Author of 24 novels and books of non-fiction for adults, young adults, and children Jacquelyn Mitchard will run a new young adult imprint for F+W Media called Merit Press Books. They plan five titles for 2012 and 12 releases for 2013. Publisher Karen Cooper says: “The mission of the line is to provide an abundance of intensely readable, highly suspenseful and unforgettable fiction for readers aged thirteen and up, with a particular emphasis on strong, savvy, female heroes rising to conquer sometimes stunning challenges thrown at them by a very real contemporary world.”
Best known for writing the inaugural Oprah’s Book Club selection The Deep End of the Ocean, Mitchard says in the announcement: “I’d wanted to be an editor for years, but didn’t see myself in a huge box in Manhattan. F+W made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: the chance to work with new authors and established authors on something so important. It’s exactly where I want to be at this point in my career. Something in me said – you’re home.”
Sourcebooks continues to expand their education unit EDU. Lyron Bennett has rejoined the company as business development manager – education. Most recently he was a national accounts manager at sports-licensed consumer product manufacturer Tribeca, prior to which he was an editor at Sourcebooks and was involved in launching the Jabberwocky imprint. Bennett is the son of ceo and founder Dominique Raccah.
Also joining Sourcebooks EDU is Andrea Purcell, as education marketing manager. She has spent over 10 years as an English teacher, high school, college and career counselor, and an independent education consultant, and served as a member of the Sourcebooks Education Advisory Network.
Christelle Chamouton joins Bloomsbury UK as head of contracts, starting June 20, responsible for all Group contracts generated from the UK divisions. She was contracts manager at Scholastic Children’s UK.
Melville House announced a number of recent new hires. Sal Robinson has joined as an editor from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she was most recently an associate editor. Founder and publisher of Dark Sky Press Kevin Murphy has been named digital marketing manager, as well as managing editor of the MobyLives blog. In addition, Nick Davies and Ariel Bogle have joined as publicists. Davis was most recently a publicist at Basic Books, while Bogle previously worked at HarperCollins Australia.
The LAT is taking its books editor position, being vacated by Jon Thurber due to his impending retirement after 40 years with the paper, in a different direction, according to an internal memo obtained by LA Observed. Redefining the position as “Books & Culture editor”, qualifications for the new hire emphasizes “knowledge of pop culture” and adds a focus on “California and the West” to the editor’s job. The editor will “also be asked to expand the paper’s online reach and mobile coverage.”
Nearly 70 publishing people so far have enrolled as “host” donors for a book industry fundraiser for President Obama‘s re-election campaign, organized by Roger Cooper, Tom Dunne, Barbara Lowenstein and Bob Miller, with Domenica Alioto overseeing outreach to people in the business under 30.
The June 18 event has already switched to a larger space based on the early enrollment, and Rosanne Cash has agreed to perform, with a “VIP guest speaker” promised as well. The organizers are continuing to enroll “host”-level donors until the end of this week. Contact one of the organizers for more information; there is general donation and information page as well. To see some of the other enrolled hosts, you can view the preliminary invitation. (And yes, if there is a comparable event among publishing supporters of Mitt Romney, contact us for “equal time.”)