Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Amazon made a declaration of support for a lawsuit filed by the Washington state attorney general in Federal Court looking to overturn President Trump's recent executive order limiting immigration from seven countries as unconstitutional. The first state to file suit, Washington is also seeking a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the order. Amazon indicated it was aware of 49 US-based employees who are from one of the countries targeted by the president's order. In an email to employees, ceo Jeff Bezos noted, "We are working other legal options as well."

told staff, "This executive order is one we do not support. Our public policy team in D.C. has reached out to senior administration officials to make our opposition clear. We've also reached out to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to explore legislative options."

Bezos added: "We're a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 years. No nation is better at harnessing the energies and talents of immigrants. It's a distinctive competitive advantage for our country—one we should not weaken. To our employees in the U.S. and around the world who may be directly affected by this order, I want you to know that the full extent of Amazon's resources are behind you."

Separately, Pearson chief executive John Fallon also sent a company-wide
email expressing concern. (Though the company is based in the UK, it gets about two-thirds of its sales from the US.) "Pearson has never taken partisan political positions, and we respect the rights of governments around the world to determine their own laws, but for all of us who care about the American education system, the implications of this particular policy are deeply worrying." Fallon offered "all possible assistance" to Pearson employees affected by the order.

Also, with the Association of Writing Programs set to convene their annual gathering of 12,000 people in Washington, DC starting February 8, attendees are planning a
variety of protests -- including a Writers Resist Trump field trip to Capitol Hill on February 10.

At Picador USA, Anna DeVries has been promoted to executive editor.

Susan Hawk will move to Upstart Crow Literary as an agent on February 1. She has been at The Bent Agency.

Christina Jeffries has been promoted to vp, director, national accounts, mass merchandise sales at Random House Children's.

Former HarperCollins India publisher
V.K. Karthika has joined Westland as publisher. Amazon bought control of the company last October. A spokesperson told HuffPost India she will "head a newly-formed division at Westland, focusing on literary and mainstream fiction and non-fiction."

Oprah Winfrey is returning to network television -- as a
special contributor to CBS's 60 Minutes, starting this fall. Winfrey said in a statement: "At a time when people are so divided, my intention is to bring relevant insight and perspective, to look at what separates us, and help facilitate real conversations between people from different backgrounds."

The American Booksellers Association
announced that next year's Winter Institute will be held in Memphis, TN, from January 22 through January 25.

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