People Round-Up, Mid-March 2017


At Simon & Schuster, Valerie Steiker joins Scribner as Executive Editor on April 17. She had been the longtime culture editor at Vogue.

At Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Lauren Hoffman will join on March 27 as VP, Marketing and Publicity. She was most recently VP, Brand Marketing, at MK Creative/Media/Marketing. Nicole Russo returns as Senior Director of Publicity, having most recently worked as Director, Children’s Publicity and Marketing, at Abrams.

As part of a restructuring at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Laurie Brown, SVP, Associate Trade Group Publisher and Business Development, has left the company and may be reached at [email protected].

Melanie Chang is joining Abrams as VP, Children’s Marketing and Publicity. She was previously VP, Integrated Marketing at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Liz Fithian joins as Director, Franchise Marketing. She was previously Director of Marketing at Macmillan Children’s.

Rebecca Marsh joins Viking/Penguin Books as Publicity Manager, having been Senior Publicist at the Crown Publishing Group for Crown Archetype, Harmony, and Three Rivers Press. Parisa Ebrahimi joins Crown and Hogarth as Editor, moving over from Chatto & Windus in London.

John Donovan has joined VitalSource as Managing Director of Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. He was previously Director of Global Sales and Business Development for Epigeum, an online courseware provider.

Meredith Barnes has joined the general fiction publicity department at Harlequin as Publicity Manager; she previously led publicity, library presence, and digital marketing strategy and campaigns at Soho Press.

At agencies…Sarah Bowlin and Ariel Foxman have both joined Aevitas Creative Management as Affiliate Agent. Bowlin was previously Senior Editor at Holt and will work from her home in Los Angeles; Foxman was previously Editorial Director at InStyle and StyleWatch. Sam Morgan has joined Foundry Literary + Media as Literary Agent, having previously been Literary Agent at Jabberwocky Literary Agency, Inc. Alanna Feldman has left Mary Anne Thompson Associates in order to start Alanna Feldman Scouting. She has been appointed US Scout for the Orion Publishing Group, her first client.

At Amazon’s Little A imprint, Laura Van der Veer has joined as Editor. She was previously Associate Editor at Spiegel & Grau.

Paul Muldoon is stepping down as Poetry Editor of the New Yorker after a decade, and Kevin Young will take his place. Young is currently Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

At Northwestern University Press, Jill Petty is joining as Acquisitions Editor. She was previously Senior Editor at Beacon Press.

Marie-Claire Antoine has joined Lynne Rienner Publishers as Senior Acquisitions Editor for political science and international relations. She was previously Senior Acquisitions Editor at Rowman & Littlefield.

Hannah Wood has left Harper and is relocating to San Francisco to work as a freelance editor.


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A Look at London Book Fair & Quantum Conference 2017

This year’s London Book Fair started off on Monday with Nielsen‘s well-orchestrated Quantum Conference, which focused on consumers: what they want and how to meet their expectations. Sessions covered the typical day of a consumer using the internet and included sessions hosted by Google and Facebook, as well as talks by several publishers about their innovations.  Experiments are starting with virtual reality (read our take on virtual reality and publishing), and video is increasingly important: HarperCollins’ Lisa Sharkey talked about how authors are using HarperCollinsLive on Facebook, and F+W‘s James Woollam spoke of vertical communities of enthusiasts, which are both online and offline (think events, retreats, membership). Not surprisingly, research was a big part of the day – Penguin Random House‘s Louise Vinter talked of marketers as “clue hunters,” amassing consumer information from a range of sources, from social media to “shopalongs.”  Nielsen gave stats that tracked most U.S. sales, except that men are buying 6% more print books over last year.

LBF itself ran TuesdayThursday, and was packed for the first two days, as per usual.  Children’s seemed a little lighter, despite a better schedule than last years, when Bologna preceded it by a few days.  This year, Bologna follows in early April. (Next year LBF returns to April 10-12.)

A hot topic at the fair this year was the persistence of print. Several publishers seem buoyed by the fact that print is outselling ebooks handily and hope the trend will continue. But respect was still paid to digital, particularly the impressive growth of audiobooks, which are gaining traction across Europe as downloading becomes easier (thanks, in part, to Audible‘s entry into several new markets like Italy).

As many pre-fair write ups had mentioned, notably absent from this year’s fair was a buzz book for agents and publishers to compete for. But what was selling were psychological thrillers, despite stated lack of enthusiasm for those titles from agents and publishers alike. The fiction trend that does seem to emerging is escapist literature allowing people to disconnect from today’s fraught political landscape, on both sides of the Atlantic. As ever, The London Book Fair itself offered a welcome escape from New York, and a reminder of the global community of publishing.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/13-3/17

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

A Nielsen study in the UK showed that ebook sales are down and print sales are rising.

