People, Etc.: Random Plans "Open House"

Dan Ambrosio has joined Da Capo Books as a senior editor. He was at Wiley for the last four years, and has worked at Vigliano Associates and Warner Books.

Deborah Ritchken has joined the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, working primarily in the areas of food, design and entertaining; pop culture; women's issues; biography; and current events. She was with The Castiglia Agency.

Random House is inviting the public to buy tickets (at $25 each, including breakfast and lunch) to an "open house" at their headquarters building in New York on November 2. The full-day event promises "access to upcoming titles before they're in bookstores" along with the opportunity to meet company editors and designers and hear from a number of authors.  That author roster includes Anna Quindlen, Marcus Samulesson, Kurt Andersen "and other national bestselling authors." Somehow sponsor Huffington Post will "bring their unique voice and insight to the dialogue of the day."

As Dorchester transfers its assets and back catalog to Amazon Publishing, the company explains on their website that they have made "great strides" in reverting rights back to authors, but "research has uncovered a number of authors for whom we have no contact information. In addition, there are a number of titles without corresponding authors." We noticed, however, that a number of the non-contactable authors include HP Lovecraft (his name misspelled), Robert Louis Stevenson (work in the public domain), Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Marion Zimmer Bradley, as well as a number of writers for whom contact information is easily findable online.

In a global webcast, JK Rowling indicated that when she registered on Pottermore, she was sorted into Gryffindor, but added she "personally would not be at all disappointed to be sorted into Hufflepuff." Rowling reiterated that her next book is likely to be a children's title.

City Lights Bookstore co-founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti turned down the Janus Pannonius International Poetry Prize from the Hungarian PEN Club upon discovering the Hungarian government had provided much of the 50,000 euro prize money. Ferlinghetti wrote in a letter saying there was "no possibility of my accepting the prize in a ceremony in the United States or elsewhere" because of wide reports of the Hungarian government "officially and unofficially stifling free speech." He explained: "I am sorry it has come to this, and I am grateful to those in Hungary who may have had the purest motives in offering me the Prize."

In a bit of turnabout, military and general history publisher Savas Beatie will now distribute titles from their trade distributor Casemate (and some of Casemate's other clients) into specialty and non-book accounts.