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Staff -- 8/14/00

Topalian Succeeds Muller at BEA Helm | Magowan Headed to Abrams
Wilkinson to Head ecampus.com | Volini Named Deputy Publisher at Ballantine
Three Execs Join Crown Books | Amazon.com to Serialize First Vachss Novel
Mixed Start for Thomas Nelson | Wiley Moving To Hoboken
Nuvo, SoftBook Sales Topped $5 Million in '99
Holtzbrinck Picks Lightning Source | Golden Books Trims Loss

Topalian Succeeds Muller at BEA Helm

New BEA manager
Greg Topalian, director of strategic accounts for BookExpo America, has been named show manager for BEA following the resignation of Courtney Muller, who had run the convention since 1997. In his new post, Topalian will oversee all duties involved in running BEA including operations, sales, marketing, registration, public relations and special events. Topalian, who will report to Tony Calanca, senior v-p for BEA parent company Reed Exhibition Companies, will also manage ePubExpo, which is set to launch this fall.
Muller, who had been with Reed for nine years, is moving to Penton Media, where she will manage the company's domestic Internet shows. Muller is credited with leading the turnaround and repositioning of BEA even as the number of independent booksellers in the country has declined and electronic publishing has grown. Reed acquired complete control of what was formerly known as the American Booksellers Association Convention and Trade Show from the ABA in fall 1996 (News, Sept. 16, 1996).

In a second promotion at BEA, Tina Jordan has been named director of public relations and special events for BEA and ePubExpo.

Magowan Headed to Abrams

Magowan: Leaving
Abbeville after 20 years.
After more than 20 years with the Abbeville Publishing Group, Mark Magowan, Abbeville's v-p and general manager, will join Harry Abrams September 1 as associate publisher. In the newly created spot, Magowan will be involved in all aspects of publishing, new project development and production. He will report to Paul Gottlieb, Abrams CEO and vice-chairman.
Abbeville will not directly replace Magowan, but will divide his duties between two people. Jutta Pakenis, who had worked with Magowan in the foreign rights department, will take over those duties full time, while Magowan's editorial responsibilities will be assumed by Christopher Lyon, who will join Abbeville in September as executive editor. He had been with Rizzoli.

Abrams also announced last week that its purchase of Stewart, Tabori & Chang and Golden Turtle has been completed.

Wilkinson to Head ecampus.comWallace Wilkinson has assumed the role of CEO of the college textbook e-retailer ecampus.com following the resignation from that position of Steve Stevens. Wilkinson heads ecampus.com's parent company, Wallace's Bookstores, and is already chairman of ecampus.com.

Stevens led ecampus.com since the company launched last July. He had been president and COO of Wallace's. Stevens, who at one time was president of Crown Books, is taking a position with an unidentified company, but will remain on the ecampus.com board.
--Jim Milliot

Volini Named Deputy Publisher at Ballantine

Ballantine Books announced last week that Edward Volini has been appointed to the newly created position of executive v-p and deputy publisher. Volini joined Ballantine from Time Warner's music group in 1997 and most recently was senior v-p and director of business operations. He will report to Gina Centrello, Ballantine president and publisher.
In his new role, Volini will continue to oversee the business operations, production, inventory management and subsidiary rights departments, while helping to direct the Del Rey and Lucas Books publishing programs. In addition, Volini will work with Centrello on day-to-day issues and on strategic planning and development of Ballantine's entire publishing program.

In a second promotion, J Blades has been made a vice-president, while continuing as executive editor. Blades has been at Ballantine for 14 years and is best known as the director of its crime fiction program.

Three Execs Join Crown BooksCrown Books has appointed three new executives to its management team in recent weeks. Dennis Buckley has been named v-p, chief financial officer, while Ann Carlano has been brought in as v-p of store operations. The third new hire was Matthew Ellis, who joined Crown as v-p, human resources. All three will report to Crown president and CEO Charlie Cumello.

Prior to joining Crown, Buckley was the CFO for Learningsmith, the national multiple-media chain that went out of business late last year. Carlano joined Crown from Fitigues, a privately held, upscale casual-clothing retailer, where she served as director of retail sales and store operations, while Ellis had been v-p of human resources for Home Depot's Great Lakes division.

Amazon.com to Serialize First Vachss NovelAndrew Vachss, bestselling author and an attorney to victims of child abuse, has struck a deal with Amazon.com to serialize his first and long-unpublished novel on the bookselling Web site for free.

Lou Bank, a spokesperson for Vachss, said that the author published an introduction to the novel that ran on Amazon.com on August 10 and the first chapters were set to appear on Friday, August 11. Bank told PW that the novel, Bomb Built in Hell, was written in 1973 and "rejected by publishers at the time for being too violent." The book includes the first appearance of Vachss's character Wesley, the Ice-Man.