What does the success of Goodreads mean for writers and publishers?

How much does it cost to build a library of the future?

Will China’s crackdown on foreign picture books have the desired effect?

How can the literary community better address the prevalence of abuse and harassment?

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 3/6-3/10

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

Is there an opportunity for indies in the wake of Family Christian‘s closing?

Why don’t critics take teen literature seriously?

How can local bookstores compete when an Amazon bookstore comes to town?

Why did ereaders take off in the U.S., but not Japan?

What do unit sales look like among each major ebook retailer for 2016?

People Round-Up, Early March 2017


Lucille Rettino has been named VP, Marketing and Publicity, at Tom Doherty Associates, the Macmillan division including Tor, Forge, Tor Teen, and Starscape. She was previously VP, Director of Marketing, at Simon & Schuster Children’s.

At DuttonJohn Parsley has been named VP, Editor-in-Chief, a role that was vacated when Ben Sevier departed to become Publisher at Grand Central. As Parsley was previously VP, Executive Editor at Little, Brown, this is a nearly even trade between companies.

Chris Navratil, formerly Publisher at Running Press, has joined Weldon Owen as Associate Publisher of their new gift-book line, Blue Streak Books. Blue Streak will launch in the spring and aims to publish approximately twenty-five illustrated titles annually for the global market, with Simon & Schuster handling distribution in North America.

At the Feminist Press, Jennifer Baumgardner has announced that she will be leaving her position as Executive Director and Publisher effective May 31. The search for her replacement has begun.

Shelly Bond, former Executive Editor of DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint, is joining IDW Publishing as Senior Editor, Special Projects, and will launch creator-owned imprint Black Crown in October.

At Globe Pequot, Ursula Cary has joined as Executive Editor of Falcon. She was previously Senior Editor at Rodale.

Shannon Welch is leaving her position as Executive Editor at Scribner to pursue freelance editorial and writing opportunities.

At Penguin Random House, Timothy Cheng has been appointed to the newly-created position of Digital Marketing Manager, Education; he was previously Director of Sales at Simon & Schuster. Carolyn Gill has joined Clarkson Potter as Marketing Manager, having previously worked at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, the International Culinary Center, and Disney Publishing Worldwide. At Random House Children’s, Elizabeth Ward has joined as Associate Director of Digital Content Strategy, having worked previously as Associate Director of Brand and Marketing for the teen category of HarperCollins. Margaux Weisman is now Editor at Vintage/Anchor. She was previously Associate Editor at William Morrow. At Crown Archetype, Jesse Aylen has left his role as Assistant Editor to transition to freelance editing and writing.

Ashley Despain has joined Chronicle Books as Associate Production Developer, Children’s. He was previously Children’s Book Buyer at Green Apple Books.

Nick Sweeney has joined Bloomsbury Children’s as Assistant Production Editor. He was formerly a freelance production editor.

At agencies…Kiele Raymond has joined Thompson Literary Agency as Senior Agent after working as a freelance editor. Kari Sutherland has joined Bradford Literary Agency as Agent; she was previously Editor at Harper Children’s.

Eliza Smith has joined Albert Whitman as Editor. She previously worked as Associate Editor at Alloy Entertainment.

At Duke University Press, Jennifer Schaper has joined as Sales Manager. She previously worked as Senior Manager for International Rights at Perseus Books Group.

Madison Taylor has joined Page Street Publishing as Publicity and Marketing Assistant.

Erin Somers has joined as Reporter at Publishers Lunch and Sarah Weinman, News Editor, is on a leave of absence to complete her forthcoming book, Among the Wholesome Children.

Heidi Powell, manager of the children and teens department of Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC, is leaving to join An Open Book Foundation, a nonprofit she cofounded with Dara Le Port six years ago. Powell had been with Politics & Prose for fourteen years.


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Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 2/27-3/3

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

Why are newer ereaders shifting away from SD cards?

Why aren’t there more female travel writers?

What are the risks of Amazon affiliate fees for publishers?

Barnes & Noble‘s Nook sales declined last quarter.

How can social media get the word out about writers of color?

International Bestsellers, February 2017

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







Boom! Pow! Ka-Ching!: Sales of Digital Comics and Graphic Novels

Comics and graphic novels have been having a good run lately. Comichron and ICv2 – respectively, a database and journal covering the industry – estimate that, in 2015, total domestic sales reached a record of $1.03 billion. In their joint report, they note that in 2015, print sales accounted for a staggering $940 million, with about $535 million coming from graphic novels and $405 million from comic books; compare to 2000, when sales grossed a relatively modest $265 million. Ted Adams, CEO of IDW Media, noted that this market is quite stable: “At IDW, the huge growth we saw in digital sales in the early days of eBooks flattened from 2015 to 2016. It’s still a significant revenue stream — measured at around 11.5% of physical sales — and I expect we’ll see growth in the near future as more players enter the storefront marketplace and new technologies develop.”

