Literary agent Helen Wetmore Brann, 82, died suddenly on Monday of complications from cancer. In July, Brann “entered into a success plan” with ICM.
She started her agency in 1974 — among the first women to open her own agency — after working at the Sterling Lord Agency. Over her career she had represented writers including Julian Barnes, Richard Brautigan, Gerald Clarke, Daniel Yergin, Rod McKuen, Barbara Leaming, Stephen Sondheim, Robert B. Parker and Maya Angelou.
A private service will be held at a later date. Donations in her memory can be made to the Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
In other personnel news, Rachel Stark has joined Sky Pony Press as an assistant editor. She was previously associate marketing manager at Simon & Schuster Children’s.
Laurel Symonds has joined Albert Whitman as associate marketing manager. Previously she was an assistant editor at Katherine Tegen Books.
Following the restructuring at Penguin Random House Australia and New Zealand, Richard Alweyn will join the company as chief financial officer on December 21; previously he was vp, finance at CEVA Logistics. Alweyn will take responsibility for finance, commercial, IT, facilities and APAC services, reporting to Julie Burland, and will be focused on driving greater efficiency and profitability in the business. In addition, at Penguin Random House Australia, Gavin Schwarcz is appointed sales and operations director; Alysha Farry moves up to marketing director; Karen Reid is promoted to publicity & communications director; and Dorothy Tonkin moves up to head of children’s publicity & marketing. Finally, Belinda Hansen has been promoted to human resources director. Schwarcz, Farry, Reid, Tonkin, and Hansen all now report to Burland.
In news briefs, Amazon is selling their seven-inch Fire tablet in China, for the equivalent of about $78. They are also working with China’s Baidu “to provide a search, apps, and online video experience on Amazon tablets in China.”
And Hachette Book Group announced that the rapid replenishment program they introduced in October for the holiday season will be extended through 2016. As previously explained, all orders received from independent retailers in good standing (within the continental 48 states) by 3 on Mondays are guaranteed to arrive no later than Friday of the same week. Orders placed Tuesday through Friday will be entered, picked and packed within 24 hours and shipped standard method.
Participating HBG distribution clients are: Abrams, Chronicle, Disney, Gildan Media, Marvel, Octopus, Paula Deen Ventures, Peterson’s, Phaidon, Quarto, Quercus, and Time Inc (including Liberty Street and Oxmoor House). (“At this time,” the say, Hachette UK and Moleskine “are unable to participate.”)