People, Etc.

Books-A-Million has hired James Phelps as vp of eCommerce, responsible for "executing the vision, branding, merchandising and marketing strategy for Booksamillion.com." Phelps has worked for retailers including HSN, Kohl’s, and Brookstone.

At Red Wheel/Weiser Books and Conari Press, Kim Ehart has been promoted to assistant editor, while Michael Alexander has been promoted to production editor.

Our Deal reports show the first reports from agent Anna Ghosh under her independent agency Ghosh Literary in San Francisco, though she set up the agency last year. That leaves Russell Galen as the sole principal at Scovil Galen Ghosh.

In first-week sales reports, CNN laments Congressman Paul Ryan's opening Nielsen Bookscan sales for THE WAY FORWARD of about 6,300 copies -- with Twelve saying the total across all editions was about 12,000 units. The publisher, of course, "is very happy with sales of The Way Forward," Paul Samuelson told CNN. (In accordance with House rules, they paid no advance.) "The Way Forward is a serious and important political statement and the conversation has just begun - we expect sales to continue well into the Fall election cycle."

Meanwhile, USA Today hails Matthew Thomas's praised debut WE ARE NOT OURSELVES as a "hit" opening at No. 32 on their bestseller list, though with Nielsen Bookscan-tracked print sales well below Ryan's books.

In forthcoming books news, Lloyd Grove gets attention for covering galleys of Sheila Weller's THE NEWS SORORITY: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour--And the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated) Triumph of Women in TV News, releasing September 30 from Penguin Press. Grove shares various unsavory quotes and snippets from the "gossipy chronicle of the rise (and occasional stumbles) of three of television news' best-known women."

It's hard to believe, but Page Six actually suggests that Death Row Record's founder Suge Knight's never-published autobiography (sold to Riverhead in 2002) along with his bankruptcy filing from 8 years ago (in 2006) are to blame for  his shooting earlier this month: "One possible motive for the shooting of Suge Knight at Chris Brown’s album release party was to discourage him from releasing a tell-all book on his music industry reign."