, Zooba is in a partnership with Audible that allows members to listen to audio samples of select titles, with a click through to Audible where they can be purchased. As part of their expansion this fall, Zooba will offer other subscription options as well, allowing members to pay bi-monthly, or quarterly.

For now, Zooba is supplementing, not cannibalizing the other Bookspan clubs, but Berger made the point that even if Zooba did begin to steal subscribers, the subscribers are more profitable at Zooba than at other clubs. “It would be wonderful to transition folks into this mode,” Berger said. Depending on Zooba’s success, Berger said that other clubs – especially clubs that tend to be more online, with a focused subscriber base, like Sci Fi – could get “zoobafied.” Zooba is also looking into adding gift memberships this fall, and entering into the gift card market, a first for Bookspan.

Michael Cader, who runs his own version of a subscription based business with Publisher’s Marketplace/Lunch summed it up with his usual cogency: “Generally, subscriptions remain a great model when they work, and are particularly well-suited to anyone trying to deliver the same kinds of content to same type of reader over and over again. Given that many publishers believe this is what they do, there should be a lot of room for experimentation and business development yet to be exploited.”

Bookview, June 2006

PEOPLE
Libby Jordan, SVP Associate Publisher, Collins will be leaving the company at the end of June. She may be reached at [email protected] or 917.855.8377. Meanwhile, Marion Maneker announced that the Collins Business imprint has hired Ethan Friedman, from St. Martin’s, as an Editor, and Genoveva Llosa as an Associate Editor. She was at Crown and before that at Harvard Business School Press.

Deborah Dugan has resigned as President of Disney Publishing and has been succeeded by Russell Hampton, Jr., also reporting to Andy Mooney, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products. Hampton comes from DCP, where he was EVP of global Home and Infant business as well as GM of The Baby Einstein Company. Dugan can be reached at 917.331.0091.
Warner Twelve has hired Cary Goldstein as Director of Publicity and Acquiring Editor, starting in mid-July. Goldstein has been Assistant Director of Publicity and Director of Web Publicity at FSG. New publicists at St. Martin’s, where Steven Troha has been named Associate Director of Publicity. He had most recently been at Hilsinger-Mendelson. Colleen Schwartz has been named a Senior Publicist. She had been Associate Publicist at Workman, and Random House.

Markus Hoffmann has joined the Regal Literary agency as Foreign Rights Manager. He has been Director of International Scouting at Maria B. Campbell Associates. Meanwhile, Scherz, Krüger, Fischer Taschenbuch and Schatzinsel (children’s books) announce the appointment of Maria Campbell as their U.S. based literary scout effective July 1. Barbara Perlmutter continues to scout for Fischer.

Tim Parker
left St. Paul, Minnesota-based specialty publisher MBI Publishing in March where he was Senior VP Publishing, a position he held for 20 years. He can be reached at [email protected]

Jeanne Finestone, recently named Executive Director of the Capital Campaign for WNYC Radio, has left the organization. She had previously been at McGraw Hill Children’s Publishing.

Interweave Press has hired Tricia Waddell as Editorial Director of the book publishing group. She had worked at F+W, most recently as editorial director for craft, home and lifestyle books.

EARLIER IN MAY

Betsy Groban was named VP Publisher of Children’s Books at Houghton Mifflin. She had previously been at WGBH and prior to that, at Little, Brown. Linda Magram was promoted to the new position of Director of Marketing for the entire children’s book group, adding responsibilities for such imprints as Kingfisher and Clarion. And Joe Monti, B&N‘s buyer for Young Readers and Teens joined HM as Children’s National Account Manager.

Oxford University Press announced that VP Publisher Ellen Chodosh ([email protected]) and VP Chief Sales Officer Michael Burkin ([email protected]) have left the company, following a reorg that puts academic and trade under Niko Pfund. A new department responsible for all sales and marketing activities in OUP USA excluding Higher Ed) will be created, and a new Sales and Marketing Director appointed, according to the announcement. Word is more reorgs will follow.

Weldon Owen Publishing, newly acquired by Bonnier Publishing, has appointed Christopher Davis, formerly Publisher at Dorling Kindersley, as its Publisher-at-Large to help grow its international co-edition business.
In the AMS musical chairs, Gary Rautenstrauch was named President and CEO, replacing Bruce Myers, who left in April. He has been replaced as CEO at Blackwell by Susan Peterson, who was most recently running her own firm, Strategic Team Partners, and previously was at Baker & Taylor and Lightning Source.

