At Penguin Group USA, Heidi Graynor has been promoted to vp, sales administration. She has been with the company since 1983.
At McClelland and Stewart, associate publisher for nonfiction Susan Renouf is retiring from the company as of June 30, though she will resume her consulting and editorial business.
Christine Gillespie has been promoted to vp, associate publisher for Knopf, Pantheon and Schocken, continuing to report to Patricia Johnson.
Sterling editor Alyssa Smith is reported to have lost her home to a fire in Union City, NJ that consumed three buildings. Rose Fox has a page with information, also seeking donations or support for those who are interested.
It’s not quite a reality TV show, but the Harper Perennial art department is having an open call for book cover designers this Friday that they are calling Show Us Yours and We’ll Show You Ours. The event is at Type Directors Club (347 W. 36 Street, Suite 603) and they will have both published and rejected cover art on display. Freelance designers are welcome to come from 11 to 4:30 to participate in the portfolio review.
Ingram’s Lightning Source says they have expanded their relationship with PediaPress, the company that lets Wikipedia users create customized books from the site’s content, to drive their recently-added English-language service offering. PediaPress announced the new venture in early May without naming a fulfillment partner.
Lightning has worked with PediaPress since their create-a-book service launched in February 2009, printing customized books in 17 languages and selling to customers in 33 countries.
Today’s favorite offline dialogue is picking apart the Observer’s story on David Rosenthal and Jonathan Karp, focused on personalities more than publishing (sort of). Echoing his remarks elsewhere, Rosenthal says in the article, “You know, I haven’t been satisfied with the [recent] numbers either, but over the term I’ve been here, which is a long time, we’ve delivered the numbers and created a whole lot of great books. When your numbers are not what you’d like them to be, you’re always vulnerable. You know, it is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately moment. But it is what it is.”
While the piece reiterates a variety of lines of conventional wisdom, including that “Rosenthal’s biggest successes at Simon & Schuster were political memoir, history, and current events,” he notes not-in-print that he also brought bestselling fiction writers including Jeffrey Deaver, James Lee Burke, Sandra Brown, Garth Stein, Robert Harris, Martin Cruz Smith, and Robert Crais (along with Chris Cleave’s current bestseller Little Bee) to the house.
Karp “gets a teensy bit defensive” in Neyfakh’s estimation when queried about his essays about publishing strategy. “He wrote those essays for the Post and PW because he was asked, he insists, not because he had some unequivocal conviction that his way of doing things at Twelve was the right way. ‘You can infer a lot from a person’s decisions but that doesn’t necessarily mean that was what they were thinking,’ he said. ‘I also think it would be really small to assume that there’s only one right way to publish.’ The Observer adds, “Karp said he knows the Twelve model shouldn’t scale, and he knows some of the core principles he has been championing as its publisher might turn out to be inapplicable at Simon & Schuster. The fact is, though, as long as he hits his budget targets, no one’s going to be worried about whether he’s staying true to anything.”