Bank told PW that "Amazon was looking for more content; something to bring more people to the site." Bank said Vachss received a "big fee" for the online rights to Bomb and said that no print edition of the novel is planned. Amazon.com will post three chapters a day, and the serialization should last about a month. The completed novel will remain up for another week.

Bank also noted that Vachss's next book, Dead and Gone, will be released by Knopf in September.
--Calvin Reid

Mixed Start for Thomas NelsonWith Thomas Nelson's gifts division still not performing up to expectations, net income at Nelson fell to $836,000 in the first quarter ended June 30, 2000, compared to profits of $1.4 million in last year's first period. Revenues at the company rose 10.7% to $65.4 million.

Nelson chairman Sam Moore said that the gifts division "is progressing toward recovery, but still has a way to go." Results in the publishing division were off to a "satisfactory start," Moore said.

Wiley Moving To HobokenAfter nearly 200 years based in New York City, John Wiley & Sons will be moving across the Hudson River to a new world headquarters being built for the publisher in Hoboken, N.J. Ground breaking for the new office is set to start in September, and Wiley expects to move into its new location in mid to late 2002.

Wiley, founded in 1807, has been looking for new offices for some time, having outgrown its space on Third Avenue (News, Feb. 21). The company has about 900 people in its headquarters and has signed a 15-year lease for approximately 400,000 sq. ft. in Hoboken. To help Wiley relocate its offices, the company received a $7 million Business Employment Incentive Program grant from the state that will be spread out over 10 years. A spokesperson for Wiley said the company is not expecting a high attrition rate because of the move. "The retention of employees was our number one priority in looking for a new headquarters. We will still be in the New York area," she said.

Nuvo, SoftBook Sales Topped $5 Million in '99NuvoMedia and SoftBook had combined revenues of $5.3 million for the nine-month period ended December 31, 1999, and an operating loss of nearly $20 million, parent company Gemstar reported in its year-end filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Gemstar, which has an agreement with Thomson to develop players, acquired the two e-book publishers in January for 5.5 million shares of stock (News, Jan. 24). Gemstar reported total revenues of $241.4 million for the year ended March 31, 2000, and net income of $81.3 million. In connection with the acquisitions, Gemstar said it took merger-related costs of $15.9 million that included financial advisers', attorneys' and accountants' fees, as well as charges for a write-down of inventory.

In its 10-k report, Gemstar reiterated its belief that there is a "large potential market" interested in storing, downloading and reading a variety of selected books, periodicals and newspapers on user-friendly devices. Gemstar acknowledged that while traditional-book printing will remain a viable format for the foreseeable future, it believes that e-books offer a "platform for the serious reader and can relieve content publishers of a significant portion of their production costs."

Gemstar said that its e-book strategy entails working with trade book publishers as well as with strategic partners to expand existing e-book services and to pursue opportunities to publish magazines, full-color catalogues, reference books, textbooks and technical publications in e-book format.
--Jim Milliot

Holtzbrinck Picks Lightning SourceFollowing on the heels of its digital fulfillment agreement with Simon & Schuster, Lightning Source has reached a similar agreement with the German book publishing giant Holtzbrinck to provide the same suite of digital services to its U.S. publishing group as well as to Holtzbrinck's U.K.-based Pan Macmillan and Palgrave units.

Lightning Source will provide the U.S. group, which includes St. Martin's Press, Picador, Tor, Forge, Henry Holt and Farrar, Straus & Giroux, with a wide range of services, including secure e-book delivery in all formats, POD and digital conversion and storage. The agreement will potentially add more than 15,000 titles from the group to the titles available through Lightning Source both in print and all e-book formats.

John Sargent, president of Holtzbrinck Publishers, said Holtzbrinck chose LS because of its ability to take a book "through its entire life cycle, from initial galleys through on-demand printing as well as secure e-book delivery. Lightning Source offers us the collaboration we were looking for to take full advantage of emerging technologies."

Golden Books Trims LossGolden Books continues to move slowly toward profitability as it reported a net loss of $7.7 million for the second quarter ended June 24, 2000, compared to a loss of $8.6 million in last year's second quarter. Revenues in the period increased 2.5%, to $32.7 million. For the first half of 2000, sales were up 3.6%, to $69 million, and the loss was cut to $12 million from $20 million.

Golden also announced that it has signed a five-year software publishing and distribution agreement with Encore Software under which Encore will develop CD-ROMs compatible with the Windows and Macintosh formats. The first six products, geared for children age 3-6, are scheduled to be released in October and will feature characters from The Poky Little Puppy, My Little Golden Mother Goose, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Velveteen Rabbit, Tootle and The Saggy Baggy Elephant.
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