Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Whitney Frick will take over as editorial director of The Dial Press on December 4, reporting to Susan Kamil. She has been executive editor at Flatiron Books.

Becca Putman joins the Crown Publishing Group as marketing manager for Crown, Hogarth, Tim Duggan Books, and Broadway Books. Most recently she worked in Grove Atlantic's marketing department.

Steve Fischer will retire as executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association when a successor is found. He has been in the position since 2006. President of the board Laura Cummings says, "While we all wholeheartedly wish Steve well in his upcoming retirement, he leaves very large shoes to fill. His knowledge, energy and experience have been invaluable to the organization and will be sorely missed."

Following the departure of Amazon Studios head Roy Price after accusations of sexual harassment became public, on Friday former Amazon Publishing staff member Julia Cheiffetz
told the NYT, "I think this is pretty straightforward. An organization's culture is shaped by its leadership. We can talk about how these stories are endemic to certain industries — Hollywood, Silicon Valley — but the larger issue is one of representation. Who is in charge? Who makes the rules? And who enforces them?"

Cheiffetz had
previously written not about harassment, but the diminishment of women at the company, after she was effectively demoted at Amazon upon returning from maternity leave and a battle with cancer: "On behalf of all the people who want to speak up but can't: Please, make Amazon a more hospitable place for women and parents. Reevaluate your parental leave policies. You can’t claim to be a data-driven company and not release more specific numbers on how many women and people of color apply, get hired and promoted, and stay on as employees.

Leigh Haber and Laura Dawson
recount incidents of sexual harassment in publishing to PW, as do a number of anonymous women.


Barnes & Noble will close its Maui location at the end of the year, when its lease ends. Maui Time reports that the lender which controls the Lahaina Gateway Center mall declined to negotiate a new lease with the bookseller. Store manager Cindy Mauricio says, "Sales are excellent. This has nothing to do with the community. We are part of this community, and we've been supported by this community." It's the only bookstore on the island, and finding a new location would take some time.

China's Tencent is moving forward with their
previously-announced IPO of publishing and ebook subsidiary China Literature. The offering is expected to price on October 31 and will go live on the Hong Kong stock market on November 8, according to prospectus papers. The South China Morning Post says that expectations have been increased the company now expects to raise proceeds of between $935 million and $1.1 billion, compared to an initial range of $600 million to $800 million. That would give the company a market capitalization of roughly $5.6 billion to $6.6 billion.

The company says that 30 percent of the offering proceeds will go towards expanding their "online reading" business, including adding more "promising [contract] writers" and expanding into more ebook genres.

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