At Artisan Books, Allison McGeehon has been promoted to director of publicity and marketing.
At Holt, Melanie DeNardo has been promoted to associate director of publicity, reporting to Pat Eisemann.
Former coo of Open Road Integrated Media Chris Lederer has joined AlixPartners as a director in its media practice division.
Elly Weisenberg Kelly has joined independent book publicity firm JKSCommunications. She was most recently publicity manager at Grand Central.
After a lengthy investigation, the Montana Attorney General concluded that author Greg Mortenson mismanaged the charity he established and helped to run, the Central Asia Institute, and found that he personally profited from the organization. AG Steve Bullock issued a 44-page report of his department’s findings, and they have reached a settlement agreement with Mortenson under which he will reimburse $1 million to the CAI. Bullock underscored that the investigation was focused on the charity’s financial conduct and Mortenson’s arrangements with the charity for book purchases, speaking appearances and travel. The AG did not look into allegations that Mortenson’s book are not factually accurate. (A separate civil suit seeks class-action status on that matter.)
In corporate news, an affiliate of the Najafi Companies has purchased the Sky Mall in-flight catalog business, which is said to have annual sales of approximately $100 million. Najafi partner Daniel Shum indicates they intend to offer media products from Direct Brands, including books, through the catalog: “The combination of Direct Brands and SkyMall will further enhance and strengthen the overall experience of our customers and club members.”
Further to yesterday’s announcement of Amazon’s Spanish-language Kindle store for US customers, Barnes & Noble executive Patricia Arancibia declined to provide a title count for their similar collection but commented: “We have been offering our millions of Nook customers Spanish language titles since 2010. We believe we have the most comprehensive digital offering including titles from the largest global groups Planeta and Random House Mondadori. We welcome Kindle to the space and think it is great that they are starting to offer some of the titles we already offer and perhaps eventually expand to include titles from global publishers.”
“Digital first” publishing house Astor + Blue Editions officially launches with two releases on May 1, run by publisher and editorial director Robert Astle (who maintains his separate literary agency) and ceo and marketing director Tony Viardo. Bookmasters is providing production, mannufacturing and distribution. The company says they will distinguish themselves by promising year-long marketing campaigns for each title. Their focus is on signing represented authors.