Eight-year-old Profile Books, the small publisher that made a big splash with Lynne Truss's surprise bestseller on punctuation, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, signed with Trafalgar Square for U.S. distribution starting with its spring 2005 list. Truss's book was British book of the year and London-based Profile was U.K. small publisher of the year for 2004.
"Normally, we wouldn't bring on a publisher with one title," said Spencer Gale, National Book Network's v-p, new business development. "But when the title is In America's Shadow, you'd be crazy not to." Published by Thomas George Books, this work by Kimberly Komatsu and Kaleigh Komatsu tells the story of Japanese-Americans from the early 1900s through the end of World War II and won the first Publishers Weekly/ Publishers Marketing Association Rising Star Award and a Benjamin Franklin Award for Best New Voice, Children's in 2004. It was also named a notable book by the Kiriyama Prize and the International Reading Association and was a Foreword magazine Book of the Year finalist.
NBN also signed Jeffers Press, in Santa Monica, Calif., founded by the other Susan Jeffers (not the children's book illustrator). Jeffers is the bestselling creator of the Feel the Fear books, which have sold four million copies worldwide. Other publishers joining NBN include Bunker Hill in Charlestown, Mass., which specializes in low-priced, illustrated books; Clearbridge Publishing in Seattle, which is best known for its Art of War gift book series based on Sun Tzu's classic work, and three-year-old Bleak House Books in Madison, Wis., which publishes crime and suspense novels as well as literary fiction.
In other news, former PGW sales representative Peg O'Donnell has joined NBN as account manager. O'Donnell, who is based in New Hampshire, was PW's Rep of the Year in 2001.
Diamond Book Distributors continues to grow with the addition of Meisha Merlin Publishing, founded by former Barnes & Noble buyer Stephen Pagel and artist Kevin Murphy. Eight-year-old Meisha signed with Diamond to represent it to both the book trade and the comics markets.