Jennifer Levesque will join Rodale Books on June 17 as editorial director, reporting to Mary Ann Naples. Previously Levesque was editorial director of adult trade books at Abrams. “Over the past 20 years, Jennifer’s list has included a wide range of Rodale-style books—everything from cooking and lifestyle to gardening and sports/active living titles. Her experience with, and passion for, these subjects—along with her strong management expertise—makes Jennifer an ideal leader for the trade editorial team,” Naples said in the announcement.
At Red Wheel/Weiser, Kat Salazar has been promoted to publicist and Jordan Overby moves up to associate production director.
The Gersh Agency is working with digital publisher Diversion Books to create a branded book imprint for the agency’s clients, launching this summer. It builds on their work together in publishing a book versions of the play that turned into the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild (Lucy Alibar’s Juicy and Delicious).
Head of Gersh’s book department Joe Veltre says in the announcement, “Each book in our new venture will have a unique marketing, promotion, design and distribution plan to help authors connect with readers. As the publishing industry continues to evolve, this program presents an exciting new outlet for our clients’ work, and emphasizes our continued commitment to serve them at the highest level.”
Disgraced author of the recalled books IMAGINE and HOW WE DECIDE Jonah Lehrer is said to have a new book proposal on submission “on the science–and perhaps the redemptive power–of love,” according to Slate. Neither Lehrer nor The Wylie Agency replied to Slate’s queries. The publisher of Lehrer’s previous books Houghton Mifflin Harcourt tells us a new proposal “was not submitted to us.” (The rest of the article is just filler.)
And on the heroic side, just about anyone working in publishing (with the exception of those at a particular online company) will enjoy The Fault In Our Stars author John Green‘s videotaped remarks for the ABA’s Indies Choice Awards luncheon at BEA. Green refutes the “insidious lie” that authors don’t need anyone else besides readers, and that he “is an example of someone who is changing the publishing paradigm” who “doesn’t need the value-sucking middlemen.” Indeed “we need editors, we need publishers, and we need booksellers,” Green says with passion — “we built this together, and we’re going to keep building this together.”
Another celebration of publishing (and patience) comes from Lucas Wittmann at the Daily Beast, whose focal point is two of this year’s Pulitzer winners and the idea that “great books–the kind of books that change readers’ hearts and shift our view of history–still get published.”
Frederik Logevall’s winning book in history Embers of War was originally due to the publisher back in 2003. And in Johnson’s journey, his prize-winning Orphan Master’s Son began in 2003 or 2004 as “a novel on the Iraq War (‘Troilus and Cressida in the Green Zone’).” The editor of both books, Random House’s David Ebershoff, is celebrated as “the holder of a new record in American literary history (the first time an editor has won two Pulitzers in the same year).
One final brief item: Amazon has launched a “marketplace” India that sells books and videos, with additional products coming shortly. It’s a marketplace rather than a full online store because for now they are only selling books from third parties — through their Selling on Amazon and Fulfillment by Amazon programs.