News Shorts
Staff -- 2/12/01

'PW,' 'Inside' Host Book Summit | Executive Changes at Holtzbrinck
Ingram Closes Warehouse | Texterity, In New Alliance | MediaBay Drops Tapes
New Business Unit at Goldberg McDuffie | Publishers Briefly

'PW,' 'Inside' Host Book SummitTop executives from six publishing houses will join other media industry personalities on March 19 for the 2001 Book Publishing Industry Summit, sponsored by Inside and Publishers Weekly. The one-day event, called "Opportunity and Challenge: Getting a Grip on the Future of Publishing," will feature speeches, interviews, q&as, audience polls and networking opportunities.

The summit will be moderated by Nora Rawlinson, editor-in-chief of PW, and Kurt Andersen, co-founder of Powerful Media, Inside's parent company. Among the publishing industry speakers scheduled are Peter Olson, Random House chairman and CEO, who will give the keynote address; Larry Kirshbaum, Time Warner Trade Publishing chairman; Charlie Cumello, Crown Books chairman, president and CEO; Morgan Entrekin, Grove/Atlantic president and publisher; Jack McKeown, Perseus Books president and CEO; and David Rosenthal, Simon and Schuster v-p and publisher.

Other speakers include Tom Brokaw, author and anchor of the NBC Nightly News; author David Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius); and Richard Heller of Frankfurt Garbus Kurnit Klein & Selz, P.C.

The event will be held in New York City at the Millennium Hotel and Hudson Theater. Registration information can be found at or by calling (888) 750-0716.

Executive Changes at HoltzbrinckDieter von Holtzbrinck, the 59-year-old son of the founder of the German publishing group, who has run the firm since 1978, will become chairman of the supervisory board of the Holtzbrinck Verlagsgruppe GmbH effective May 15. Stefan von Holtzbrinck, his 37-year-old brother, will succeed him as CEO and chairman of the executive board. Stefan was most recently managing director of Holtzbrinck's Nature Publishing Group. The Holtzbrinck Group's U.S. holdings include Henry Holt, St. Martin's Press and Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

The change will allow Dieter to focus on strategic issues while Stefan runs the company on a day-to-day basis. Stefan said Holtzbrinck is "ideally positioned to carry out our ambitious plans. We continue to believe that a decentralized structure with highly autonomous operating units is the best strategy for our group."

The move will lead to other changes. John Sargent, CEO of Holtzbrinck U.S., will now oversee the U.S. trade and college book operations. He will also be responsible for the strategic development of the company's world English trade publishing operations and the medical publisher Hanley and Belfus. Sargent told PW his new role is to "make sure that whatever Holtzbrinck can do on a global basis gets done."

Other management changes include Richard Charkin, chief executive of Macmillan U.K., who is now responsible for the strategic development of all Holtzbrinck's world English college, academic and educational publishing. Rolf Griseback, formerly responsible for Bedford Freeman Worth College group and Scientific American, will return to Germany as head of corporate strategy for the executive board; Bedford Freeman will report to Sargent. Heinz Werner Nienstedt, CEO of the Handelsblatt group, will join the executive board. He will also be responsible for Scientific American operations worldwide.
--Calvin Reid

Ingram Closes WarehouseIngram Book Co. is closing its Denver distribution center. Customers will be serviced from Ingram's "superwarehouses" in Nashville, Tenn., and Roseburg, Ore., as well as from its warehouses in Chino, Calif., and Ft. Wayne, Ind.

Michael F. Lovett, Ingram Book Group's president and CEO, said in a statement, "We have seen significant growth in our business, but our Denver facility has not experienced the same rate of growth."

In addition, the company recently expanded several DCs so that, it says, it can serve customers at the same level of service from fewer facilities.

Some 130 Denver DC employees will be affected; some may be reassigned elsewhere at Ingram, which has seven other distribution centers across the country. Ingram has had a warehouse in Denver for 10 years, since it purchased the assets of Gordon's Books, the wholesaler that had been the primary regional wholesaler until it ran into financial problems when it tried to expand outside the Rocky Mountain area. The Denver warehouse is Ingram's smallest.

Texterity, In New AllianceE-publishing services provider Texterity has reached an agreement with, a new e-book distributor, to convert its clients' titles from the PDF format into e-books using Texterity's technology.

Cimarron Buser, a spokesperson for Texterity (, told PW that will use Texterity's TextCafe, an automated text-conversion service. The service will supply with format-neutral digital copies of files originally intended for use in print publishing. TextCafe can also generate e-books in all the current formats. offers independent publishers e-book distribution through the publisher's own Web site or through a network of online retailers and affiliate sites.

Cory McCloud, CEO of New York City-based, said that by partnering with Texterity, "we can achieve our goal of fully automating the entire process of book production, including conversion, e-commerce and fulfillment. This allows us to focus on promoting our publishers' books."

MediaBay Drops TapesRecent visitors to the site were startled to see this message: " is going completely digital! All CDs, cassettes and videos must go!"

MediaBay CEO Michael Herrick confirmed that the MediaBay site will, indeed, stop selling physical audiobooks and concentrate entirely on audio downloads. However, he was quick to add, "We're not getting out of audiobooks. The Audio Book Club is still one of our biggest core businesses."

Instead, the company's various Web sites will be differentiated, he said, so that each has "a clean, clear focus." will focus on downloads, will sell old-time radio programs and will continue its audiobook club business.

