On hearing the news of the sale, and rebirth, of Kirkus Reviews, to Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon, we spoke with children’s and YA editor Vicky Smith, about moving forward.
The February 1 and February 15 issues, she said, were being worked on by Kirkus staff as they awaited completion of the deal. Those issues have been combined into one and will mail imminently. March 1 will likely still be “a smidge late,” but the plan is to be completely back on schedule starting with the April issues.
Smith said she has hardly skipped a beat, in terms of scheduling reviews. “When the interested buyers presented themselves,” Smith said, “I just went straight back to work and assigned as if there had been no absence.” She gives much credit to her core group of “incredibly dedicated and wonderful” reviewers. “They were so eager to start writing again,” she said. “I’m incredibly grateful to them.”
And she’s very happy to be getting back to work herself. When the news came in December that Nielsen was shuttering Kirkus, she said, “There were a few authors who did little jigs of glee on our grave, but for the most part there was sadness. It was a bad thing for one of the voices for books to be silenced.” But now with the revival, she’s finding it “incredibly exciting to be part of something positive happening in publishing.”
Smith also said that Kirkus hopes to move into new office space in New York City within the next three months; currently they are operating out of Nielsen’s offices, as support during the transition was part of the purchase agreement. (Smith and Kirkus managing editor Eric Liebetrau work remotely from home offices.) For now, Smith requests that two copies of children’s and YA titles be sent to her in Maine, and she will contact publishers once they have moved into new office space.