Starbucks Goes with FSG

Starbucks has selected its second featured book (after Mitch Albom's For One More Day): the debut by Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. The FSG title, which chronicles the author's life and eventual escape from his native, war-torn Sierra Leone, will bow February 13 and be sold in nearly 6,000 Starbucks locations beginning February 15. Starbucks will donate a portion of its proceeds to UNICEF and will charge the full cover price of $22.

HC in Digital Venture

HarperCollins has invested in NewsStand Inc., the company that helped the publisher develop its digital warehouse, and is teaming up with LibreDigital, a division of NewsStand, to offer digital services to other publishers.

Sobol Closes

The Sobol Award, a contest designed to offer unpublished writers a book contract and a cash prize, was canceled last week because of insufficient entries. Though the deadline for submissions was extended, only about 1,000 manuscripts were sent in for consideration; the Sobol staff was expecting nearly 50,000. There was an $85 fee to enter the contest.

Rodale Launches New Imprint

Rodale has launched an imprint focused on narrative nonfiction, current affairs and politics. Modern Times will debut in fall 2007 and be headed by Leigh Haber, who's been appointed editorial director at the house.

Gather Goes With Borders, S&S inked two agreements last week, one with a publisher and the other with a retailer. The community networking site has signed with Borders to launch Primarily accessible through the retailer's "Shortlist" e-mails, the site will allow Borders customers to discuss books, music and movies. Gather's other initiative, with S&S imprint Touchstone, is a writing contest. The winner of the First Chapter Writing competition will get his or her fiction manuscript published. A committee that includes execs from Touchstone, Borders and Gather will select the winner from among the five finalists voted on by the Gather community. The prize is a contract with Touchstone, $5,000 and guaranteed promotion from Borders.

R&L Buys Cowley

Cowley Publications' book list has been sold to Rowman & Littlefield. Cowley, based in Cambridge, Mass., was owned by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, and will now continue as an imprint at R&L. Through the acquisition, R&L will gain rights to Cowley's 150-title backlist.

Salzmann Buys Madison

Canadian book packager Madison Press Books has been bought by its publisher, Oliver Salzmann. Salzmann, who's been at Madison since 2004, has worked at the Quarto Group and Taschen America. The company, which has annual sales between C$5 million and C$10 million, has packaged such books as Kim Cattrall's Sexual Intelligence and The Titanic: An Illustrated History.

'Truth' for Kids

This April, Penguin and Rodale will copublish a YA adaptation of former v-p Al Gore's bestseller An Inconvenient Truth. The 208-page book, to be released in both hardcover and trade paper, is called An Inconvenient Truth:The Crisis of Global Warming. It will have a 250,000-copy combined first printing. The adult version of Truth has more than 600,000 copies in print.

OUP Hires Fischer

Amber Fischer has been brought on as a research editor in the reference group at Oxford University Press. Fischer was most recently at MacMillan/McGraw-Hill as a project editor handling the editorial component of its k—12 national science program.

Hoffman to Warner

Mitch Hoffman has joined Warner Books as executive editor. Arriving from Dutton where he held the same title, Hoffman has worked on a range of books and his list of authors includes Harlan Coben, Al Franken and Wendy Northcutt. He will start at Warner at the end of January.

Shuffle at Harcourt

Jennifer Gilmore is stepping down from her position as publicity director of Harcourt's trade division. Gilmore will be replaced by publicity manager Michelle Blankenship, who's been at Harcourt since 2003. Gilmore will be pursuing her writing career full-time.