MediaBay has also signed deals with Liquid Audio, Iomega and Creative Labs, establishing links to on those companies' sites. "Our strategy is not to spend millions on marketing, but form relationships with other download providers," Herrick told PW. "That way we're able to extend our brand and our library into other sites where people are coming to download audio. The content comes from us, and we serve our MediaBay pages onto their sites, so it's a co-branded situation."

New Business Unit at Goldberg McDuffieGoldberg McDuffie Communications, the well-known publicity firm specializing in book publishing and authors, is launching Goldberg McDuffie Business, a new division that will focus on publicity campaigns for business titles.

Barbara Cave Hendricks, who has worked at GMC since 1996, has been named director of the new division, and Mark Fortier, publicity director of GMC, has been named its associate director.

Lynn Goldberg, CEO of GMC, said that while business titles have always been a part of the agency's list, "in the last four years, the demand for business-book campaigns has skyrocketed. We've reconfigured the company to give business books the specialized attention necessary to stand out in today's crowded marketplace."

Calvin Reid
Publishing: Just Do It
New Paradigms for Old

Cool Books from Cool Grove

New, Improved Nonfiction

: Just Do It
If you're looking for handsomely designed reprints of 19th- and 20th-century experimental literature, then Exact Change is the publisher you've been waiting for. Launched in 1990 by

Dark fiction from
Exact Change.
Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, the small Cambridge, Mass., publisher specializes in fiction and nonfiction by the her s of the Surrealist, Dada and Fluxus movements. The two met while they were playing in a band and found they shared a love of avant-garde classics. They credit the DIY indie music scene for turning them into DIY book publishers. "We knew about indie record companies," said Krukowski. "We knew nothing about book publishing. We just did it." Exact Change publishes about four books a year, and the books (along with those of Atlas Press, an affiliated and simpatico U.K. publisher) are distributed by Consortium. Krukowski, a former grad student in literature, edits the books; Yang designs them.
Lately, they're doing more original titles. "Editors are forwarding projects to us that they can't do," said Krukowski, mentioning the upcoming Give My Regards to Eighth Street by the late acclaimed composer Morton Feldman, a collection of his writings on music and the influence on his work of the abstract expressionist painters of the 1950s. The book will be published in conjunction with a concert series on the composer at Carnegie Hall in February.

for Old
Warren Patabendi is a financial adviser, crime novelist and the founder of a publishing outfit called, a venture he's convinced will transform book publishing as we know it. Like many would-be publishing revolutionaries, Patabendi decries the traditional publishing paradigm--elitist editorial choices, scarce market research, mounting returns--and claims to have a better way. He's offering a system based on aggressive pricing ($3.99 for paper; $5.99 for hardcover) and test marketing books to a proprietary database of book consumers. Patabendi told PW he's offering authors up to 45% royalties on the retail price of his books. "We are all about new authors," said Patabendi. "We believe they have been hung out to dry as a result of the inefficiencies of the book publishing chain." has published several of Patabendi's crime novels, among them The Removal (which he said sold 32,000 copies) and Quiet, Samantha Foster (11,000). Driving Patabendi's hoped-for publishing revolution, he said, is a proprietary database of 90,000 book consumers who have been polled on their reading habits. Patabendi calls it "customer management and order prediction. It's a massive polling station. Before you produce a book, you test market it to decide whether to publish."

Patabendi said that while he gets 10 to 20 manuscript submissions a day, he also cited a problem he shares with many traditional publishers: "We're looking for authors, but we've only found a handful that we're excited about." For more information, visit the Web site at

Cool Books
from Cool Grove
Tej Hazarika is an East Indian who grew up in Uganda, moved to New York City in 1969 to go to Columbia University and now makes his home in Brooklyn. After working for a number of book and magazine publishers, he decided "to give indie publishing a shot" and launched Cool Grove Press in 1995. Cool Grove ( publishes three to four books a year in p try, fiction and nonfiction, including a series of Buddhist sacred texts in translation. He's published eight books so far. He uses the Publishers Marketing Association and direct mail for promotion, and LPC is his distributor. "We use the Internet for publicity as well as some targeted print stuff. We've lucked out and got good reviews," he said in a phone conversation. He's published noted p t Louise Landes Levi's Guru Punk as well as Ibo landing by Ihasan Bracy, a collection of short stories. In the spring, he's publishing Disciples of the Buddha by Robert Newman and in the fall O'Rourke, a new novel by Kevin Bartelme. He launched the press with seed money from a core group of investors who "continue to help us." He used to pay advances "up to about $2,000, but now no more advances," he said. "We're too small. We work more like a partnership. The writer and I work on the book together. We both work to keep the book alive."

New, Improved

Launched in 1994 by Lee Gutkind, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, Creative Nonfiction is a trade paper journal published three times a year by the CN Foundation. The new issue's theme is "The Line Between Fact and Fiction," with essays by such well-known writers as Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz and Gay Talese. "The issue looks at the debate to establish an ethical line between accuracy and imagination," said Sylvan Allen, CN's assistant editor. CN publishes high-profile authors and also emerging writers; "most of our submissions are unsolicited from unknown writers," Allen said. The foundation recently received a $10,000 grant from Chase Manhattan bank to establish the Walter V. Shipley Essay Award for the best essay about diversity. The best essays received will be published in CN, along with contributions from such noted authors as Richard Rodriguez, John Edgar Wideman, Francine Prose. For more information, visit the Web site ( or call (412) 688-0304.