At the Penguin Publishing Group, Casey Blue James has been promoted to manager, business development.
Scott Haney has joined Chronicle Books as human resources manager, while Alexandra Brown has been hired as marketing & publicity manager, lifestyle.
The CMLP presented the second annual revitalized Firecracker Awards on Thursday. Winners included The Things We Don’t Do by Andrés Neuman (Open Letter) for fiction, and The World is On Fire: Scrap, Treasure, and Songs of Apocalypse by Joni Tevis (Milkweed Editions)
Lithub’s “Gatekeepers” column features a Q&A with Riverhead editorial director Rebecca Saletan. What makes a Riverhead — and Saletan — book?
“It always starts with instinct. Feeling a visceral excitement when I’m reading, that I’m being dragged deeper and taken somewhere I don’t already know, through a voice I haven’t heard before. For me, the voice is pretty much key. Some editors are plot hounds and understand genre, but I’ve never really been that person. For me, at least in fiction, it’s always the voice. I would say voice first, character second, plot third. It’s equally true in writerly nonfiction. I think it starts with that sense of excitement, then questions follow. Because I’m a somewhat quirky reader I always have to do a reality check on myself and say, Ok, you are excited about this, but do you think you can get other people excited about it? Is there an audience for it? I have a wonderful group of colleagues whom I can bounce things off, particularly my colleagues in publicity who are tremendous readers.
“For example, in July we’re publishing a novel that I love—actually, I can’t even call it a novel. We’re just calling it fiction. It’s an unconventional book called Pond by a British writer named Claire-Louise Bennett. It was published first by Stinging Fly, a tiny little press in Dublin, and then by Fitzcarraldo Editions in the UK. I read it and absolutely loved it and thought it was like nothing I’d read before. I said it was shorter female Knausgaard with more humor. Our publicity director called it a mashup of Lydia Davis and Samuel Beckett and said, ‘Buy it!’ Because that’s the kind of house we are.”