Cengage Sues HMH
Cengage Learning has filed suit against Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, alleging that prior to selling its college division to Cengage for $750 million, HMH dramatically increased its sales to international resellers, including a number of resellers who are known to redistribute textbooks back into the U.S. through unauthorized distribution channels. Those actions, Cengage charges, deprived the company of the opportunity to sell texts into foreign markets while also decreasing sales in the U.S. from textbooks that leaked back into the American market. Cengage is seeking at least $20 million in damages.
Little, Brown Lands Handler, Snicket
Daniel Handler, who had a long and successful run as Lemony Snicket with A Series of Unfortunate Events at HarperCollins, is moving to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in a five-book deal. Under the agreement, Handler will write four Lemony Snicket titles in a new series, with the first due out in 2012. Before that series hits, LBYR will release a Handler young adult novel in 2011 that will feature full-color illustrations by Maira Kalman.
Engstrom Named Reed CEO
Former Random House executive Erik Engstrom has been appointed CEO of Reed Elsevier, succeeding Ian Smith, who had been in the position for about eight months. Engstrom had been head of Reed's Elsevier scientific publishing operation. The departure of Smith was by “mutual agreement,” the company said. Reed is the parent company of PW and BookExpo America.
Harlequin Forms Digital Imprint
Harlequin is launching Carina Press, a digital-only publishing venture that will be run separately from its conventional publishing program. Angela James, formerly with digital publisher Samhain Publishing, has been named executive editor of the new press, which will debut in summer 2010. Carina Press will publish a wide variety of genre fiction aimed at women including romance, erotica, family sagas, science fiction, and mysteries. The press will publish only e-books and sell them through the Carina Press Web site and third party e-tailers.
WEbook Launches AgentInbox
WEbook, an online site for writers, has added a new service that links authors and agents. AgentInbox resides on the WEbook home page and will screen submissions from authors before sending them on to appropriate agents. AgentInbox will focus on query letters while also ensuring that the manuscripts adhere to basic editorial standards and readiness. Eight literary agencies have signed on to date.
'Bishop's Man' Wins Giller
The Bishop's Man by Linden MacIntyre, published by Random House Canada, was named the winner of the 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the most prestigious fiction award in Canada. Random House Canada is going back to press for 35,000 copies of the title, which does not yet have an American publisher.
LaHaye Signs With Zondervan
Tim LaHaye, co-author of the megaselling Left Behind series published by Tyndale, has switched publishers and will partner with lawyer-author Craig Parshall on a new apocalyptic series. Zondervan has signed LaHaye and Parshall to produce The End. The series kicks off with Edge of Apocalypse, to release worldwide April 20, 2010, with a first print run of 500,000.
Worldcolor Turns a Profit
Printing giant Worldcolor reported net income of $13.3 million in the third quarter, compared to a loss of $64.2 million in last year's third period. Sales were down 22.5%, to $769.9 million. The company called the quarter a “satisfactory beginning” to its postbankruptcy life and promised more cost cutting.