Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has “realigned” its sales team. Ed Spade has been promoted to vp, national accounts, trade sales & strategy, co-leading the sales team with Colleen Murphy, vp, special markets, mass market, and product development. As a result, Maire Gorman, svp trade sales, has left the company. Additionally, Christine Sikule has joined HMH in the new role of director of sales analytics. She was previously metadata manager at Penguin Random House.
Connor Guy joins Basic Books as editor on February 4. Most recently, he was associate editor at Metropolitan Books.
In the UK, Amanda Ridout is launching Boldwood Books, publishing commercial fiction. The company expects to publish 20 titles in 2019, and aims to issue 50 titles in 2020. Ridout, who was ceo at Head of Zeus until she left in November 2017, is joined by two former colleagues from that company, with Caroline Ridding as publisher, and Nia Benyon as publishing/sales and marketing director. They are not paying advances initially, promising authors that “your contract will be based on partnership principles and the proceeds of success shared equally.”
Also in the UK, Jacaranda has announced their list of 20 black writers they will publish in 2020, supported by £25,000 in donations. Founder Valerie Brandes tells the Guardian, :The importance of this from a publishing perspective cannot be overstated. The commitment to publish 20 black British writers in one year, in terms of sheer visibility for black writing and writers, is unsurpassed in this industry.”
Barnes & Noble also announced their Discover Great New Writers finalists, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony on March 6:
Only Killers and Thieves, by Paul Howarth
A Place for Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza
There There, by Tommy Orange
American Prison, by Shane Bauer
Educated, by Tara Westover
Heavy, by Kiese Laymon
Dare Me, Megan Abbott‘s novel about the competitive world of high school cheerleading, will become a TV series, co-produced by USA and Netflix. Abbott will be a writer and executive producer along with Gina Fattore (Dawson’s Creek, Gilmore Girls). The series is executive produced by Peter Berg and Film 44.
Simon & Schuster will distribute art book publisher David Zwirner Books in North America starting August 1. They have been by Artbook | D.A.P. (Thames & Hudson remains their distributor outside of North America.)
Bertelsmann ceo Thomas Rabe believes the company’s new Bertelsmann Content Alliance in Germany “strengthens our position in the competition with the U.S. technology platforms.” The initiative is meant to “manage the collaboration among all of the international media, services and education company’s content businesses in Germany” — including Random House Germany, RTL television, Gruner + Jahr magazines, and music company BMG. Gruner + Jahr ceo Julia Jäkel takes the added role of chair of the board of the Bertelsmann Content Alliance.