For the New York office of their Nashville division, Hachette Book Group has hired Kate Hartson as senior editor for the Center Street imprint and Andrea Glickson as marketing director for both FaithWords and Center Street. Most recently Hartson built her own small publishing company, Yorkville Press. Glickson was at HBG’s recently-closed Octopus Books USA line. As another part of the Nashville “realignment plan,” editor Christina Boys will now exclusively acquire fiction for both FaithWords and Center Street.
Separately, at Hachette Digital, Neil DeYoung has been promoted to executive director; Liz Kessler moves up to the new position of digital managing editor; Amy Grillo is now associate manager, digital book accounts; and Alessandra Aliquo is moving to the new position of digital operations and client services coordinator. Paul Florez has joined the unit as executive administrator for svp Maja Thomas.
Crain’s catches on to the Crown Publishing Group’s predicament in trying to hire Viking fiction editorial director Molly Stern for the new open position of running general trade line comprising the Crown and Broadway imprints. Stern is under contract at Penguin for approximately eight months, and the company is well-known to be reluctant to release employees from such obligations. A spokesperson tells Crain’s, “Molly is employed with Viking, and we take our contracts very seriously.”
The story says that Crown “has offered to buy out Stern’s contract” though one source tells us that Crown declined to pay Penguin’s asking price.
Harvard Magazine files another in the genre of glowingly credulous profiles of agent Andrew Wylie. They capture his disdain for bestsellers (“the bound form of daytime television”) and his love of Thucydides. He “would have” been summa cum laude at Harvard “but for his brash political blunder of trashing one of his thesis advisers.” The recitation of the client list, as usual, omits Jerry Weintraub, Madonna, Vanity Fair and others that do not fit the image.
More interestingly, he claims to “have a larger literary agency, in terms of global reach, number of clients, and perhaps also revenue” than William Morris and ICM. He also says the agency has 50 employees, yet “Wylie has done much of [the] travel himself.” Some of those people work “round the clock” fighting piracy. The story says “when the W.H. Auden estate signed on, the poet’s entire oeuvre was available free of charge on the Web, in defiance of copyright law; Wylie assigned five people to work round the clock to shut all the sites down.”
And he can channel deceased authors: “I feel I do not have a personality of my own, so I am constantly in search of a personality. This might be why I am such a dedicated agent! A writer arrives with a fully formed personality and set of beliefs, powerfully expressed. I become so enraptured by their interests, knowledge, and means of expression that nothing can distract me. My ability to transmit the writer’s qualities, to persuasively describe them with admiration, is strong because I have this sort of hollow core: I take on the author’s identity. If I spend an hour with Susan Sontag and we walk out of the room together, you won’t know which one is Susan!” (She will be the one who died in 2004.)
Also of interest is the latest version of Wylie’s supposed strategy/threat regarding ebook rights:
“Wylie’s negotiations with publishers on the book industry’s version of the iPod, e-books, are currently on hold across the board. He’s dissatisfied with the terms publishers have been offering for e-book rights, which were not widely foreseen and are not allocated in most extant book contracts. In fact, Wylie threatens to monetize those unassigned rights by going outside the publishing business entirely: ‘We will take our 700 clients, see what rights are not allocated to publishers, and establish a company on their behalf to license those e-book rights directly to someone like Google, Amazon.com, or Apple. It would be another business, set up on parallel tracks to the frontlist book business.'”
Ian Brown‘s Charles Taylor Prize-winning nonfiction book THE BOY IN THE MOON took Ontario’s Trillium Book Award.
Author Jacquelyn Mitchard told readers by e-mail last week that last year she “learned we’d lost everything in a crippling theft by a hometown boy posing as an investment counselor,” referring to former investment manager Trevor Cook, who pled guilty this spring to charges of mail fraud and tax evasion. Mitchard aspires to host a talk show, “Oh, Jackie!,” and has submitted an audition tape as part of a contest to find a replacement for Oprah Winfrey.
Longtime Chicago bookseller Stuart Brent, 98, “not merely a merchant but literature’s self-appointed local guardian,” died on Thursday.