Thursday, November 02, 2017

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Appleton, WI-based bookstore chain Book World, Inc. has run a notice in the local paper announcing that they will start liquidating their inventory as of November 2, after which they expect that all of their stores will close: "A liquidation sale will begin at each Book World store location which will run until all inventory is sold. The liquidation sale will offer customers deep discounts on books, toys, games, puzzles, magazines, calendars, trading cards, gifts, and all other merchandise. Customers are encouraged to shop immediately to take advantage of the sale while inventory is still available."

Book World operates 20 stores in Wisconsin, and
comprises 45 stores across seven states in the Midwest. Liquidation company Yellen Partners has been retained to help in the process, and Book World svp Mark Dupont expects the process to be complete and all store to close in January, "unless some interested party comes forward wanting to buy certain aspects of the business. Dupont said, "We thought this was the best time to do it so that it runs through the holiday shopping season, which is our busiest season, to liquidate as much inventory as possible."

He expects 325 employees will lose their jobs when the liquidation is complete, including 12 in the corporate office. The notice indicates, "The national shift in the retail marketplace towards e-commerce has triggered the loss of vital mall anchor stores and a downward spiral in customer counts at Book World stores, reducing sales to a level that will no longer sustain business operations." Book World was founded in 1976.

Actor Cynthia Nixon will host the National Book Awards ceremony on November 15.

Jeff Tegge has joined Baker & Taylor Publisher Services as vice president of client services, reuniting with longtime colleague Mark Suchomel. Tegge was president of Legato Publishers Group and prior to that, vp of sales at IPG.

Rachel Horowitz has joined The Bent Agency as a literary agent, specializing in children's and commercial adult fiction. Most recently, she was children's literary scout at Maria Campbell Associates.

Jennifer Johnson-Blalock has left Liza Dawson Associates to launch Hyphen, a freelance editorial and coaching company.

Jeff Shake has joined Rodale Books as senior designer, reporting to executive director of art and design Amy King. He previously held design positions with HarperCollins, Disney, Readers Digest, and The Girl Scouts.

Chris Herschdorfer has been appointed publishing director of Atlas Contact in Holland, following the departure of Mizzi van der Pluijm.

AM Heath director of foreign rights for the past 10 years Jennifer Custer is leaving "to pursue a long-held dream" and walk the Appalachian Trail. Joint head of translation rights at C+W Alexandra McNicoll will join the agency on January 3 as their new director of foreign rights.

Literary agent
Roslyn Targ, 92, died peacefully at home on October 29. Focused on selling translation rights around the world, she worked as an agent until she was 85. Leon Neyfakh writes: "In the process, she introduced entire shelves of American literature to European audiences; among the canonical authors her agency sold in translation were F. Scott Fitzgerald, J. D. Salinger, Harper Lee, John Dos Passos, and Sherwood Anderson." At her request, there will be no service.

Harassment Updates
John Heilemann
speaks to the NYT about the accusations of sexual harassment against his reporting partner Mark Halperin, "I had never heard of, been exposed to or had any inkling of the notion that he had engaged in any behavior that could be described in even the broadest sense of being sexual harassment or sexual assault. I was flabbergasted and shocked."

As for whether there could be a new version of the third Game Change book that was recently cancelled by Penguin Press with his sole authorship, Heilemann said: "T.B.D. It's complicated."

In a new report, the LA Times writes in an extensive piece that
six women have accused filmmaker Brett Ratner of "sexual harassment or misconduct." Ratner had a small joint venture imprint with Running Press that seems dormant, RatPac Press. It was established in 2013 "to bring more Hollywood related projects to market in both non-fiction and fiction genres," best known for Ben Mezrich's SEVEN WONDERS.

But Ratner's film company is connected to literary properties as well. Most prominently, RatPac is a producer of the film version of Donna Tartt's THE GOLDFINCH, as well as a co-investor in the movie, which is scheduled to start production in early 2018. (Amazon Studios, from which president Roy Price recently resigned after he was accused of sexual harassment, is reportedly covering over a third of the production budget in exchange for streaming rights.) RatPac was also supposed be producing a cable TV version of Melanie Benjamin's THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE.

Hachette UK's Octopus Publishing Group has acquired
Summersdale as of October 31, the Bookseller reports. Co-founder Alastair Williams will remain as managing director of Summersdale and serve in "a wider creative role within Hachette." He comments, "It was important for us to retain our independent, entrepreneurial spirit and distinct personality, and Octopus identified this. Likewise, we also saw the benefit of being part of much larger group to allow our lists to flourish and also to achieve greater scale and reach." Octopus acquired cookbook publisher Kyle Cathie earlier in October.

Canada's Governor General's Awards were
presented. English-language winners included Joel Thomas Hynes's We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night for fiction, and Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves for young people's literature.

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