Friday, February 23, 2018

Publishers Lunch


Today's Meal

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ended a rough year with signs of improvement, as fourth quarter sales of $261 million were up $19 million from a year ago, with positive EBITDA of $5 million, compared to $(19) million a year ago.

As was the case all year, the small trade division was the big bright spot for the company: Fourth quarter trade sales of $55 million were up $5 million. For the full year, trade sales of $184.5 million were up $19 million from a year ago, and adjusted EBITDA of $16 million was up considerably compared to $9.8 million a year ago. The group had positive net income of $1.96 million, after running a net loss of $(6.9) million a year ago.

The company attributed the sales gains to "the Whole30 series and Tim Ferriss' Tribe of Mentors and Tools of Titans, stronger eBook sales, such as The Handmaid's Tale and 1984, and backlist print title sales, such as The Polar Express and The Giver, along with favorable product return experience and higher subrights income."

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At Andrews McMeel, Patty Rice has been promoted to executive editor; Julie Phillips to executive design director; Ben Accardi to senior editor for calendars; and Melissa Rhodes to associate editor. Lucas Wetzel moves over to the book group as editor, from AMU's syndication division.

Ashleigh Gardner has been promoted to deputy general manager for Wattpad Studios, publishing.

Carrie Pestritto has joined Laura Dail Literary Agency as an agent. Previously she was an agent at Prospect Agency.

At Portfolio/Sentinel, Merry Sun has been promoted to associate editor, Vivian Roberson has been promoted to assistant editor, and Katherine Valentino has been promoted to assistant marketing & social media manager.

At Chronicle Books, Jenna Homen has been promoted to content and community manager.

Kristen Fisher will move up to associate publicist on DK's US public relations team on February 23. She has been marketing & PR coordinator.

Matthew Pride will join HarperCollins Japan as marketing director on March 1. Most recently, he headed marketing at educational publisher Pearson/Kirihara, where he worked on series marketing, author-driven consumer campaigns, and library promotions.

Harper Christian noted "with great sadness" the death of Billy Graham at age 99. President and CEO of the division Mark Schoenwald said in a statement, "It has been a privilege to have Billy Graham as part of our publishing family. His work here on earth has been unsurpassed and we are comforted that he is at the side of his heavenly Father. Our world is forever impacted by the example he set as a follower of Jesus Christ, and for that we are grateful." USA Today posted a list of 33 books and pamphlets by Reverend Graham.

The Los Angeles Times will honor novelist John Rechy with their lifetime achievement award a writer whose work focuses on the American West. Founder of Well-Read Black Girl Glory Edim will receive their innovator's award and Benjamin Taylor will receive their prize for autobiographical prose for The Hue and Cry at Our House.

They announced finalists in 10 categories for their annual Book Prizes, to be presented April 20. Prize season favorites Jesmyn Ward and Mohsin Hamid are both nominated for the fiction prize, Angie Thomas has another chance at a young adult literature award, and a competitive field for their first fiction award nominates Elif Batuman (The Idiot), Rachel Khong (Goodbye, Vitamin), Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties); Gabriel Tallent (My Absolute Darling); and Jenny Zhang (Sour Heart).

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