Julia Cheiffetz will return to HarperCollins as executive editor for Dey Street Books, starting October 6. She had been editorial director at Amazon Publishing until recently, prior to which she worked at Harper and Harper Studio.
Another longtime Amazon executive announced plans to leave the company. Bill Carr, 47, has worked at Amazon for 15 years, and currently serves as head of digital music and video. He plans to leave at the end of the year. A spokesperson told the WSJ Carr wanted to spend time with family and “has other plans after that but not in the near term and nothing to share now.” Amazon cfo since 2002 Thomas Szkutak announced earlier in the month that he will retire from the company in June 2015.
At Scholastic, Ken Cleary has been promoted to svp and chief accounting officer.
John Coughlan, a founding member of Capstone, is retiring this month. He has worked there since 1989, when he joined the company as vp of sales and marketing for the startup imprint.
Laura Bagnato has been promoted to senior designer, web marketing at Chronicle, where she has worked for over 7 years.
In author news, James Patterson has announced the inaugural list of independent bookstores in the UK and Ireland he will support with grants, expanding on the initiative he launched in the US. Seventy three stores will receive over £130,000.
Douglas Preston has shown the FT a new letter being drafted on behalf of Authors United asking the Department of Justice to investigate Amazon for antitrust violations. Preston says the letter is “simply citing points of law” and tells the paper he has already been in contact with the DOJ. “They are expecting this letter and they have told me that they welcome any information we can provide.” He tells the WSJ that senior fellow at the New American Foundation Barry Lynn is actually writing the letter. “There is a case that Amazon is in violation of the law,” Lynn told the paper. “Their actions to manipulate behavior [by Hachette] are exactly the reason these laws were created.”
An author who writes as Isabella Tanikumi filed a copyright infringement suit in a New Jersey Federal, claiming that Disney’s hit movie “Frozen” took the story from her autobiography Yearnings of the Heart rather than from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.
Finally, two Frankfurt Book Fair briefs of note. With the dollar reaching a two-year high against the euro and continuing weakness in the European central currency, US visitors heading to Frankfurt could experience the most favorable exchange rate since 2006 or 2005. (Of course that also strengthens US offers, and weakens Euro-based offers to buy projects. And, if the trend continues, it will boost the sales reports from Euro-based companies such as Penguin Random House and Lagardere Publishing as they convert the contributions of their big US units into euros.)
Additionally, the Bookseller reports that France‘s Culture Minister formally accepted the “invitation” to sponsor an exhibition as the 2017 “guest of honor” at Frankfurt while visiting Germany on Wednesday. The Culture Ministry has not said how it will fund the effort yet.