HarperCollins took its latest step in enabling authors and readers to interact in real time and to give those fascinated by books and publishing an insider’s view of the business, all via live programming using the new Facebook Live app on smartphones. Launched on June 6, the five-day-a-week programs, ranging from 15-45 minutes, can exponentially expand an author’s reach, from being able to live stream a program from their own home or on a book tour, for instance, to posting that program on their Facebook page for later viewing (and sharing on social media) by fans, as well as on HC’s Facebook or Book Studio 16 pages.
Oyster, the $9.95 all-you-can-read monthly ebook subscription service that came on the scene in 2013, quietly announced on its blog that it “will be taking steps to sunset the existing Oyster service over the next several months,” according to tech news site Re/Code. Perseus Books Group, home to publishers including Basic Books, Da Capo Press, Running Press, Public Affairs, and Avalon Travel, as well as one of the leading providers of distribution and client services to 600-plus independent publishers through PGW, Consortium, Legato, et al., announced in early September that it is once again up for sale.
When the adult coloring craze jumped across the pond in 2013 with the intricate designs of Johanna Basford’s UK best seller Secret Garden (Laurence King), Dover Publications was ready. The company had been publishing coloring books for 45 years, not just for kids but for experienced artists as well, said Ken Katzman, VP, marketing. In 2012, encouraged by major craft chain Michaels, Dover launched Creative Haven, with images on only one side of a page, on good stock, with perforated pages for easy removal and display.
When David Talbot, founder and former editor in chief of Salon, told a writer friend about an idea he had for investigative books on critical issues that would fill a gap left by the devastating cuts at newspapers and magazines, his friend introduced him to a like-minded publisher, Skyhorse founder Tony Lyons. The result: a new investigative book imprint, Hot Books, aimed at “ignit[ing] national debate.” Launched in late May by Skyhorse, the imprint will have a cobranded digital platform created with Salon.
In a press release from the London Book Fair dated April 14, HarperCollins announced the expansion of its foreign-language publishing with the formation of HarperCollins Holland, HarperCollins Japan, HarperCollins Nordic (Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark), and HarperCollins Polska (Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia). The move, which builds on the Harlequin acquisition last year, gives the company a broader global reach by extending existing Harlequin publishing programs in those markets. It had been signaled April 10 with the appointment of Chantal Restivo-Alessi, HarperCollins (HC) chief digital officer, as executive VP, international.
Several deals in late September and October highlighted continued expansion and new directions among the top three providers of distribution and client services to independent and small publishers: Perseus Books Group, IPG, and Ingram.
In three post–Labor Day memos to Penguin Random House (PRH) staff, CEO Markus Dohle detailed the formation of the Penguin Publishing Group, consolidating all Penguin adult trade publishing (Penguin Adult and Berkley/NAL) under one roof. He named Madeline McIntosh, U.S. president and COO of PRH, to head the new entity and said that longtime Penguin president Susan Petersen Kennedy would be leaving at the end of the year.
As SAGE Publications’ CEO and president Blaise Simqu celebrated his tenth year in the job this August, he was also gearing up for SAGE’s anniversary: the company, founded in 1965 by Sara Miller McCune, turns 50 in 2015. It retains its deep connections to the library and higher education world, both through its journals, which comprise 50 percent of the business, and its textbooks, reference works, and databases, which make up the rest.
Say you’re a professional or businessperson who relocated to the United States. Or you’re a student who came to the this country to study. Or you live outside the United States but deal with Americans. You’re reasonably fluent in English, but you want to improve your skills. A new tool, PenguinStacks, is for you. Launched in beta this spring in the United States and Brazil, it takes aim at nonnative readers of English. The 120 titles on the site were assessed by New York University (NYU) PhD linguistics’ candidates and grouped into three levels.
On April 30, Scribd, which launched its “all you can read” $8.99 per month ebook subscription with HarperCollins as the first (and still only) Big Five publisher last fall, announced a deal that brought 1,000 Wiley titles to its subscription service, including all those in the “For Dummies” series.