Following Tami Booth‘s resignation from Rodale Books, and VP Publisher Liz Perl‘s assumption of her duties, Perl has also been given oversight of the international trade books and rights business. President of Rodale International, Gianni Crespi, has left the company.

Gregg Sullivan has been appointed Director of Marketing and Promotions for ReganMedia/HC. Sullivan, who came from St. Martin’s, reports to Judith Regan, CEO and Publisher.

Jennifer Griffin has left Workman, where she was Executive Editor, for a position as a literary agent at the Miller Agency.

Karen Mender has joined the group working with the Quills Literacy Foundation and on this year’s Quill Awards. She was most recently at Atria.

Triumph Books, recently sold to Random House Group, will continue to be based in Chicago. Jeff Rogatz has been named President, reporting to Bill Takes, who was just promoted to SVP, Executive Director, Business Operations and New Business Development.

Barrie Rappaport has left Ipsos and is now Director of New Product Development – Consumer Data RR Bowker, LLC. In April Annie Callahan was named President and CEO of the company.

Michele Jacob has left Free Press to become Director of Publicity at Basic Books following Jamie Brickhouse‘s departure. Meanwhile, ex-VP, Assistant Publisher, and Director of Publicity at PublicAffairs, Gene Taft has relocated to Washington, DC and set up his own public relations firm, GT/PR. He may be reached at [email protected]

Peg O’Donnell has left NBN, to go to Chelsea Green Publishing, as Sales Director. Beau Friedlander also recently joined Chelsea Green Publishing as Marketing Director. He was most recently at ReedBusiness.
Elissa Altman has resigned as Senior Editor at Clarkson Potter to focus on freelance food/gardening/lifestyle editing and writing. She can be reached after May 25th at [email protected]

PROMOTIONS

Carrie Feron has been promoted to VP, Editorial Director of Avon. She will also continue her role as Executive Editor, William Morrow. Earlier in May, Adrienne DiPietro was promoted to VP, Director of Marketing Avon Books. Carolyn Bodkin returned to HC as Manager of Foreign Rights, reporting to Juliette Shapland. Rachel Bressler joined the National Accounts team as National Accounts Manager for the Harper, Ecco, San Francisco, Amistad and Perennial imprints selling to B&N. She was at Morrow, where she was Associate Director of Marketing.

Kathryn Court announced the promotion of Ali Bothwell Mancini to Editor for Penguin and Plume. She reports to Stephen Morrison.

Cecily Kaiser is moving from Scholastic Book Clubs to Scholastic Trade Publishing, to become Executive Editor for Cartwheel Books and the Licensed Publishing Group, reporting to Ken Geist, VP, Editorial Director, Cartwheel Books and Orchard Books.

JUNE EVENTS

June 15th is the postmark deadline for entries for the 2006 National Book Awards. Go to www. nationalbook.org for more information.

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) will hold its second annual conference on “WOM Basic Training (WOMBAT) June 20-21 at the Hilton San Francisco. Panels are made up of speakers from companies with names like Brains on Fire, Naked Conversations, and Voodoo Vox. Interestingly, a recent survey finds that 92% of word of mouth conversations take place offline (71% face-to-face and 21% by phone). Just 6% of word of mouth took place via email, IM, blogs, and online chat rooms. Go to womma.org/wombat2.com

DULY NOTED

AAP President and CEO Pat Schroeder, reports that the Belgrade Book Fair (see calendar) has named the US this year’s Guest of Honor. The US Embassy will take a booth and will be featuring “Culture and Democracy,” and what that means in a multi ethnic country like the US. If publishers have relevant books or catalogues they would care to donate, please contact the AAP Washington office for more information.

BEA‘s Lance Fensterman announces that they are offering free Podcasts of “approximately 24 of your favorite events” from this year’s show, and will release them as podcasts over the next couple of months. “Plus, our roving reporter has captured some special interviews in his quest to find out “What’s the Buzz” at BEA this year.” Go to www.bookexpocast.com where you can subscribe to the podcasts by email, iTunes or other podcast software.