However, digital sales of both comics and graphic novels accounted for only $90 million of the total, and that $90 million sum represents 9% of total sales, a 10% decline from the same category in 2014. A 9% share of sales seems low nearly a decade out from the launch of the Kindle, especially by comparison to other ebook categories. Genre does matter a great deal when it comes to electronic sales. Forbes pegged text-based ebooks at 30% of sales in 2014, and for some categories like romance, it’s over 50%. And digital comics and graphic novels actually do better than their neighbors in other visual genres: ebooks anecdotally account for only about 3% of the illustrated book market. Why is this?

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Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 2/20-2/24

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

If a book is deemed “readable,” is that a good thing?

Can historical fiction help readers make sense of today’s government?

What does Simon & Schuster’s cancellation of Milo Yiannopoulos’ book mean for conservative publishing?

Can online piracy boost book sales in certain sectors of publishing?

Why aren’t ebook subscription services thriving?

People Round-Up, Mid-February 2017


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has hired Jack Lynch as President and CEO. L. Gordon Crovitz will continue as interim CEO while Lynch wraps up his work as CEO of Renaissance Learning and relocates to Boston.

Cal Morgan has returned to publishing as VP, Executive Editor of Riverhead. He was previously Editorial Director for Harper Paperback and Perennial and had been with HarperCollins for sixteen years when he left in November 2015.

Nicole Dewey has been appointed Managing Director at Shreve Williams Public Relations, effective May 1. Dewey was most recently VP, Associate Publisher and Executive Director of Publicity for Little, Brown and Company.

Kristen Nobles has joined Page Street Publishing as Publisher to launch its new children’s book list. She was most recently Group Art Director for Candlewick Entertainment and Walker Entertainment.

Dark Horse Comics has hired Karen Berger, founder of the DC Comics Vertigo imprint, to start a new line of creator-owned comics and graphic novels, Berger Books.

At Bookmasters, Shawn Metts has been named VP of Sales, replacing Deb Keets, who retires after seventeen years with the company. Metts was most recently VP of Sales at F+W Media, where he worked for twelve years.

Denise Silvestro is joining Kensington’s Citadel Press imprint as Executive Editor, starting February 27. Silvestro was with the Berkley Publishing Group for twenty-one years, most recently as Executive Editor.

At Audible, Rose Hilliard has joined as Executive Editor in the Original Publishing division. She was previously Senior Editor at St. Martin’s.

Lauren Jackson has joined Tor as Senior Publicist. She had been Assistant Marketing Manager at Oxford University Press.

At agencies…Monika Woods has joined Curtis Brown as Literary Agent, moving over from the same position at InkWell Management. Molly Jaffa, currently Subsidiary Rights Manager and Literary Agent at Folio Literary Management, will join Mary Anne Thompson Associates as Senior Scout on March 7. Chris Wellbelove is moving to Aitken Alexander Associates as Agent, having previously worked in that role at Greene & Heaton.

At the Children’s Book Council/Every Child a Reader, Audra Boltion has joined as Media Consultant and Shifa Kapadwala has joined as Publicity Manager. Boltion is President and CEO of The Boltion Group Public Relations, and Kapadwala was previously Publicity Assistant at Simon & Schuster.

At Random House Children’s Books, Tara Grieco has joined as Marketing Coordinator, Licensed & Proprietary Brands. She had been Marketing Assistant at Simon & Schuster.

At Princeton Architectural Press, Susan Hershberg and Wes Seeley have joined as Publicity Managers. Hershberg was previously Associate Director of Publicity at America’s Test Kitchen, while Seeley was Publicity and Marketing Manager at Hal Leonard.

Amy Nathanson Heaslip is now Managing Editor at Highlights for Children Retail Group. She had been Executive Editor at Studio Fun International.

Dustin Kurtz has joined Catapult, Counterpoint, and Soft Skull as Social Media Editor. He was most recently Manager of Books & Books in the Cayman Islands and has previously worked at Melville House, McNally Jackson, and WORD Brooklyn.

At Sasquatch Books, Richael Best has joined as Marketing and Publicity Coordinator for adult titles. She was previously Bookseller at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle. In addition, Micah Nemerever has joined as Sales and Marketing Assistant. She was previously a librarian in Jefferson County Rural Library District.

James Magnuson will retire from his position as Director of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in May. Magnuson became the program’s first (and, so far, only) full-time director in 1994. A search for his replacement is underway.


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