Michele Martin will join the Gallery Books Group on March 4 as vp, associate publisher, reporting to Louise Burke. Previously she was founder and proprietor of MDM Management, which will now be assumed by CSG Literary Partners, and before that she held executive positions at Avalon, Langenscheidt and Doubleday, where she created and oversaw the Main Street Books imprint.
At Penguin, Katherine Tiernan McCahill has been promoted to assistant director of the digital products group.
In Canada, former senior executives at D&M Publishers Chris Labonte, Peter Cocking and Richard Nadeau have founded Figure1 Publishing, devoted to books in the art & architecture, food & wine, lifestyle, illustrated history and business book categories. Labonté will serve as publisher, while Cocking has been named creative director and Nadeau director of sales and marketing.
"Our goal is to become the premier publisher of high quality illustrated books in the country," Cocking said in the announcement. "What we're doing is different, I think, than anyone now publishing in this country. Think Chronicle Books, or Rizzoli -- certainly those are influences." In advance of its fall 2013 launch date, Figure1 has signed with Raincoast Books, who will provide distribution, sales representation and marketing, with additional distribution announcements expected in the US and internationally.
Benjamin Moser has been enlisted to write an authorized biography of the late Susan Sontag, the NYT reports. WHY THIS WORLD, his biography of Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle award in 2009.
Audible.com and the Center for Fiction have partnered on a new annual literary prize, the Christopher Doheny Award, which will recognize works of fiction and nonfiction on the topic of serious illness. The $10,000 award is named for longtime employee Doheny, who died on February 20 from complications of cystic fibrosis. Both manuscripts in process and completed manuscripts will be eligible, with submissions to be judged by a panel composed of three distinguished writers to be chosen by The Center for Fiction and a representative of Audible.
"Supporting writers and literature is the most fitting tribute to Chris, a writer himself who loved reading, discussing and working with good books,” said Audible evp, publisher Beth Anderson. Dana Doheny, Christopher's mother, added: "We hope that this prize will help talented writers who may be battling chronic or fatal disease tell their important stories."