More than 135 million adults visited American public libraries last year, and students made 1.5 billion visits to school libraries during the school year, according to the first-ever “State of America’s Libraries” report from the ALA, released during National Library Week.
Among other findings: Almost 90% of Americans surveyed in a poll report are satisfied with their public libraries. Some 62% of adult Americans have library cards, and circulation of public library materials has climbed every year since 1990.

The 2006 New Orleans Bookfair takes place Saturday, October 28th at Barrister’s Gallery in New Orleans. The bookfair is an annual celebration of independent publishing featuring small presses, zinesters, book artists, authors, anarchists, weirdos, and “lots of good times.” To learn more check http://www.hotironpress.com/bookfair.htm.

Book View, May 2006

PEOPLE

Betsy Groban has been named VP Publisher of Children’s Books at Houghton Mifflin. She had previously been at WGBH and prior to that, at Little, Brown. Earlier this month Linda Magram was promoted to the new position of Director of Marketing for the entire children’s book group, adding responsibilities for such imprints as Kingfisher and Clarion. And Joe Monti, B&N‘s buyer for Young Readers and Teens joined HM as Children’s National Account Manager.

Oxford University Press announced that EVP, COO Barbara Wasserman, VP Publisher Ellen Chodosh ([email protected]) and VP Chief Sales Officer Michael Burkin ([email protected]) are leaving the company, following a restructuring that puts academic and trade under Niko Pfund. A new department responsible for all sales and marketing activities in OUP USA excluding Higher Ed) will be created, and a new Sales and Marketing Director appointed, according to the announcement.

Weldon Owen Publishing, newly acquired by Bonnier Publishing, has appointed Christopher Davis, formerly Publisher at Dorling Kindersley, as its Publisher-at-Large to help grow its international co-edition business.

In the AMS musical chairs, Gary Rautenstrauch has been named President and CEO, replacing Bruce Myers, who left last month. He was replaced as CEO at Blackwell by Susan Peterson, who was most recently running her own firm, Strategic Team Partners, and previously Baker & Taylor and Lightning Source.

Following Tami Booth‘s resignation from Rodale Books, and VP Publisher Liz Perl‘s assumption of her duties, Perl has also been given oversight of the international trade books and rights business. President of Rodale International, Gianni Crespi, has left the company.

Jennifer Griffin has left Workman, where she was Executive Editor, for a position as a literary agent at the Miller Agency. . . . Elisa Petrini joins InkWell Management after two years at ViglianoAssociates.

Karen Mender has joined the group working with the Quills Literacy Foundation and on this year’s Quill Awards. She was most recently at Atria.

Triumph Books, recently sold to Random House Group, will continue to be based in Chicago. Jeff Rogatz has been named President, reporting to Bill Takes, who was just promoted to SVP, Executive Director, Business Operations and New Business Development.

At Scholastic, Elizabeth Whiting joined the company at the beginning of the month as national account manager for Borders and Walden. She was at Perseus.

John Siciliano has been named Editor of Penguin Classics. He was an associate editor at Vintage/Anchor, where he also acquired classics for the Everyman’s Library. Elda Rotor was recently named Executive Editor of Penguin Classics. She had been most recently Senior Editor at Oxford University Press.

Barrie Rappaport has left Ipsos and is now Director of New Product Development – Consumer Data RR Bowker, LLC.

Michele Jacob has left Free Press to become Director of Publicity at Basic Books following Jamie Brickhouse‘s departure. Meanwhile, ex-VP, Assistant Publisher, and Director of Publicity at PublicAffairs, Gene Taft has relocated to Washington, DC and set up his own public relations firm, GT/PR. He may be reached at [email protected]

Peg O’Donnell
has left NBN, to go to Chelsea Green Publishing, as Sales Director. Beau Friedlander also recently joined Chelsea Green Publishing as Marketing Director. He was most recently at ReedBusiness.

Robb Pearlman has been hired in the position of Senior Editor, calendars, children’s books, and licensing at Rizzoli. Pearlman was Associate Director, licensing and brand management at S&S.

