Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, 82, “one of Africa’s most widely read novelists and one of the continent’s towering men of letters,” died after a brief illness, according to agent Andrew Wylie. His THINGS FALL APART is said to have sold over 8 million copies and been published in more than 50 languages.
HarperCollins svp, publishing transformation Carolyn Pittis is leaving the company on March 29 after more than two decades to work as a private change management consultant. In her time at Harper Pittis served a number of roles, from book production, managing editorial, business development, and sales to consumer forecasting and supply chain management, internet development, and author services.
Evp, operations and technology Larry Nevins said in a statement said Pittis “has led this important and far-reaching [transformation] effort and has created a blueprint working closely with many of you. With diagnosis and planning complete, we agree that it is now time to establish a team with our publishers for implementation.” He added, “we now have a roadmap of what to do to make our processes more efficient and have identified a number of specific areas to focus on.”
Nevins said Harper is “grateful for [Pittis’s] keen insights, analysis, recommendations, tools, and most especially for her passionate leadership to strong results. HarperCollins is better as a result of her accomplishments.”
Pearson’s “annual incentives paid to executives for 2012 performance were significantly lower than for 2011, reflecting performance in a tough business environment and more challenging incentive targets.” Penguin Group chief executive John Makinson earned a total of £2.1 million, compared to £3.3 million in 2011.
At Little, Brown, Sabrina Callahan is now director of publicity for James Patterson books, “engaging the full scope of his readership from children and teens to adults.” She has been at Little, Brown since 2007. In addition to working on individual titles, she will “continue to create and manage Patterson’s public events, identify and secure strategic partnerships,) and work closely with the Patterson social media and online team to ensure consistency of message.”
Betsy DeJesu has joined Basic Books as assistant director of publicity. Most recently she was senior marketing manager at Oxford University Press.
At Harper Children’s UK, Rachel Denwood is promoted to publishing and creative director with increased responsibility across fiction, picture books and properties and “a target of driving the creative development of the publishing.” Nick Lake was also recently promoted, to fiction publishing director, and will continue to report to publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh.
Stephanie Dennis joins Running Press as digital marketing associate on March 25. Previously she was a public relations & event planning associate at Fleischman Gerber & Associates.
In the UK, author Philip Pullman will take over from PD James as president of the Society of Authors.
Annabel Pitcher‘s KETCHUP CLOUDS won UK bookseller Waterstones’ children’s prize.
St. Martin’s senior director, creative services & advertising Nancy Trypuc‘s name was misspelled yesterday.