Shelley Sanderson Pierce has joined Bookspan as editor-in-chief of Children's Book-of-the-Month Club, one of the most influential spots in children's book publishing. Pierce, who had been publisher at the Jim Henson Company, replaces David Allender, who left CBOMC this summer to join Workman (News, Aug. 12). Before joining Henson, Pierce worked in children's publicity and marketing capacities at Putnam & Grosset, Morrow and HarperCollins. She will report to Mel Parker, Bookspan's senior v-p and editorial director. Liz Fleming, editor of CBOMC, will report to Pierce.
Pierce's appointment comes shortly after Bookspan divided CBOMC into two clubs with one geared for the preschool to age six market and a second aimed at children ages six through 12, which will operate as part of CBOMC as BookPlanet. Approximately 30% of CBOMC's 800,000 members are in the six- to-12-year-old range with the remainder falling into the preschool to age six category.
Because most of its members were younger, CBOMC had focused most of its products toward the preschool market, Parker said. But as the number of older members has grown, the company thought the time was right to create a catalogue of age-appropriate titles exclusively for the older group. Nobody has been assigned yet to oversee BookPlanet, and the selections for the club will be made by the CBOMC editorial team of Pierce, Fleming and Desmond Campbell, editorial assistant.
The first new catalogue was mailed out in October and while the initial response has been encouraging, Parker said it is too early to determine the viability of BookPlanet.