Earlier this month Hachette Book Group announced various moves: Jill Cohen left Bulfinch, where she had been Publisher. Bulfinch and Springboard are now part of HBGUSA; David Ford, Publisher of Little, Brown’s children’s division resigned “to follow his dream of returning to London.” Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Megan Tingley has taken Ford’s position. Andrew Smith went to LB children’s from Candlewick, taking over from Bill Boedeker as VP of Marketing and Associate Publisher.

Following Scott Watrous‘s move to Globe Pequot as President and Publisher, he has named Michelle Lewy as VP Sales. Lewy had been acting Sales Director. Meanwhile Adams Media announced changes following Watrous’ departure: Sara Domville, President of the book division of F+W, named Gary Krebs, Karen Cooper and Jeanne Emanual to a three-person executive team.

Laurie Chittenden joined Morrow as Executive Editor, reporting to Lisa Gallagher. She was previously at Dutton.…Sarah McGrath was appointed VP and Executive Editor of Riverhead Books. She was Senior Editor at Scribner. Also leaving Scribner is Lisa Drew, who started her own imprint at Macmillan/ Scribner in 1993. She retires June 30.

Elissa Altman has resigned as Senior Editor at Clarkson Potter to focus on freelance food/gardening/lifestyle editing and writing. She can be reached after May 25th at [email protected]

Gregg Sullivan has been appointed Director of Marketing and Promotions for ReganMedia/HarperCollins. Sullivan, who came from St. Martin’s, reports to Judith Regan. Suzanne Wickham of Wickham-Beaird Public Relations has taken the position of Director of Publicity, Los Angeles for ReganMedia, following the departure of Justin Loeber (who has taken a PR job out of publishing).

This BEA, marks Lance Fensterman’s debut as Show Manager. He had been the store manager at R.J. Julia Booksellers in New Canaan, CT and reports to Courtney Muller, Group VP at Reed Exhibitions.

Earlier this month Farrin Jacobs was named Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, working mostly on teen fiction for Elise Howard. She was most recently at Harlequin and is autographing her new book (with Sarah Mlynowski) See Jane Write at Quirk’s booth at BEA.

Also at HC, May Wuthrich has joined the HarperMedia group as Editor. Greg Chaput, formerly at HC, has joined SparkNotes as Editor, reporting to newly promoted Editor in Chief, Laurie Barnett.

Kara LaReau joined Scholastic as Executive Editor, Scholastic Press. Most recently, she was a Senior Editor at Candlewick Press. Stacey Lellos rejoined Scholastic as Director of Licensed Publishing, reporting to Ellie Berger, SVP, Trade. Julie Amitie has joined Scholastic as Director of Retail Marketing and Brand Management. Most recently, Amitie was Director of Marketing for S&S Children’s Publishing, At S&S Children’s Mark Von Bargen was hired as Director of National Accounts. He had previously been Director of Merchandising for children’s books at Baker & Taylor. David Carroll also has joined S&S as Director, Distributor Sales and Retail Marketing, reporting to Anne Zafian. Most recently he was VP of Sales at Media Bay‘s Radio Spirits division. . . . Carol Lazare has been named Director of Subsidiary Rights at Other Press, working part-time. She was previously Director of Subsidiary Rights for Doubleday/Broadway.

PROMOTIONS
New Press has promoted Ellen Mastromonaco Adler to Publisher, and Mark Favreau to Editorial Director.

With John Glusman ensconced at Crown, Eric Chinski has now officially been named as the new editor-in-chief at Farrar, Straus. He has been an executive editor there since 2003.

Kathryn Court announced the promotion of Ali Bothwell Mancini to Editor for Penguin and Plume. She reports to Stephen Morrison.

Cecily Kaiser is moving from Scholastic Book Clubs to Scholastic Trade Publishing, effective May 15th, to become Executive Editor for Cartwheel Books and the Licensed Publishing Group, reporting to Ken Geist, Vice President, Editorial Director, Cartwheel Books and Orchard Books.

Many HC promotions: Adrienne DiPietro has been promoted to VP, Director of Marketing Avon Books. Carolyn Bodkin has returned to HC as Manager of Foreign Rights, reporting to Juliette Shapland. Rachel Bressler has moved from Morrow to National Accounts Manager for the Harper, Ecco, San Francisco, Amistad and Perennial imprints selling to B&N. Lynn Grady has been promoted to from Marketing Director to VP, Associate Publisher for the HarperEntertainment, Eos and Morrow Cookbooks lists. Jill Schwartzman has been promoted to Editor. She was previously Associate Editor, Michael McKenzie has been promoted to Director of Publicity of Ecco. Tracey Menzies has been promoted to VP, Creative Operations. Marjorie Braman has moved over to Morrow, acquiring for Morrow and Harper Entertainment and reporting to Lisa Gallagher.

