Former Crown Publishing Group president and publisher Maya Mavjee will join Macmillan on March 1 in the new role of president, publishing strategy, reporting to ceo John Sargent. Mavjee will work closely with Sargent, coo Andrew Weber (formerly of Random House), and president of Macmillan US Don Weisberg (formerly of Random House and Penguin Children’s) on “all aspects of publishing across the company, with a focus on publishing strategy and the overall growth and development of its programs.”
Sargent says in the announcement, “Maya brings a wealth of experience to this new role and will have a broad mandate. She is a huge talent, and I am sure she will make us better at everything we do.” Mavjee adds, “I am excited to be joining the Macmillan team. I have long admired the publishing programs, authors, talent and leadership of the company and look forward to the opportunities ahead.”
She will acquire books for all of Macmillan’s publishing houses, and will also take over responsibility for the central digital marketing and communications groups and the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Reporting to Mavjee will be Wibke Grutjen, vp, digital marketing, and Erin Coffey, vp, communications, events and community services.
Tamar Rydzinski has formed Context Literary Agency, bringing over her roster of authors from Laura Dail Literary Agency, where she was previously vice president and director of sub rights.
Carolyn Forde has moved over to the Transatlantic Agency as senior agent. She was previously literary agent and director of international rights at Westwood Creative Artists, and brings many of her clients with her.
Zoe Plant is joining the Bent Agency UK as literary agent, acquiring children’s and YA fiction and commercial adult fiction, including sci-fi, fantasy and crime. She was previously senior scout at Daniela Schlingmann Literary Scouting.
Anna Jordan has joined Books of Wonder as special events coordinator. She previously worked in author relations and events at Islandport Books in Yarmouth, ME and served two terms as the conference co-director for the New England region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Novelist and journalist Francine du Plessix Gray, 88, died on January 13 in Manhattan. Gray was the author of several novels and biographies, as well as Them: A Memoir of Parents, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2006.
Barnes & Noble in Crystal Lake, IL, will close, though a date is not known. City officials say they hope to find “a smaller location to house a scaled-down Barnes & Noble after it closes.”
Bob Woodward will receive the 2019 PEN America Literary Service Award, presented at their gala in May. PEN America ceo Suzanne Nossel said in a statement, “Woodward has set the standard for dogged and objective reporting and gripping storytelling. His work has helped fortify American democracy for decades.” Richard Robinson, Scholastic ceo for over 40 years, is the year’s Publisher Honoree.
Chicago Review Press acquired Council Oak Books, which will become an imprint of the former. The Wildcat Canyon Press imprint will become a series under the Council Oak Books imprint.
Print book sales in Canada were flat, as tracked by BookNet Canada’s point-of-sale service SalesData. They say 54.7 million units were sold, at a value of $1.13 billion (CA). Nonfiction sales rose modestly, up 1.5 percent, and fiction declined by 0.5 percent.