Sunday, May 28, 2017

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt evp and chief content officer Mary Cullinane will leave the company in late July, following a reorganization of her responsibilities. The company said it will "reorganize its existing Product Planning, Development and Marketing function under into three separate but complementary functions focused on core curriculum, supplemental curriculum extensions, and marketing." Cullinane joined HMH in 2012 as svp of global corporate social responsibility and was made chief content officer in 2013.

Megan Jayne Dobson joined Thomas Nelson imprint W Publishing as associate publisher.

Samuel M. Caggiula joined Casemate Group as US group publicity director. Most recently, he worked for digital publisher YourTango and consulted for Southard Communications.

Diversion Books will work with Jessica Craig at Craig Literary to represent their foreign rights worldwide.


Denis Johnson, 67, author of Jesus' Son, Train Dreams, and many other works, has died. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, he won the 2007 National Book Award for Tree of Smoke. His new story collection The Largess of the Sea Maiden is scheduled for publication on February 6, 2018. Part of a two-book deal with Random House, he was supposed to be at work on a novel as well, about a deposed Middle Eastern dictator retelling his life's story as he is being interrogated.

We first invented our popular Buzz Books samplers back in 2012 to harness ebooks in spreading the excitement of grabbing hot galleys and making new discoveries on the convention floor to thousands of people inside the trade and beyond. (Truth be told, most of the printed galleys these days are given away in runs of a few hundred at most.) Whether you're preparing for Book Expo and want a taste of the big books, or skipping the convention but look forward to sampling new titles from the big fall season, our two Buzz Books samplers are the perfect answer. They're like a free BookCon, open to all twice a year.

The consumer editions are still featured prominently at
iBooks and available on all major ebook platforms. Or get the "trade editions," directly from PM as EPUB files and from NetGalley, where both the adult and YA books always top their most-downloaded lists and generate hundreds of positive reviews of your forthcoming titles. (As usual, a small quantity of the always-popular printed versions will be available at the first Editors' Buzz Panel and in the ABA Lounge at Book Expo, thanks to our friends at Lighting Source.)

For more convention prep, remember that we have our handy day-by-day, hour-by-hour spreadsheet of all of the various events, sessions and key in-booth signings in one place available, at

Most days we focus on trying to make our own news and analysis as accurate, informed and comprehensive as possible and leave others reporting on the trade to their own approaches. But with a lot of attention on Amazon's new Charts -- too much, probably, since this is a new merchandising initiative for Amazon's customers, on their site, tilted towards their house product and preferred formats -- PW has made the same basic error two weeks in a row, so it's worth making things clear for our readers at least.

The new weekly Charts are
not "the company's first move into tracking sales using the time frame used by almost all major bestseller lists" and it is not true that "what the e-commerce giant has lacked is a weekly list." Amazon has posted and archived weekly bestsellers for nearly its entire history; check out, for example, their bestsellers from this week in 1996. (eBook lists appear to date back to the launch of Kindle in late 2007.) At PublishersMarketplace, we have databased their lists since the beginning of 2012, particularly for the value of their weekly ebook bestseller list. It would be fair to say that those weekly lists are little known and little publicized, but they have been there and continue (and at 100 positions, are more extensive than the new Charts as well).

It's also
not accurate that "The New York Times recently launched a combined print & e-book bestseller list." The paper launched two combined lists, for fiction and nonfiction, in February 2011, at the same time that they started issuing ebook bestseller lists -- and we have those databased as well. The recent revamp of their lists, in January 2017, eliminated the separate ebook charts, leaving the combined lists in place along with some of the print-only lists.

Prior to those changes, the NYT would effectively not consider Amazon Publishing titles for bestsellerdom because they did not track "e-books available exclusively from a single vendor," and Amazon does not allow anyone else to sell their ebooks. The NYT dropped that condition earlier this year -- though as we pointed out at the time, the bar remains high for any of Amazon Publishing's titles to make a NYT list since ebook-only lists were eliminated. Also, at the NYT a sale is still only a sale, and not also a subscription "read," "borrow" or a free promotional download.

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