Sue Fleming-Holland has been promoted to VP, Executive Director Consumer and On Line Marketing at S&S. She was VP, Marketing Director. At Scribner, Brant Rumble has been promoted to senior editor.

JUNE EVENTS
June 15th is the postmark deadline for Entry Form for the 2006 National Book Awards. Go to www. nationalbook.org for more information.

DULY NOTED
More than 135 million adults visited American public libraries last year, and students made 1.5 billion visits to school libraries during the school year, according to the first-ever “State of America’s Libraries” report from the ALA, released during National Library Week.

Among other findings: Almost 90% of Americans surveyed in a poll report are satisfied with their public libraries. Some 62% of adult Americans have library cards, and circulation of public library materials has climbed every year since 1990.

BEA Panel Preview

As we ready ourselves for this year’s capital convention, we’re once again on the look out for that-which-will-make-this-year-stand-out-from-all-the-rest. Rather than focus on the perennial party previews, this year we thought we’d take the astute route, and highlight some of the must-see panels sponsored by the AAR.

The one likely to create the most industry ire is US/UK Turf Wars: The Defining Rights Issue of our Time and we urge all internationalists to attend. The age-old Whose Territory is it Anyway continues to loom large as we move into an increasingly digital world. The dramatic rise of discounting and consequent margin-plummeting in the UK has led to a stealth campaign to expand the so-called traditional Schedule-A UK exclusive distribution area. Although publishers rather than agents are in a better position to negotiate English language distribution, for agents it is becoming a no-win situation as each side digs in its heels over what now constitutes exclusive distribution territory (especially with the UK claiming the new European Economic Area in addition to hanging on to the Empire – via India etc.). Copyright and intellectual property issues continue to arise, and piracy is becoming a way of life (See page 4-5).

“This panel grew out of the fact that American agents are watching many of our clients’ chances of being published in half the English-speaking world destroyed over an increasing intransigence by both US and UK publishers to negotiate the territories that comprise the “open market’,” moderator Brian deFiore says. Turf Wars will take place 2.30pm-5pm Friday 19th May, Room 204B, Panelists include S&S‘s Carolyn Reidy and Hachette‘s Tim Hely-Hutchinson.

Immediately following, there will be another edifying seminar for agents who wish to master the complexities of book marketing today – little of which includes running that proverbial ad. According to moderator Geri Thoma (Elaine Markson Agency), agents complain of disappearing ad budgets, and the death of the author tour, while publishers complain that agents don’t understand the time, effort, and resources they put into new ways of selling (e.g. front table space at chains and independents, book club guides). The panel will examine what has changed and what agents and authors can expect will change further. Panelists will include Morrow‘s Publisher Lisa Gallagher and David Poindexter of MacAdam-Cage.

Finally, don’t miss Beyond the Code: Building the New Fact-Filled Fiction Genre where veteran author Steve Berry (THE TEMPLAR LEGACY, THE THIRD SECRET) and newcomer Jed Rubenfeld (THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER) will discuss – along with a bookseller, a reviewer and a marketing director – the sales and marketing implications and opportunities of Dan Brown‘s success for fact-filled fiction. The panel will be moderated by PT‘s own Constance Sayre, and will take place Saturday 1.30pm-2.30pm Room 202A.

International Bestsellers: Risky Business

Copyright Conundrums in Iran, Swedish Suburbs & Chilean Death

Publishing in Iran is a tough business. Just last year, Publishing Trends reported on the international stir caused by the Iranian government’s banning of Coelho‘s THE ZAHIR (PT June 2005). Eventually, the ban was lifted and Coelho turned up on Iranian bookshelves all over the country. However, it appears the government’s cooperation may have been more related to the upcoming election and placating the public rather than an acknowledgment of the importance of free speech. Soon after elected, President Mahmoud Abmadinejad appointed the ultra-conservative Hussein Saffar Harandi to the position of Minister of Culture and since then, few, if any, licenses to publishers for the publication of new books have been issued and all previous licenses are up for review as well.

