Alexis Welby will join Putnam as director of publicity and Jynne Martin has been named director of publicity for Riverhead, as part of “a new strategic publicity structure that focuses on the editorial strengths of each imprint” and creates two separate publicity teams. Welby was most recently associate director of publicity for Simon & Schuster, and Martin was associate director of publicity for the Random House Publishing Group. Both start on September 6, reporting to executive director of publicity Marilyn Ducksworth. Mih-Ho Cha will remain senior publicity director for both imprints, while Michael Barson will move into a new role as senior publicity executive for Putnam, shifting his attention to the strategic growth of Putnam’s brand name authors and debut writers. Stephanie Sorensen, who had been co-director of publicity for Putnam and Riverhead since 2005, is leaving to pursue a graduate degree in psychology.
Kara Cesare has joined Ballantine Bantam Dell as executive editor, effective September 21. Previously she was an executive editor at Gallery Books.
At Perseus, Clay Farr has been promoted to vp Marketing, responsible for driving initiatives that strengthen corporate and imprint marketing, including identifying, testing and rolling out new marketing partners, building new marketing tools, and identifying and strengthening best practices. Farr, who was most recently director, national accounts for Borders, Apple and Google, begins his new position this week.
Serendipity Literary Agency has announced a number of new hires. Former executive editor at Grand Central Karen Thomas has been named senior agent, Michelle Hardy joins as associate agent, Shanta Inshiqaq has been named international sales manager for the agency, and Arielle Loren joins as social media strategist. Previously Hardy ran the Dream Relations book publicity firm, Inshiqaq managed sales accounts in Asia, Latin America, Caribbean and Mexico for Penguin, and Loren was the founder social media firm L Media House.
Mysterious Press and Highbridge Audio are jointly launching two new audio imprints this fall. Mysterious Press-HighBridge Audio will feature new titles from the publisher (now an imprint at Grove/Atlantic) starting with Ken Bruen’s HEADSTONE and Joyce Carol Oates’ THE CORN MAIDEN, and Mysterious Press-HighBridge Audio Classics will offer backlist titles starting in November with books by Donald Westlake, Thomas H. Cook and Joseph Wambaugh. “I’m pleased to be working with HighBridge to publish Mysterious Press titles in audio format,” said Mysterious Press publisher Otto Penzler in a statement. “HighBridge has an outstanding reputation as an independent audio publisher and will give them the quality production they deserve.”
Philip Levine has been named the new U.S. Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress.
Digital Book World’s Publishing Innovation Awards will return next year with a new designation for ebooks submitted for award categories: the QED Seal (standing for Quality, Excellence, and Design), which signals to an ebook reader that the title will render well in whatever their preferred reading format and that they can buy with confidence. Submitted titles will undergo a 13-point design review on criteria such as metadata, consistency of font treatment, tables and symbols, and QED consideration is included in the entry fee for all Innovation Award categories.