People, Etc.

At MacGregor Literary, Holly Lorincz has been promoted to agent. She will focus on representing contemporary and historical romance, political or conspiracy thrillers, women’s fiction, literary fiction, and both literary and classic westerns.

Graphic Arts Books announced it recently acquired Companion Press, the Bozeman, MT-based photographic publisher, to expand its Graphic Arts Books and WestWinds Press imprints. Companion Press publisher Jane Freeburg, who founded the company in 1987, will stay on. "The Companion Press list gives us a well-established and respected presence in California as well as representative titles in the Southwest, Northwest, Alaska, and the Rockies."said Graphic Arts Books publishing director Douglas Pfeiffer in a statement. "Through this acquisition, we continue to fulfill our mission to be a strong regional publisher throughout all parts of the United States."

Guernica has an excellent interview with Grove/Atlantic editorial director Elisabeth Schmitz. On recent Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize winner WASH by Margaret Wrinkle, "I believe I was the only bidder on that book. I was surprised at that." They also do well with short stories and literature in translation both of which "many publishers get nervous about."

Schmitz observes: "I think, contrary to some of the gloomy predictions for the book world, it's a good time to be a medium-sized independent publisher like us. Some of the corporate publishers are forced to be commercial and sometimes ruthless about things, and they lose some great books and authors because of it. These are authors who we can then pick up and present to audiences in a different way. There's a real place for places like us and Norton, McSweeney's, Milkweed, and Graywolf now. There are readers who want to buy these books."

She reminds us of publisher Morgan Entrekin's open approach to finding talent: He "has a saying: anyone here can buy a book, and if it works you can buy another. So even among the junior employees there is and always has been this understanding that if someone on staff finds a manuscript they love, they can buy it. But you want to make sure you pick the right one, because if it doesn't work out it's going to be difficult to acquire a second."