The Association of American Publishers (AAP) board unanimously elected vice chair and Wiley ceo Brian Napack as their new chair, effective September 25, taking over from John Sargent, who resigned in conjunction with his pending departure from Macmillan. A new vice chair will be elected separately. Additionally, new Macmillan trade ceo Don Weisberg has taken Sargent’s board seat, Simon & Schuster ceo Jonathan Karp has filled the late Carolyn Reidy’s seat, and Norton chair and president Julia Reidhead joined the board after being voted into an at-large seat in June.
Powell’s Books has hired business consultant Patrick Bassett as their new ceo, as owner Emily Powell relinquishes that position while remaining as president. “We have not found our way out of the woods yet,” Powell said. The pandemic continues to weigh on business and “I don’t know when we’re coming out of it. I don’t exactly know how.”
One key priority, though, is revamping their website. “If we don’t have a compelling website we won’t exist in five more years. That’s just the reality of the world we live in.” Bassett, who has been advising the bookseller in recent months, tells the Oregonian, “I don’t think we’re in crisis anymore. I think this is the new normal, the new reality. We’re going to be in this environment for an extended period of time.”
Francis Lam has been promoted to vice president and editor-in-chief of Clarkson Potter.
Natalie Hallak has been promoted to associate editor at Park Row Books.
Shannon Twomey, associate director of publicity at Viking/Penguin, is leaving October 1 to move to the UK.
Jamie Knapp has been promoted to director of publicity for Plume.
In the Penguin Random House consumer marketing team, Suzie Sisoler was promoted to named vp, director, Consumer Data and Marketing Automation. Erika Seyfried moves over to the team in the new role of vp, director, digital strategy and consumer engagement, reporting to Sanyu Dillon. Director, consumer shows and conferences Lindsey Elias and coordinator, consumer events and conferences Julianne Jones will rejoin consumer marketing, reporting to Adam Royce.
Kevin Young, director of New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and poetry editor of the New Yorker, will become director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture starting January 11. He will continue in his role at the New Yorker.
Tom Knight, senior vice president of sales at Harper Christian will retire at the end of 2020. Dan Van Gorp has been promoted to fill this role and will begin working with Knight on a transition plan effective immediately.
Sourcebooks will pair with DK — part of Penguin Random House, which owns a 45 percent stake in Sourcebooks — to sell and market their titles in the UK and Europe starting January 1, 2021
The Center For Fiction announced the shortlist for its First Novel Prize. Finalists include Raven Leilani’s Luster, which is excerpted and available for download now in our Buzz Books 2020 Spring/Summer sampler. The full list:
Indelicacy, by Amina Cain (Farrar, Straus)
These Ghosts Are Family, by Maisy Card (Simon & Schuster)
Temporary, by Hilary Leichter (Emily Books/Coffee House Press)
Luster, by Raven Leilani (Farrar, Straus)
The Redshirt, by Corey Sobel (University Press of Kentucky)
Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart (Grove Press)
How Much of These Hills Is Gold, by C Pam Zhang (Riverhead)
On Tuesday, the New Yorker reportedly “walked away from negotiations” with the New Yorker Union and “refused to bargain,” the Union wrote on Twitter. They filed an unfair labor practice complaint over that unwillingness to bargain. The union has been fighting for a “just cause” provision to establish a standard for disciplining or firing employees. They allege that “some of our bosses’ unprofessional behavior has created toxic environments where workers fear raising editorial concerns or requesting guidance, avoid pitching ideas, and worry about job security.”
Perhaps more effectively, the union called a digital picket and has asked speakers at next week’s planned New Yorker Festival to cancel and not cross their digital line. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez agreed to stand with union. The schedule includes a number of prominent authors. The union, which does not include the magazine’s writers, was recognized over a year ago, but has yet to agree on a contract with management.
Thomas Nelson was an early partner in the co-branded packages that encourage self-published authors to pay thousands of dollars in fees to Author Solutions. Now they are building on that tradition by pairing with their author Lysa TerKeurst in a program that encourages people to enroll for her $2,500 Book Proposal Bootcamp (a $13,000 value, they claim). That investment makes authors eligible to submit those proposals to a co-branded Nelson Books and COMPEL imprint. They promise 10 finalists will go to the publications board and 2 to 4 publishing contracts will come out of this.