People, Etc.

Start-up BitLit has announced a pilot program with Harper Collins. The publisher is testing the app that provides a discounted ebook as a bundled offer to a proven print book purchaser or owner on 6 titles for now (Halfway to the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost, Black Magic Sanction, by Kim Harrison, Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson, Wicked, by Gregory Maguire, The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, and 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross).

In personnel news, at Harper Collins, Erin Gorham has been promoted to director, digital accounts, while Lindsey Kline has been promoted to digital sales specialist.

Colleen Venable will join Workman Publishing on August 1 as associate art director, children's department. Previously she was senior designer at First Second Books.

Jenna Pocius has joined little bee books as associate editor. She was previously assistant editor at Bloomsbury Publishing.

In awards news, Belinda Bauer won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for RUBBERNECKER.

At the same festival, JK Rowling made it clear she hopes to keep writing crime novels for a long time: "One of the things I love about this genre is unlike Harry Potter, where there was a through line, where there was an overarching story, a beginning and end, you are talking about discreet stories. So while a detective lives, you can keep giving him cases." For that matter, she said, "I think the Harry Potter books in many ways are whodunnits in disguise."

D.M. Pulley was named the grand prize winner of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for her mystery novel THE DEAD KEY, which will be published in early 2015 by Thomas & Mercer (and garnered her a $50,000 advance.)

Curt Gentry, 83, who co-authored HELTER SKELTER with Vincent Bugliosi as well as over a dozen other books, died July 10 in a San Francisco hospital.

For a truly comprehensive list of over 35 publishing-related mergers and acquisitions deals so far in a busy 2014, Lunch Deluxe/PM readers can refer to our recently-updated list first issued in May.