Arash Hejazi, publisher at Caravan Books in Iran, says, “The new government has put a harsh censorship program [on] any book (Iranian or translation) containing sex, politics, promotion of other ideas or religions, etc. … The government can stop us from reprinting the books at any time.” All books have to go through the censorship protocol, which entails obtaining permission from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance of final proofs and of bound books before distribution.

The publishing process, both of Iranian books in other countries and translated books in Iran, is fraught at every step. If the Iranian government approves the publication of a translated book, it’s likely the book will be so mutilated by censorship that it might not even resemble the original. And to the dismay of agents, publishers, and authors around the world, chances are Persian language rights to the original have not been purchased. Of the top ten translated fiction bestsellers in Iran, only three have been confirmed as authorized editions (THE ZAHIR, THE DESERT, and BRIDA). Five are unauthorized (LOVE, LIVING TO TELL, TIMEQUAKE, THE DA VINCI CODE, and ORACLE NIGHT). The remaining two agents could not be reached by press time.

To complicate matters more, even when Iranian publishers have the best intentions and do seek authorization from a foreign author, sometimes the author or agent require so much bureaucratic hoop-jumping that the process can go on for years. Arash Hejazi, who worked to bring Coelho legally to his country’s readers, spent another three years translating and introducing Le Clézio, negotiating for one year with Gallimard. While publishing without authorization should be avoided at all costs, he still hopes to legalize Caravan’s edition of Márquez’s Living to Tell. Often, several unauthorized translations and editions of the same book are available in Iran which makes the market “very complicated and unhealthy,” comments Hejazi. He adds that any agreement with the original agent or author is “only an act of goodwill and does not help us in the competitive market.”

The rights holder of a pirated title has little recourse on the global front. In 2005, an estimated $76.5 million was lost due to book piracy in the Middle East and Africa alone according to a recent report of nations on the Priority Watch List of copyright piracy published by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA). The U.S. Copyright Office states “There is no such thing as an ‘international copyright’ that will automatically protect an author’s writings throughout the world. Protection against unauthorized use in a particular country basically depends on the national laws of that country.” The possibility of remuneration exists only if the foreign nation has participated in an international copyright convention (the two principals being the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention). Iran has participated in none.

Perhaps preoccupied with other Iranian issues, the U.S. government has yet to take a stand against copyright piracy there. Recent raids of copyshops and publishers in Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong undertaken by the AAP‘s International Copyright Protection Program and spearheaded by Patricia Judd, the Anti-Piracy Program’s head, have all been successful.

Towards a less contentious topic, we shift to Sweden. If precedent is any indication, the new Jonas Gardell novel, Jenny, to be published in May, will create the same sensation that his previous endeavors have. A cultural icon at 43, Jonas Gardell reigns as the king of all media in Sweden. He is to his native country what David Sedaris is to the U.S., times ten. His new novel takes place 25 years after an end-of-school-year party in a suburb of Stockholm at which the class’s unpopular and frumpy scapegoat, Jenny, suffers a terrible disaster. Her best friend and the only student absent from the party, Juha, puzzles over what happened on that crucial day. His classmates remain silent and hostile even after Juha receives a mysterious letter hinting at what took place. Since his first novel, The Passion Play, was published in 1985, Gardell has been a powerhouse of cultural production, writing seven plays, 13 novels, and a handful of screenplays in addition to starring in a talk show and selling out arenas in Europe with his stand-up comedy act. Substance, however, is not sacrificed in his prolificness. Critics along with film and theatre festival juries adore him. About his nonfiction musings on the nature of God, ABOUT GOD (2003), one critic said “No one but Jonas Gardell would dare to do this,” a comment that testifies to the intimate and trusted position Gardell holds in the Swedish public consciousness. According to Bari Pearlman, an American who undertook the translation of WANNA GO HOME (1988) as a labor of love and admiration while living in Sweden, Gardell is immune to taboos and writes with a simplicity that reveals both the humor and tragedy of everyday life, often with female protagonists. Rights to the translation along with English language rights to his other works remain though his previous books have been sold in thirteen languages. Contact Johanna Kinch ([email protected]) for rights or Bari Pearlman ([email protected]) for a translated excerpt of WANNA GO HOME..

