Powell’s Books longtime chief operating officer Miriam Sontz will take over as the bookseller’s ceo, as Emily Powell relinquishes that title to “step fully into her role as the owner of Powell’s Books, focusing on the stewardship of Powell’s long-term future, health, and vitality.” She wrote in a memo to employees: “In Miriam’s 28 years at Powell’s she has held many roles — from Beaverton store manager to co-CEO. Powell’s owes much of its arc through life to Miriam — to her persistent, loving dedication to Powell’s, to bookselling, and to integrity.”
Sontz says, “We are well-positioned to continue efficiencies around operations so we can focus on our customers. Highlighting and expanding the unique experience people have when shopping at Powell’s is our top priority.” The company acknowledges that “the change comes as Powell’s continues to evaluate the state of the book industry and the challenges and needs of the company in the future.”
Separately, Will Hinton has been named editor of Hachette’s Orbit and Redhook imprints. Previously he was an editor at Harper UK’s Voyager imprint. In addition, Devi Pillai has been promoted to editorial director of Orbit while Susan Barnes moves up to associate editor.
Luba Ostashevsky has left Palgrave Macmillan and is now an editor at Nautilus, a new science magazine.
Ashley Hewlett joined Putnam and Amy Einhorn Books last month as a publicist. She was previously at Touchstone.
Greg Euson, 61, who worked in publishing as a sales executive for almost 40 years at Random House, Houghton Mifflin, NTC Contemporary and McGraw-Hill, died last week after a lengthy illness. He retired from McGraw-Hill in 2012.
Don DeLillo has won the inaugural Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, inspired by earlier incarnations that awarded prizes for lifetime achievement in the writing of fiction and, for the past three years, Creative Achievement Award for fiction. DeLillo will be given the prize during the National Book Festival on September 21-22.
In corporate news, Down East Enterprises’ book division was sold to Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, the parent of their longtime distributor NBN, as of April 1. The sale includes Down East’s two outdoors imprints, Shooting Sportsman Press and Fly Rod & Reel Books, which pair well with Rowman & Littlefield’s outdoor imprint Derrydale Press.
In France, parent company of Abrams La Martinière will restructure and expects to eliminate 19 jobs, shut down illustrated and children’s imprint Editions Fetjaine, and cut production of its illustrated and children’s novelties range by up to 30 percent, the Bookseller reports. General secretary of La Martinière Group Patrick Gambache told France’s Livres Hebdo the restructuring and job losses were “the result of the deterioration of the picture book market, and the difficulties encountered as being a leading player in that market.”