Executive Director of the National Book Foundation Lisa Lucas will take over Pantheon and Schocken Books as svp, publisher — though not until “completing her work with the NBF at the end of 2020.” She will report to Reagan Arthur, who says in the announcement, “When I thought about Pantheon’s rich legacy and imagined ways to build on that for the future, the first name that came to mind was Lisa’s. I’m delighted to know that Pantheon will continue to thrive and evolve under her leadership, in concert with our incredible team of editors, marketers, and publicists.” On the broader changes underway in publishing, Arthur tells the NYT, “Everything is up for change, and will change. Ten years from now, I don’t think anything will look the same.”
Reporting to Lucas will be editorial director Dan Frank, executive editor Erroll McDonald, senior editors Deborah Garrison and Shelley Wanger, and editor Altie Karper. No other changes in reporting structure are planned. The NBF says it will conduct a national search for her replacement.
Prior to joining the NBF in 2016, Lucas was publisher of the online magazine Guernica. She says in the announcement, “The National Book Foundation gave me the opportunity to simultaneously celebrate great literature and imagine just how big the audience for excellent books could be if we only dared to dream bigger. In this same spirit, I look forward to joining Pantheon and Schocken, with an aim of building on the rich publishing history of those imprints and judiciously remixing their lists. I am excited to work alongside Dan Frank the entire Pantheon and Schocken team. Together, we will publish thoughtfully and creatively, elevate a community of established and new writers, and consider who our readers can and will be.”
With the hiring of Lucas and Dana Canedy at Simon & Schuster, the NYT writes, “The fact that both Simon & Schuster and Knopf appointed leaders who had never worked in the industry suggests that companies are prepared to overthrow old hiring practices that rely on insider networks and paying your dues over the decades.” To that end, Hachette Book Group ceo Michael Pietsch observes, “Everyone is going to be much more open looking outside the industry to find people who have the right business skills and sensibilities, and who can grow into the relationships. Everyone is going to have to widen their lens.”
At the same time, however, the paper notes, “Some of the editors and publishers who were viewed as rising stars and presumptive heirs in recent years have been overlooked for top jobs, and even let go amid corporate streamlining.”
Rakesh Satyal will join the Harper One Group as executive editor on July 27, reporting to Gideon Weil, and acquiring for Harper One, Harper Via, Amistad, and Harper Collins Español. He was most recently at Atria.
At Aevitas Creative Management, managing partners David Kuhn and Todd Shuster become co-ceos of the agency, while current managing partner Esmond Harmsworth will be president. Foreign rights director Chelsey Heller will become an agent, as Erin Files is promoted to foreign rights director. Justin Brouckaert and Maggie Cooper have each been promoted to agent. Rob Arnold will become a consulting agent; he is currently program director at Hugo House in Seattle.
At KKR-owned Overdrive, former Penguin Random House cfo (and now cfo of MediaMath) Milena Alberti-Perez joins the board, as does former president of both the American Library Association and the Public Library Association, and former executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library (Ohio). Sari Feldman.
Joanna Gaines‘s new children’s picture book, The World Needs Who You Were Meant to Be, will be published by Thomas Nelson on November 10. Once again, the book is illustrated by Julianna Swaney.
Barbara Tavres‘ age discrimination lawsuit against Barnes & Noble will go to trial by jury in August 2021, after private mediation failed to lead to a settlement. The court has scheduled nine days of trial. However, Tavres has asked the court to withdraw her class action claims. Judge Edward Chen responded that he won’t drop the class action until he’s satisfied that the putative class members were sufficiently informed. The plaintiff has been working with the court to that end, and has supplemental information due July 17.