David Fickling will leave Random House Children’s UK after more than 12 years in order to launch his existing children’s imprint, David Fickling Books, as an independent venture in July. Fickling will be chairman of the new company, and author and editor Simon Mason will take on the role of managing director. The venture will continue to be based in its existing Oxford office and plans to publish 25-30 books a year. After a period of transition, DFB backlist titles, including Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas — will move to other RHCP imprints.
“I will miss colleagues hugely, and some of the teams are beyond brilliant,” Fickling told the Bookseller. “The international team led by Simon Littlewood have looked after David Fickling Books so well and I hope may continue to do so. Annie Eaton [RHCP’s fiction publisher] has been my colleague for years. We’re going to want to form partnerships, one of which I hope will be with Random House.”
RHCP manaaging director Philippa Dickinson said in a statement: “I have had the great pleasure of working with David Fickling, watching him grow and develop the DFB imprint at Random House, publishing a number of wonderful books to both critical and commercial success.” She added: “I have always known that, in his heart of hearts, David wanted one day to publish independently. Now he has taken that step, one which has our whole-hearted support.”
Damian Horner has been named brand development director at Hachette UK, a newly created role, effective September 4. He spent the past seven years as a marketing strategy consultant to the company.
Bryan Pearce, 55, ceo of University Book Store in Seattle, WA, died April 20 of cancer. He joined the company in 1990, rising to ceo in 2002 before resigning in February due to his illness.
Co-founder of Ms. Magazine Mary Thom, 68, died in a motorcycle accident in Yonkers on April 26. Thom was the author of Inside Ms.: 25 Years of the Magazine and the Feminist Movement and co-edited an oral history of former congresswoman and feminist Bella Abzug.