Joerg Pfuhl “has decided to leave” his position as ceo of Random House Germany (and member of the Random House executive board) at the end of this year. He first joined Bertelsmann in 1994. Company ceo Markus Dohle says Pfuhl told him “he wanted to devote more time to his family and to his interests in education, consulting, and philanthropic work and give them the same undivided focus he has given the company.” The German unit’s chief operating officer since 2005 Frank Sambeth will take over as ceo January 1.
Vintage senior editor Jennifer Jackson has been named senior editor, Knopf and Doubleday. She has been with the group since 2002, and became an editor at Vintage in 2006.
Terra Chalberg and Rachel Sussman have launched Chalberg & Sussman, a new literary agency representing a wide range of literary and commercial fiction and nonfiction authors. The agency will also sell foreign rights to select titles from independent publishers Milkweed Editions and Ig Publishing. Chalberg was previously director of foreign rights for the Susan Golomb Literary Agency, and before then was an editor at Simon & Schuster. Sussman spent six years with the Zachary Schuster Harmsworth Agency.
Jessi Cimafonte has joined Mary Evans Inc. as director of foreign rights, where she will also be developing her own client list. She was previously an associate agent at Kuhn Projects.
Christina Foxley will join Crown Archetype as marketing manager starting September 19. Previously she was director of store events and marketing at the Strand Bookstore.
INscribe Digital has hired Kelly Peterson as director of clients services. She worked at Borders for 13 years, most recently as eBook Manager.
At Pan Macmillan in the UK, Jenny Geras and Trish Jackson have been promoted to editorial directors in the adult fiction department.
The new children’s publishing company for Bloomsbury Children’s executive Sarah Odedina is starting up for the Bonnier Group in London will be called Hot Key Books. Launching in fall 2012, the publisher aims to issue 30 to 50 titles a year, focusing on children’s fiction for kids 9 and up. Odedina began her role as managing director on September 12. She says the name stands for “books that will unlock stories and the joy of reading for young readers in either the print or digital format.”
Dutton thriller author Marcus Sakey will be write and star in a new 12-episode TV series that explores various cities through a writer’s eyes. “Hidden City” debuts on the Travel Channel on December 5.
The generally-reclusive author Michel Houellebecq has dropped out of touch while on a reading tour in Holland and Belgium. Literary organization Het Beschrijf says, “We really don’t know what is happening. It’s bizarre. There has been no news and he hasn’t arrived.”
The organizer of the readings says, “I wouldn’t panic yet. We have no concrete evidence that he is a missing person. Of course we are worried. It has happened before that he doesn’t answer e-mails, but it is rare for him not to show up to meet his public.”
JK Rowling is one of a nearly 50 public figures and celebrities expected to provide testimony as a “core participant” in the UK judicial inquiry into media intrusion and phone hacking.
Along with release of Rachel Renee Russell’s DORK DIARIES 3: Tales From a NOT So Talented Pop Star, she will release a music album, DORK DIARIES The Music: Pop Star. Russell’s 14-year-old niece Shania sings covers of pop songs like Amy Grant’s “Baby, Baby” and Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.”
Tina Fey‘s BOSSYPANTS, reportedly acquired for between $5.5 and $6 million, has crossed another seven-figure-mark: Reagan Arthur Books says it has sold over one million units as well.
UK author Polly Courtney, who began her career with self-published GOLDEN HANDCUFFS, used the book party for her new title IT’S A MAN’S WORLD to announce that she won’t publish any more with Avon UK and will return to self-publishing. The Daily Mail spins a long story about her opposition to the book’s chick-lit jacket: “They dressed up my book as something frivolous, light and racy, which is the complete opposite of what’s inside my books.” Which gets the new book in the paper. A spokesperson says, “Avon is right behind Polly Courtney’s timely and important book. Our experience tells us it has a great look and feel and we think Polly will be delighted when she sees it flying off the shelves.”
The shortlist for the FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award was announced:
Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo (Public Affairs)
Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar, Barry Eichengreen (Oxford)
Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier, Edward L. Glaeser (The Penguin Press; Pan Macmillan)
Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, Margaret Heffernan (Walker; S&S UK)
Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters, Richard Rumelt (Crown Business; Profile)
The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, Daniel Yergin (Penguin Press; Allen Lane)