Kensington Books founder and chairman emeritus Walter Zacharius died Wednesday at the age of 87. He was also the author of the 2005 novel The Memories We Keep, publishing when he was 81. Agent Richard Curtis writes: “His career paralleled and exemplified the rise of the great postwar paperback industry, and his genius shaped his company into a major force in the industry. Yet, even at an advanced age, he recognized the significance of digital technology and inspired his company to forge into the new era.”
At Simon & Schuster, Doug Stambaugh has been promoted to vp, business development & dperations. Samantha Cohen has been promoted to director, digital content development, reporting to Dennis Elau. She will “staff, train, and manage a dedicated Digital Content Development department that will create ebooks adhering to our stringent quality standards and push the boundaries of this quickly evolving reading format.”
Denise Oswald has joined HarperCollins’ It Books imprint as senior editor. Previously she was editorial director for Soft Skull Press and before that, a senior editor at FSG’s Faber imprint.
Mary Anne Thompson Associates has been appointed US literary scout for the Knopf Random Canada group, including the Random House Canada, Knopf Canada, and Vintage Canada imprints.
Canadian Manda Group will handle sales and marketing of Hachette Book Group titles to independent bookstores, libraries, and non-traditional accounts in Canada, taking over the business previously handled by the now-bankrupt HB Fenn.
Anthony Doerr has won the 2010 Story Prize for his collection Memory Wall (Scribner).
The 2010 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award winners are Kim Echlin for The Disappeared Black Cat) and David R. Dow for An Autobiography of An Execution (Twelve) in fiction and non-fiction, respectively.
Orbit Books will cross-promote two of its forthcoming releases, The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham (April) and Leviathan Wakes by James S. Corey (June) by taking a page from the Ace Double playbook, bundling together both titles for their respective e-book editions.
Literary journal Open City will cease publication this month after 20 years with its 30th issue. Its publishing arm Open City Books, however, will continue.
Victor Martinez, who won the 1996 National Book Award for young people’s literature, died February 18 of lung cancer. He was 56.
Former Alaska poet laureate John Haines died Wednesday at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital due to complications from a recent fall. He was 86. Haines authored more than 10 collections of poetry, essays and a memoir, “The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-five Years in the Northern Wilderness.