Kneerim & Williams agent John Butman died unexpectedly on Monday, March 23, from what appears to have been a heart attack. He was at home in Maine after a vacation with his family. The agency remembers him as, “A priceless agent, thinker, writer, and pal. He brought us his overflowing wit, intelligence, kindness, and joy, and we will miss him sorely.” His ongoing projects will be handled by various colleagues at the agency. For information, contact Sarah Khalil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Today show’s Read with Jenna pick for April is Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore.
Jonathan Ball Publishers in South Africa has acquired Icon Books for an undisclosed sum and will take control on April 1. Ball’s ceo Eugene Ashton will be chairman of Icon Books and Icon’s managing director Philip Cotterell becomes ceo. The new owner plans to expand Icon, and “all staff are being retained.”
Angie Thomas‘s third YA novel, CONCRETE ROSE, will be published by Harper on January 12, 2021 (and Walker Books in the UK): “This is a book about a 17-year-old young man who just found out he’s a father…Nobody wants to talk about teen sex, nobody wants to talk about teen pregnancy or teen parents. But he’s amongst us every single day and it’s something that we cannot ignore.”
Country music star Sara Evans’ memoir BORN TO FLY will be published by Howard Books on September 8.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was given to Korean picture book artist Baek Heena. She has published 13 picture books, including Cloud Bread, published in English in 2011.
Simon & Schuster is working with Bookshop.org to “raise awareness and facilitate online selling for local independent bookstores during the Coronavirus crisis.” The publisher has added Bookshop buy buttons to all of its websites, and the company is encouraging its authors to include the links on their own websites and social media posts.