November Bookstore Sales Up

Bookstore sales rose 3.3% in November, to $965 million, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. With the November gain, bookstore sales were down just under 1% for 2012, at $13.51 billion, with one month to go in the year.

Dan Brown’s Next Novel

Dan Brown, the bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code, will publish his next novel in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada on May 14. Brown’s publisher, Random House’s Knopf Doubleday Group, said the new book, Inferno, will again feature Robert Langdon, the symbologist protagonist at the center of The Da Vinci Code. RH is doing a first announced printing of four million copies for the book, which is being released simultaneously in print and e-book.

Penguin Revamps Book Country

Book Country, an online writing community and self-publishing service launched by Penguin in 2011, has relaunched, and the site is being redesigned in stages. The site has reduced fees for each tier of service, while adding a free self-publishing tier, higher royalties for authors, and plans to eventually add an online bookstore. By late summer 2013, the site will also relaunch its writing community, opening it to more fiction genres. Book Country’s online writing community has attracted about 800 manuscripts and about 5,800 active writer-members.

Cascardi Joins Egmont

Egmont USA has appointed Andrea Cascardi to the new combined role of managing director and publisher, effective immediately. Cascardi joins Egmont USA from the Transatlantic Literary Agency, where she has represented such authors as Mary Casanova, Mary Nethery, and Newbery Medalist Clare Vanderpool. Elizabeth Law, who was Egmont USA’s original publisher, is leaving the company after five years.

Raab Named President and Publisher at GCP

Jamie Raab has been promoted to president and publisher of Grand Central Publishing. Raab has been with GCP (and Warner Books before that) for 25 years and has headed GCP as executive v-p and publisher. In announcing the promotion, Hachette Book Group CEO David Young called Raab “a brave and brilliant publisher, a trusted leader in the company, and an impassioned champion of authors.”

Hyperion Names Pomerance Senior Editor

Ruth Pomerance will join Hyperion as senior editor, effective January 28. At Hyperion, which is part of the Disney Company, Pomerance will focus on the acquisition and development of new stories that will be used by the various Disney/ABC Television Group businesses. Pomerance brings 30 years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries to Hyperion. She has worked for a variety of producers, including Scott Rudin, Arnold Kopelson, Fred Zollo, and John Davis, acquiring and developing literary properties for motion pictures, television, and publishing.

Haut, Adamo Move Up at RHCP

At Random House Children’s Books, longtime staffer Judith Haut has been appointed to the newly created position of senior v-p, associate publisher, effective immediately. As associate publisher, Haut will work with Barbara Marcus, the publishers and editorial directors, and the marketing, sales, and art departments to set the longterm publishing strategy and processes for the division. In a related announcement, John Adamo, senior v-p, marketing, will now oversee all marketing activities. He has spent his entire career under the Bertelsmann umbrella, having joined Bantam Doubleday Dell as a marketing assistant in 1994, and except for a short stint in the sales department, he has spent his career working in the children’s marketing department. Haut and Adamo will continue to report to Marcus.

Skyhorse Starts New Imprint

Skyhorse has launched a new imprint called Gary Null Publishing that will feature health and wellness titles. The line is named after bestselling author Gary Null, and is being done in partnership with Null’s company, Null & Associates. Skyhorse said Null is a “nutrition and natural-living advocate.”Gary Null Publishing is set to release 12 titles over the next three years, with four of them scheduled for fall 2013. Topics covered in the forthcoming batch of books range from cancer to weight loss to anti-aging.