Johnson Steps Down as Red Wheel/Weiser Publisher

Jan Johnson will be leaving her post as publisher of the Red Wheel/Weiser group of imprints, becoming publisher emerita. Johnson, who has led the group since November 2000, will no longer focus on day-to-day operations and will, instead, continue to work with select authors. She will also, according to RWW, develop “special projects and new ventures.”

Libraries Balk At OverDrive Changes

In a letter to Steve Potash, CEO of OverDrive, the ReadersFirst coalition of libraries has protested a change that would require library patrons to register directly with OverDrive before using the digital library vendor’s app. Stressing that “libraries, not the vendors we pay,” should own the customer relationship, the letter expresses “concern with the storage of private patron information,” and could “erode the relationship that the library has with our patrons.”

July Bookstore Sales Fell 5.1%

Bookstore sales totaled $707 million in July, down 5.1% compared to the same month last year, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales were at $745 million in July 2013. The decline was somewhat smaller than it has been in most other months this year, and total year-to-date sales through July were $5.8 billion, down 7.6% from the comparable period in 2013.

HarperCollins Adds Digital Watermarks to E-books

HarperCollins has begun using Digimarc Corp.’s watermarking system for e-books, to provide an extra layer of security to the sale of its digital content. According to HC, the addition of watermarking will help prevent leaks in the digital supply chain, as the company adds e-tailers throughout the world.

Abrams to Launch Gift Imprint

In February 2015, Abrams will launch Abrams Noterie, a gift and stationery imprint that will draw from the publisher’s book lists, as well as original acquisitions.