UTA has promoted book-to-film agent Jason Richman to co-lead its Media Rights Group, alongside Keya Khayatian. Richman has been at UTA since 2010. The agency says that the department has closed over 250 deals in the past year, licensing literary properties for film and TV.
Separately, Christian Trimmer will lead a relaunch of MTV Books. Trimmer will report to MTV Entertainment president of content and chief content officer Nina Diaz. The imprint will publish in partnership with Simon & Schuster, housed within the branded publishing group of Simon & Schuster Children’s, with director of branded publishing Kara Sargent as the lead editor for the publisher. Trimmer has been editorial director at Holt Children’s, after working at Simon & Schuster Children’s. MTV Books previously published as part of Gallery, but has been dormant for many years.
At head of MTV Books, Trimmer will acquire and edit young adult titles, and will help “identify titles for development into films and mini-series across the group’s brands/studios and evaluate existing IP to be reimagined as book projects.”
Quynh Do joins Zando as senior editor, reporting to head of editorial Emily Bell. She was mostly recently editor at Norton.
At Princeton University Press, Jackie Delaney has been promoted to assistant editor, paperbacks, and Kenneth Guay to editorial associate.
Julia Rickard has been promoted to associate publicist for Viking Penguin.
At Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Caryn Wiseman has been promoted to executive agent. Paige Terlip has joined as associate agent.
Michael L. Lomax, president and ceo of United Negro College Fund, and Alexandra Bernadotte, founder and ceo of Beyond 12, have joined Cengage’s board of directors.
In the UK, PR firm Midas has acquired literary agency The BKS Agency, “in a move that will expand the offerings of both organizations.” Midas ceo Jason Bartholomew was a co-founder of the literary agency in 2018, along with Jessica Killingley and James Spackman.
Powell’s Books in Portland closed early on Tuesday, for the second day in a row, “citing safety concerns” after protestors gathered outside the store. The crowd was objecting to the bookseller offering Andy Ngo’s forthcoming book Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy for sale online, even though the company said it will not stock the book in-store.
In a statement on the store website on Monday, management had written, “At Powell’s, a lot of our inventory is hand-selected, and hand-promoted. And a lot of our inventory is not… Unmasked by Andy Ngo came to us through an automatic data feed via one of our long-term and respected publishers, Hachette Book Group.” They continued, “This book will not be on our store shelves, and we will not promote it. That said, it will remain in our online catalogue.” Some of the protesters asserted that Ngo’s book could “incite actions that would harm others.”
Ingram is convening a free webinar on Thursday, January 21 at 11 Eastern on “How to Improve Your Amazon SEO Using Keywords” — and is reporting significant sign-ups already. The agenda is described in detail here.
One focal point: “Publishers must embrace best practices in how titles are described and promoted. There are clear pathways for structuring book information and positioning within the online retail catalog that will increase discoverability…. One happy trend we’ve noticed is publishers have embraced the idea that frequent optimization pays dividends.”