Tara Gilbert has joined the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, associate agent. She was previously associate agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Amy Giuffrida has also joined as associate agent. She was previously literary agent apprentice at Corvisiero.
At Astra Publishing House, Lisa Taylor has joined as production manager (she was at Lonely Planet Kids), and Alisa Trager moves over from Boyds Mills & Kane to serve as managing editor for Astra, working across all group imprints.
Founder and publisher of Fig Tree Juliet Annan will leave the imprint at the end of October, as she pursues an MA in English Literature at University College London, Annan will also continue to edit a few authors on a freelance basis.
Mariah Stovall, a literary assistant at Writers House, published an open letter in Poets&Writers titled “A Letter From a Black Woman in Publishing on the Industry’s Cruel, Hypocritical Insistence That Words Matter.” Stovall questions publishers’ recent statements of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement: “Why should Black people like me believe these are more than empty words, when many of these statements assume an entirely White audience and are focused on propping up businesses’ past work with Black people?” She continues, “To all the self-proclaimed allies reading this, especially those of you with hiring power, or the power to acquire, or the power to allocate marketing dollars, here’s another cliché for you: Actions speak louder than words.”
Elsewhere, author Dorothy Koomson posted a letter on Twitter. “Black writers do not want special consideration,” she writes. ‘We do not want special treatment, was want a level playing field, an equality of opportunity, the chance to write books and explore as many subjects and genres as our white counterparts.”
At The Poetry Foundation, president Henry Bienen has resigned effective immediately, and Willard Bunn III is stepping down as board chair. Those changes come after an open letter criticized the foundation’s June 3 statement as “worse than the bare minimum” and called on the organization to “redistribute more of its enormous resources to marginalized artists, to make concrete commitments to and change-making efforts in your local community and beyond.”
Per our check in about a month ago, KKR‘s acquisition of Overdrive finally closed on June 9, a little more than four months later than first expected. While terms officially were not disclosed, Rakuten continues to say it expects to record a gain of about $365 million on the sale, and in 2015 they paid $410 million to acquire Overdrive. (Also, the KKR acquisition vehicle is Aragorn Parent Corporation.)
Romance Writers of America told members it intends to “strengthen [their] professional relations advocacy.” As part of that initiative, RWA announced a plan to advocate for Dreamspinner Press authors who have not been paid royalties. In a message on their website, they wrote that their previous advocacy “did not properly or full address the issues, leaving many member unsupported.” The statement continues, “We will be reaching out to Dreamspinner Press to demand payments due to our members on behalf of our members who request that we do so. We also will be working with RWA’s attorney to explore all of our options in this matter.” They are asking Dreamspinner Press authors to contribute statements about their experiences with the publisher and make suggestions for RWA’s advocacy efforts.
The Misfits have reached a tentative settlement in the band’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Abrams, publisher of the photobook Scream with Me, a visual history of the band. In a June 9 filing requesting a 14-day extension to answer the original complaint, Abrams said, “the parties believe they have just today reached a tentative settlement but have not yet finalized the actual settlement agreement.”