Brown Wins Suit

After a trial that dragged on for months in London's High Court, Dan Brown was found not guilty of infringing on the copyright of Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh's Holy Blood, Holy Grail. The verdict, while unsurprising, laid to rest the plaintiffs' claims that Brown had lifted "the architecture" of their nonfiction work for his runaway bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. Many wondered how the case had even made it to trial. This sentiment was echoed by Brown, who said, via a statement from his publisher, Random House: "Today's verdict shows that this claim was utterly without merit. I'm still astonished that these two authors chose to file their suit at all."

Borders Gets E-Readers

Sony has partnered with Borders to sell the Sony Reader. Borders will carry the e-book device in 200 outlets, including some of its airport locations. Sony will also sell the device on its own—through its 30 Sony Style stores and online at www.—but Barnes & Noble will not offer the Reader.

Hachette Renames TWBG

After the sale of Time Warner's publishing arm to French media giant Hachette Livré was finalized on March 31, the new owners announced that they're renaming their acquisition Hachette Book Group USA. In the U.K., however, the division will be known as Little, Brown Book Group.

Fensterman to Handle BEA

Former bookseller Lance Fensterman has joined BEA as show manager for the annual convention. Replacing Chris McCabe, who resigned in February, Fensterman will bring his more than 10 years of experience in the field to the position. Most recently he was store manager at the New Canaan, Conn., independent R.J. Julia Booksellers.

Penguin Forms Praise

Another major trade house is expanding its presence in the Christian market. Penguin Group is launching a religion publishing program called Penguin Praise, aimed at getting Christian authors into both ABA and CBA retail outlets. Religion director Joel Fotinos has been named to head up Penguin Praise.

RH Films Nabs Koontz

Random House Films has announced its third book-to-film project: Dean Koontz's upcoming novel, The Husband. Joining Curveball and The Attack—the other two titles now headed to the screen as a result of the partnership Random House has with Focus Features—The Husband marks the most potentially commercial project to come out of the agreement. Koontz's book will be in stores May 30.

Bloomsbury Turns a Profit

Helped by a $6.7-million contribution from Walker Books, which it acquired a year ago, Bloomsbury's U.S. operation turned a profit in 2005 of about $800,000, compared to a loss of approximately $900,000 in 2004. Sales in the U.S. rose 23%, to £11.03 million ($19 million). Total revenue for Bloomsbury, driven by U.K. sales of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, rose 29%, to £109 million ($187 million) and pretax profits increased 23%, to £20.1 million.

Friedrich on Her Own

Agent Molly Friedrich is branching out on her own after 28 years with the Aaron Priest Agency. The Friedrich Agency, scheduled to open for business July 1, will reside in the same digs as the Gernert Company, on 57th Street. Friedrich will take her clients with her, as well as agent Paul Ciron and assistant Andy Marino.


The closing of paper mills is taking an estimated two million tons of paper out of the system in North America on an annualized basis, not monthly, as reported in our March 27 story on paper prices.