Thursday, February 02, 2017

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Hillary Clinton will continuing her longstanding publishing relationship with Simon & Schuster, which announced two books for publication this fall. (Actual pub dates were not released, but the S&S website says the books "ship on or around September 26.") A book of personal essays will "tell stories from her life, up to and including her experiences in the 2016 presidential campaign" along with "reflections on the future," inspired by hundreds of quotations she has been collecting for decades. "These are the words I live by," Secretary Clinton says in the release. CEO Carolyn Reidy notes, "We first began talking about this collection of quotations in our first meeting in 1994, and we are delighted that Secretary Clinton finally thinks the time is right to share the words and thoughts that nourished and enriched her, and defined the experiences of her extraordinary life.”

Additionally, Clinton's New York Times bestseller IT TAKES A VILLAGE will be adapted into a picture book by Simon & Schuster Children's, illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor winner Marla Frazee. Net author proceeds from the children's book will be donated to charity.

Separately, Little, Brown announced that they will start a new series with Michael Connelly on July 18: THE LATE SHOW introduces Renee Ballard, "a driven young detective trying to prove herself in the LAPD. Connelly says in the announcement, "It's been ten years since I introduced a new protagonist so I am very excited about this." He will release another untitled installment in the Bosch series on November 7.

And Harper announced a book detailing the hunt and capture of notorious drug lord El Chapo for release on October 17, timed to coincide with the expected start of his trial. HUNTING EL CHAPO will be written by Cole Merrell, a pseudonym for the former DEA Special Agent who led the team during this eight-year case, as well as bestselling author Douglas Century.

Susan Jurevics will leave her position as ceo of Pottermore at the end of February, and she will not be replaced. Rather, Neil Blair will oversee the initiative, with the current leadership under Jurevics taking on responsibility for day-to-day operations. As we pointed out in November, on an operating basis Pottermore has lost close to £50 million, showing a slim overall profit primarily driven by the windfall of guaranteed royalties from Sony -- which terminated their licensing deal after failing to gain traction of their own. The company did say it was "on the path to profitability" for the current fiscal year, ending in March, helped no doubt by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and a normalized sales relationship with major ebooksellers.

Co-founder of Worthy Shorts and longtime book publishing and printing veteran
Gene Schwartz, 91, died in his sleep on Monday. Schwartz's long career included serving as a consultant to a variety of publishers and manufacturers, and he was editor at large for ForeWord Magazine for many years.

At Louise Allen-Jones Associates in the UK, Lucy Bushell has been named assistant scout. The agency has added Czarna Owca in Poland and Piratforlaget in Sweden as clients.

Sebastian Barry's
Days Without End won the overall Costa Award. The judges called it, "A miracle of a book – both epic and intimate – that manages to create spaces for love and safety in the noise and chaos of history." It's his second Costa win, following The Secret Scripture in 2008.

Separately, the shortlist was
announced for this year's edition of Canada Reads.

The shortlist for Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers Award was also announced, with the winners to be named at a ceremony on March 1:

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf)
The Lightkeepers, by Abby Geni (Counterpoint)
Shelter, by Jung Yun (Picador)

Blood at the Root, by Patrick Phillips (Norton)
Evicted, by Matthew Desmond (Crown)
Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren


Swedish publisher Storytel continues to grow through acquisitions, buying management audiobook publisher Kontentan through their Storyside subsidiary and adding to their core streaming audiobook business. (Last year they acquired streaming service Mobifo and bought publisher Norstedts.)

The IDPF has completed its merger with the larger WC3 and no longer exists as a standalone organization. The announcement says that "an unprecedented number of organizations" (we're not sure what the precedent would be here) that includes "most IDPF members and several large publishers who are not IDPF members...have made Royalty-Free commitments to ensure that the future of EPUB and the Open Web Platform for publishing is not patent encumbered."

Addressing at least some concerns from those who opposed the merger, W3C said it is setting up an EPUC Community Group that "is free and open to anyone to participate," which will "ensure EPUB's maintenance and advance EPUB's further adoption." They are also forming a W3C Publishing Business Group "open to IDPF and W3C members, and other interested organizations who wish to join this group," that will have its first meeting at the London Book Fair in March. That group "will be the focal point for the community to address new needs and requirements and serve as a forum for industry discussions." Beyond that, they are also "planning to explore meeting the next generation of EPUB requirements in a proposed Publications Working Group." The next EPUB Summit will take place in March in Brussels.

Amazon chose 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster as their as their spotlight pick, though the book released January 31. (Another pick, The Upstarts by Brad Stone, also published on January 31.) The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak is the featured debut. The rest of the Best Books of February list includes:

Universal Harvester, John Darnielle
Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari
Insomniac City, Bill Hayes
Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman
Swimming Lessons, Claire Fuller
Pachinko, Min Jin Lee

Separately, the February
Pennie's Pick at Costco is Elizabeth Poliner's As Close to Us As Breathing. For our full list highlighting notable February releases, as a supplement to five excerpts from new titles, download our free February Buzz Books Monthly on Amazon, iBooks, Google Play and NetGalley. Buzz Books releasing in February are:

All Our Wrong Todays, Elan Mastai
A Piece of the World Kline, Christina Baker Kline
The Orphan's Tale, Pam Jenoff
Rebels Like Us, Liz Reingardt
Things We Have in Common, Tasha Kavanagh
The Edge of Everything, Jeff Giles
On Second Thought, Kristan Higgins

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