[ PW Home ] [ Bestsellers ] [ Subscribe ] [ Search ]

Publishers Weekly News

Bn.com to Dissolve Publisher Relations Unit
Steven M. Zeitchik -- 3/6/00

As of mid-March, barnesandnoble.com's publisher relations department will no longer exist, PW has learned. Its director, Tom Turvey, will move to the e-book department, and at least some members of publisher relations will be folded into the evolving editorial/merchandising department, as the company prepares for the opening of its warehouses.

The warehouse change means that editors will now be involved in buying. As a result, speculated one source who asked not to be identified, editors will have greater dealings with publishers, thus eliminating the need for a separate department. Indeed, PW also learned that one official who had overseen editorial, Kate Murphy Zeman, will soon begin serving as the director of trade for the merchandising group, while another, Mike Katz, who oversaw professional and reference books, will head up those categories for the group. The department's biggest task--selling co-op--will continue to be handled by Marcia Baumann. Bn.com had no comment on the department shifts.

Publishers seem to be split on the efficacy of B&N's publisher relations department. One publisher didn't consider the department shutdown a big loss, because it functioned in more of a liaison role. But John Lawton, online sales and marketing manager at Penguin Putnam, expressed a different opinion: "My group has always found this bn.com department to be a godsend. Whenever we've needed an immediate answer, a fix or anything dealt with, Marcia Baumann has handled both global issues and individual title/author problems quickly and professionally."

Amazon.com recently formed a publisher relations department. Company v-p David Risher acknowledged to PW (Feature, Jan. 3) that it is an area in which his employer must improve.
Back To News
Search | Bestsellers | News | Features | Children's Books | Bookselling
Interview | Industry Update | International | Classifieds | Authors On the Highway
About PW | Subscribe
Copyright 2000. Publishers Weekly. All rights reserved.