On the other side of the world, the debut novel of Pablo Simonetti, one of the major new voices among Chilean writers, continues to tear up the bestseller list after 43 weeks, seesawing in sales with the other Chilean book phenomenon of the year, WOMAN OF MY LIFE (see PT March 2006). MOTHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN (Planeta) deals with women’s history while doing justice to the strength of character found in resilient women through the reflections of the protagonist, Julia, as she dies. The daughter of Italian immigrants, Julia contemplates her relationships with her parents and children. Her gay son, Andrès, passes through the novel, but the first person narration eclipses the actual events of the story. In an interview, Simonetti says “The way she saw her story was much more interesting to me [than the story itself].” Trained as an engineer in Chile and at Stanford, Simonetti was heretofore known for his short stories which are collected in VIDAS VULNERABLES. Rights to MOTHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN have been sold to Argentina (Planeta), Brazil (Planeta), Netherlands (Sijthoff), Italy (Gruppo Editoriale Mauri Spagnol/Corbaccio). Contact Piergiorgio Nicolazzini ([email protected]) for more information.

Getting Searched

The throngs of marketers attending the five program tracks at Search Engine Strategies 2006 last month clearly demonstrated that every industry – including book publishing – is going after this burgeoning branch of online marketing.

Geoff Ramsey of eMarketer mapped the terrain: $15.6 billion will be spent on online advertising in 2006 – more than double the spending of three years ago – which will double again by 2009. Search advertising now represents 41% of online ad spending, with branding close behind at 38% – yet all online ad spending still represents less than 5% of the total advertising dollars.

What’s fueling the growth? Bryan Eisenberg, chairman of Web Analytics, cited one meaningful stat: people are now spending 25% of their time on the Web. While Ramsey noted that only 5% of this time is spent on search, more than 67% of Internet users conduct online research before making a purchase.

Search engine strategies begin with how you present your content, how your pages link, and whether the keywords you use lead to your site. Conference organizer Danny Sullivan, editor of searchenginewatch.com, emphasized that whether you call them “free listings, or organic, or editorial or natural,” your site can rank high on a results page – without any advertising expenditure – if it has great content, quality links, and good traffic. To find out how they stacked up, participants eagerly had their own sites critiqued by such well-regarded experts as Shari Thurow, author of the popular Search Engine Visibility (searchenginesbook.com).

Tips and tricks abounded, here are a few important tidbits to keep in mind:

Link building is an art in itself. Search engine crawlers will score your pages higher if your site links to other high-traffic sites. From Debra Mastaler, SES New York: Link to non-competitive sites that appear on your search results pages; Rankings are based on both outbound and inbound links. From Eric Ward (ericward.com): keep these links as close to the home page as possible, so that the search engine crawlers can find them. He claims to have added 90,000 links by simply changing the url for his news page from the complicated www.urlwire.com/2005/july/week1/story to the simple www.urlwire.com/news.

Keyword optimization. Submit your site and a well-thought out list of keywords to the search directories. But, warned Sullivan, “Be sure to test your own keywords on your site. If you can’t find them, neither will your customers.”

Vertical search is huge. For several years, vertical search has been dominated by the smaller specialized search engines that focus on a particular industry (Indeed.com, Jobster.com, Answers.com, Become.com). Big companies however, have caught on – LookSmart changed its business model in 2004 and now has more than 180 vertical search engines (e.g., autos, cities, education, food, health, etc.); Amazon entered the field in 2003 with a9.com (a separate company that offers search, yellow pages and maps products); Google now places its top three “relevant” vertical search results in a “One Box” listing at the top of the results page.

Paid search. The average cost of a search clickthrough rose 11% to $.40 this year. Blue Nile, FTD, and eBay have reported finding the cost of the top spot for their keywords now too high. Keep your search cost down by using negative match on Google and Yahoo to weed out misleading keywords. And focus on conversions, not clickthroughs.

As web users tire of banner ads and spam, every web site owner interested in increasing web traffic and sales needs to invest the time required to customize pages for visitors from search engines, to build links to quality sites, to experiment with new advertising opportunities on the latest search sites, and to analyze and optimize paid search results. It’s what you need to keep getting searched.

