Renowned former Random House editor Bob Loomis died Sunday at 93, following a fall. RH Publishing Group Gina Centrello calls him, “One of the greatest editors Random House, and our industry, has ever known.” She noted, “I was just one of many who adored and learned from Bob, who inspired several generations of editors and publishers. His values and work ethic are permanently embedded in the Random House DNA.” Loomis retired from Random House in 2011 after spending almost 55 years at the house.
The NYT notes, “Loomis likened editing to a quasi-religious function. ‘You have to turn your collar around like a priest,’ he said. ‘You offer a lot of praise, you have confession and you have faith, and pretty soon they might trust you enough to know that you’re not trying to make the book in your own image. It’s their book.'”
At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Deb Brody is being promoted to vp and publisher of adult trade, effective April 27, leading the editorial team and taking over as Bruce Nichols departs for Little, Brown. Brody says, “Over the last several years as editor-in-cChief of the nonfiction list, it’s been an honor to work with the incredibly talented team at HMH, and I now look forward to working closely with editorial director Millicent Bennett to shape our fiction program. I am excited to move into this new role and continue the extraordinary publishing the company has always been known for, while making us a destination for diverse voices and fresh ideas.”
Justin Schwartz will join Simon & Schuster as vice president and executive editor, specializing in cooking, health, and lifestyle books, starting April 27. He was most recently executive editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Also at Simon & Schuster, Betsy Valdez has been promoted to associate director, human resources, reporting to Dave Snow.
Kayla Lightner joins Ayesha Pande Literary. She was previously at Liza Dawson Associates.
Books-A-Million launched an 800 number for customers to Talk to a Bookseller and “discuss authors, book club recommendations, best-selling new releases and much more.” Chief marketing officer Scott Kappler says in the announcement, “The communities we serve have come to rely on our in-store category experts, and this new service is just a small way for us to stay accessible to our guests and discuss what’s important to them – books.”
Susan Novotny qualified for a $70,500 Paycheck Protection Program loan for The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, NY and Market Block Books in Troy — but even with the loan and rent forgiveness from her landlord, “I’ll be gobbling up that PPP faster than anticipated,” she said. “I’m thinking by the end of May we’ll know whether or not we’re going to have enough. The ability to open the doors to a regular trickle of customers could make a difference, but I don’t see us returning to our February daily sales revenue totals.”
Small Press Distribution is among those enterprises trying crowdfunding to sustain themselves, seeking to raise $100,000: “Although we are currently able to operate safely on a skeletal staff, providing books out of our warehouse on a limited basis, sales have decreased by upwards of 60%…. SPD needs about $100,000 in the interim which will cover one month of payroll and 20% of the royalties we currently owe our publishers for the quarter that just closed, while we wait for our federal and local loans and grants to be processed.”