Barnes & Noble‘s Upper East Side location in NYC has closed permanently. B&N said to PL: “We can confirm that we are to close our bookstore at 86th St. and Lexington Ave. The store has served us well over the years but is now too large, and too expensive, for our needs. We have therefore made the difficult decision to close the store to focus energy and resources on improving our other bookstores in New York City.”
The store closed in March due to COVID-19 and B&N is in “active pursuit of a new site” in the area. B&N is “looking for opportunities for booksellers who want to transfer to one of our other Manhattan stores.”
Separately, the chain opened a new store in Schaumburg, IL outside of Chicago recently.
Books & Books has permanently closed its Lincoln Road location, after 30 years of operation. Owner Mitchell Kaplan told The Real Deal that “rents are too high and they’ve been too high for a long time.” He plans to look for a new location in Miami Beach. Kaplan tells the Miami Herald, “I’m very proud of the fact we helped spur the interest and development of Lincoln Road. I did everything I could to stay on Lincoln Road as a bookshop.” The street will soon feature a sad Amazon Four-Star store.
“A handful” of employees at Hachette UK in the children’s division “announced they were no longer prepared to work on” JK Rowling‘s THE ICKABOG earlier this week, objecting to her remarks about gender. The story first appeared in the Daily Mail in their usual inflammatory, and disdainful, style. The employees are criticized for being “woke” and either “staged [a] rebellion during a heated meeting” or “threatened to down tools.” Really?
The publisher said in a statement, “We are proud to publish JK Rowling’s children’s fairy tale The Ickabog. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of publishing. We fundamentally believe that everyone has the right to express their own thoughts and beliefs. That’s why we never comment on our authors’ personal views and we respect our employees’ right to hold a different view.
“We will never make our employees work on a book whose content they find upsetting for personal reasons, but we draw a distinction between that and refusing to work on a book because they disagree with an author’s views outside their writing, which runs contrary to our belief in free speech.”
The Bookseller says the objections came from four or five employees, and the company indicates, “We are approaching all the conversations with empathy and compassion and on a case-by-case basis.”
Catapult Book Group will move their worldwide distribution to Penguin Random House Publisher Services, starting January 2021. Catapult has been distributed by PGW since its founding, and in 2016 it acquired Counterpoint Press from PGW founder Charlie Winton.
Two high-demand titles are being made available to library patrons in the US and Canada for free through Overdrive‘s Black Lives Matter: Community Reads program.
The audiobook of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness is available for simultaneous access, at no cost, for 30 days. Starting on June 22, the ebook of Layla F Saad’s Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor will be available to all patrons for free for three weeks.
Founders of Midas PR in the UK Steven Williams and Tony Mulliken will retire from their executive roles at the end of 2020. They will continue as consultants until the end of March 2021 “to honor client commitments held over” from the cancelled London Book Fair. The two sold the majority stake in the business to a small group of staff and investors in 2018. Jason Bartholomew is now the sole ceo, and Georgina Moore joins the company board.