Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

As suggested here earlier in the month by booksellers, a just-published paperback edition of Imbolo Mbue's debut novel Behold the Dreamers is the latest "summer" pick for Oprah's Book Club. Winfrey declares -- in another videotaped announcement first posted at Amazon, which continues its undeclared/undefined but clearly official and close relationship with Winfrey -- "It's about race and class, the economy, culture, immigration and the danger of the us versus them mentality. And underneath it all pumps the heart and soul of family love, the pursuit of happiness and what home really means." The official press release touts Amazon alone as well; at some point booksellers will get more pointed in their questions about supporting Oprah picks: "Oprah.com and Amazon.com will feature video clips from Oprah’s interview with Imbolo Mbue as well as a reading guide. To start reading a free sample of the Kindle book, customers can visit: Amazon.com/kindle-beholdthedreamers. Behold the Dreamers is available for purchase on Amazon.com/oprahsbookclub, on Audible and wherever books are sold nationwide."

The book won the PEN/Faulkner award earlier this year and was
well reviewed, but did not fulfill expectations in its initial hardcover life. Acquired in a pre-empt for seven figures, it sold just over 15,000 copies in hardcover in outlets monitored by Bookscan.

People, Etc.

Germany's S. Fischer has hired Siv Bublitz as publishing director, effective September 18, taking over from Peter Sillem, who is leaving S. Fischer on June 30. Bublitz was previously chief executive at Ullstein. Reporting to S. Fischer president and publisher Jörg Bong, she will join the board of Holtzbrinck Publishers Germany. As managing director for program and strategy, Bublitz will be responsible for publishing divisions S. Fischer, Fischer Scherz, Fischer Krüger, Fischer FJB, Fischer Tor and Fischer Taschenbuch. Dr. Bong says in the announcement, "Siv Bublitz has the highest reputation on the international book market as well as many years of management experience. Her tremendous expertise, ranging from high literature to entertainment, will greatly benefit the extensive Fischer program."

Nicole Fischer has been promoted to editor for Morrow/Avon.

The American Library Association launched their
Book Club Central initiative (though the website is running a little late), and announced the first selection of honorary chair Sarah Jessica Parker, No One Is Coming to Save Us, by Stephanie Powell Watts. The next pick will be named in the fall. The site is meant to be "a one-stop shop for engaging content and helpful information for book clubs and readers of all types, including author interviews, book recommendations and reviews, as well as discussion questions and information on how to start and moderate a book club."

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