Levy Home Entertainment Sold
The Chas. Levy Company has sold its sole operating subsidiary, Levy Home Entertainment, to Readerlink, an affiliate of Treesdale Investments Inc., whose managing partner, Dennis Abboud, had been an executive at Chas. Levy Company from 1994 to 2000. LHE’s management team of Carol Kloster, president and CEO, and Steve Carlson, CFO, will continue to head LHE, which will be rebranded as Readerlink Distribution Services. LHE had been majority-owned by the Levy family since its founding in 1962.
Bookish Gets New CEO
Bookish, the fledgling industrywide digital platform for readers backed by Penguin, Hachette Book Group, and Simon & Schuster, has appointed Caroline Marks CEO, replacing Paulo Lemgruber. Announced in May, Bookish is still under development, and while Lemgruber had hoped to launch around Labor Day, Marks will evaluate a timetable for going live. Marks joins Bookish from Meredith, where she was the first general manager of the company’s digital Parents and Lifestyle platforms.
RH in Deal with Blacklight
The Random House Publishing Group and Blacklight Transmedia have formed a partnership to create original transmedia intellectual properties as well as to coordinate the development of IP from other sources. The initiative is being handled by RHPG’s newly created division Random House Worlds, which is an IP creation and development unit. According to RH, the two companies have already begun collaboration on several projects—internal and external—with details on the individual properties to be announced soon. The partnership will create and develop complete transmedia worlds, along with reference documents and related documents, and will partner with authors, screenwriters, directors, and media companies to develop film, television, video game, and print properties with the potential to be realized across multiple media platforms.
Authors Guild Files Amended Complaint
The Authors Guild has filed an amended complaint that expands its suit against university libraries over a book-scanning collaborative known as HathiTrust. In a release, the Authors Guild said its suit would be joined by a host of international author groups as well as individual authors. The suit is also now joined by the U.K. Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, the Norwegian Nonfiction Writers and Translators Association, the Swedish Writers Union, and the Writers’ Union of Canada.
Jones to Holt
Barbara Jones will be joining Henry Holt as executive editor. Jones was most recently editorial director of Hyperion Books and Voice, where she acquired Jane Lynch’s Happy Accidents.
Perseus Partners with Lit Agency for E-books
The Perseus Books Group has launched Argo Navis, a new unit that will handle digital distribution and marketing for authors who want to self-publish titles and who are represented by established agents. Janklow & Nesbit and Curtis Brown Ltd. are the first two agencies to sign with Argo, although Perseus CEO David Steinberger said he is in discussions with a number of others. Agreements will be for three years and authors receive 70% of revenue.