Tim Holman will step down as the publisher of Orbit UK to focus on his role as svp and publisher of Orbit in the US, though he will continue to work from London. HBG ceo Michael Pietsch says, “I’m extremely happy that he has decided to devote 100% of his time and talent to even greater growth and creative publishing in the US market. Anna Jackson will move up to publisher of Orbit UK in April, reporting to Charlie King.
Paola Crespo has been promoted to marketing manager at Orbit.
At St. Martin’s publishing group: Rebecca Lang has been promoted to assistant director of publicity; Katie Bassel is now senior publicity manager; Kathryn Hough Boutross moves up to publicity manager; and Kayla Janus was promoted to publicist.
Sarah Janssen will join Skyhorse as executive editor on March 16. She was previously senior editor at Infobase, editing The World Almanac and The World Almanac for Kids, which she will continue to edit for Skyhorse.
Emily Varga has been promoted to associate at the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau.
At Cooke International, Hana El Niwairi has been promoted to senior rights associate and Carolyn Buszynski has been promoted to subsidiary rights associate.
Princeton University Press will handle marketing, sales, and distribution for Zone Books as of June 1.
It’s clear that the COVID-19 outbreak will significantly impact physical retailers in particular, at least in the short term. The owner of Island Books in Mercer Island, WA Laurie Swift Raisys tells Slate about the tremendous challenges. They are delivering books across the island, shipping orders for free, and keeping their space clean, but “we might have to reach out to some of our publishers and contacts to figure out if we can extend terms on some of our bills.” As she notes, “You rely on the community and the people that come in and shop at your store in order to pay your bills and pay your employees. Last week was incredibly stressful, and this week has been very stressful, and I don’t really see an end in sight right now…. something like this can make a business disappear.”
The Book Cellar in Lake Worth, FL will close at the end of the month. The owners write on Facebook: “With our lease ending and the uncertainty of so many things, we have decided that it is best for our family’s financial future to close the store and get to work on recovering from the losses incurred in keeping the business open these last two and a half years.”
While UK publishers celebrated the planned lifting of VAT on ebooks as of December 1, the country’s Booksellers Association laments that it will damage physical bookstores and give an unnecessary boost to Amazon. BA head of policy and public affairs Laura McCormack said the organization “can’t help but be somewhat disappointed by the removal of VAT on digital products at this point, given the vexed state of the UK high street. We remain unconvinced where the current consumer harm is in e-book pricing, or where the consumer benefit is going to come from…. We worry that this represents yet another tax break for Amazon.” Meanwhile, the move apparently will not apply to digital audiobooks.
Wiley has acquired Madgex, which provides advanced job board software and career center services, for undisclosed terms. The companies have worked together since 2011, starting with the Wiley Job Network, a career center service.