PT thanks Rich Kelley, New York-based writer, editor, and publishing marketer, for contributing this report. He can be reached at [email protected]

Deliverance: Distributors Go for Special & Strategy

Yes, Random House is still aggressive and aggressively seeking new clients. And, yes, this year continued the increased competition that has come to define the distribution biz. Yet, open warring and panic has died down, making 2005 a steady and (gasp) successful year for many. With the exception of pro-growth Ingram, Consortium and RH, many distributors are choosing not to expand and in some cases even decrease their client lists – focusing instead on sniffing out non-traditional markets and increasing marketing & sales support.

Norton‘s Dosier Hammond emphasized that focused, measured growth is key, or distributors risk “diffusing” themselves. NBN sister co, Biblio took this mantra to heart and majorly downsized – to 550 clients from last year’s 850 – in order to pay more focused attention to their remaining clients. “We really take our consulting role with clients seriously,” NBN’s Marianne Bohr said. “From cover treatment, to editorial direction…we offer them as much or as little as they need.”

In the vein of more focused selling, many distributors have been paying acute attention to their non-traditional channels. At the recent BISG Making Information Pay Conference, Mark Suchomel repeatedly emphasized IPG’s commitment to expanded coverage and availability. “We judge reps on the number of accounts they sell to, rather than the number of units they sell,” he said.

IPM’s Jane Graf emphasized that the right market for their client’s books is no longer just bookstores. “Especially with smaller presses with specialty books, more and more sales are going other places,” she said. IPM distributes Sheldon Press, publisher of Coping with Gout. “We sell 4,000 copies a year,” Graf said. “It’s just a tiny little $12.95 paperback, but it’s gotten into pharmacies and other places that have a big turnover. A year ago the demand wasn’t there, but now it is.” Increased interest in non-traditional markets is coming from both sides – reps and retailers. “There’s really been a shift in the way that sales reps are thinking about retail outlets,” she said.

Jim Fallone of Andrews McMeel talked about their “channel managers” pushing to get their books into as many smaller channels as they can, and Abrams also had big successes in non-traditional markets this year. In an innovative move, Norton recently consolidated a portion of their sales force with Workman – they now share 2 reps in the southeast for blanket coverage.

According to Julie Schaper, Consortium is in the process of adding a gift sales force – with a gift catalog in the works as well. The gift/non-traditional market has been growing steadily, Schaper said – at Consortium it just needed more of a focus. “Certainly we find that the gift reps are already paying off,” she said. “Moribund accounts are coming back to us, and last month we added 60 new accounts.”

Diamond started Diamond Select Gift, a new division focusing on the gift market and have hired 144 commission reps to service the channel, according to Kuo-Yu Liang.

Rich Freese says, “[PGW has] invested in multi-channel sales capacity – special and international markets.” Although he acknowledged that distribution has continued to become increasingly competitive as publishers bulk up their distribution services, he said that when the market is soft, it’s actually a better time for distributors, because client-publishers have time to examine their costs in depth. But client-publishers and publisher-distributors aren’t slowing down. HarperCollins, for instance, lured Tokypop away from CDS by offering them a publishing partnership.

For publishers, the outsource/insource decision is bound to come up according to Banta‘s Dave Schanke. Since the answer is so complex Banta, together with the University of Wisconsin, developed a financial (“totally objective”) model this year to determine which option is more cost-effective. Schanke says that one of the greatest benefits is that the model enables a “conversation” between publisher and distributor about what the key issues and costs are within their program. “There’s a lot of complexity right now as publishers sell products across multiple channels,” Schanke said. “Our business is helping them deal with that complexity.”

Eric Kampmann at Midpoint Trade had a different angle – a free book that Midpoint is now offering to all of their clients (both current and incoming) – The Midpoint Handbook: 7 Keys to Publishing Success. The 124 pp. book will be given to independent publishers “of all stripes” both through Midpoint and at BEA according to Kampmann, before being released as a trade book (albeit under a different title, with a few add-ons) later this year or next. “There are tons of books about publishing, but most come from a non-sales background,” Kampmann said. “Here we show that it is interrelated and progressive…Are you an author or a publisher? Many of our clients aren’t sure, and this will help them make the decision.”