Mike Evans will join McGraw-Hill on January 1 as chief financial officer. He was chief operating officer and CFO at Renaissance, which specializes in pre-K-12 learning analytics.
Longtime associate art director at Knopf Peter Mendelsund has been named creative director of The Atlantic, and his frequent design partner Oliver Munday will become senior art director, with both starting in February.
PW did not pick a “person of the year’ for 2018, instead honoring five people who were publishers of imprints with Trump books, and one editorial director: Eric Nelson, Broadside; Rolf Zettersten, Center Street; Steve Rubin, Holt; Jonathan Karp, Simon & Schuster; Bob Miller and Amy Einhorn, Flatiron Books.
Audrey Geisel, 97, philanthropist and wife of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, died on December 19. She founded Dr. Seuss Enterprises in 1993 to maintain the Dr. Seuss trademark. Cathy Goldsmith, president and publisher of Random House Children’s Dr. Seuss program, said, “Audrey had such a quick wit and smart sense of humor, which made her a pleasure to work with and be around. I will always remember her sparkle. Audrey could light up a room, and I know that her brightness found its way into Ted’s work, and her tireless advocacy for his books and our publishing.” President and publisher of Random House Children’s Barbara Marcus adds, “With our partners at Dr. Seuss Enterprises, we celebrate Audrey’s life. We will continue to work together to publish Dr. Seuss books for this and future generations, and to carry on the extraordinary commitment that Audrey upheld throughout her life to our beloved author’s genius, legacy, and enduring spirit.”
And, correcting yesterday’s year-end roundup of M&A, Random House’s 2011 purchase of the app company Smashing Ideas in 2011 was preceded by the 2009 purchase of Ten Speed Press as Markus Dohle’s first acquisition as company ceo.
The Seattle Times celebrates the persistence and growing success of local bookseller Third Place Books, now with three locations. Managing partner (and current ABA president) Robert Sindelar comments, “In general, everything that’s successful in physical retail right now is about meaningful experience in physical space.” All three stores sell a mix of new and used books and provide “a comfortable place for coffee or a meal, friendly booksellers eager to recommend a new favorite, a busy schedule of author readings and special events — in other words, offering not just books, but an experience.”
In particular, looking at bookselling in the 90s when he started versus now, previously “you were just as likely to walk into an independent bookstore where the staff was stuck-up and a little snooty toward their customer base. You can’t afford that any more. You have to be embracing of all readers. Whatever brought you in today, tell me about it, I can help you out. You came in for a reason and it might not be to read my favorite book.”
At the same time, Sindelar acknowledges, “Our cost of doing business is going up at maybe a slightly steeper rate than our sales are increasing. We keep figuring out that balance, it’s always a challenge. But the consumer appetite is there, and our traffic counts continue to increase and more people know about us, and we enlist more readers all the time. This is still a good business model, but we have to be smart about it.”