Eugster Replaces Willis at B&T
Richard Willis resigned as chairman and CEO of Baker & Taylor last week and was replaced by Jack Eugster, a member of the B&T board and former chairman of Musicland. Arnie Wright, who was promoted to B&T president last year, will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the wholesaler, working with all senior divisional managers. Willis had led B&T for the past four years, during which sales doubled to over $2 billion and the company was acquired by the private equity firm Castle Harlan for $455 million.
Farley Leaving HMH
As part of the formation of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade & Reference Publishers, former Harcourt Trade president Dan Farley will leave the company at the end of this month. Gary Gentel, who was named president of HMH Trade last month, has made three management appointments: Bridget Marmion, who had been corporate v-p and director of marketing at HM, was named senior v-p of marketing; Laurie Brown, senior v-p of sales and marketing at Harcourt since 2002, has been named senior v-p of sales; and Mia Camacho has been promoted to senior v-p of finance and operations from a similar spot at HM.
Scieszka Named Lit Ambassador
Jon Scieszka, author of such bestselling picture books as The Stinky Cheese Man, has been named the country’s first national ambassador for children’s books. The two-year appointment is a joint effort of the Library of Congress and the Children’s Book Council, and will have Scieszka traveling the country to encourage children to read.
Naggar Joins iAmplify
Former Random House executive David Naggar has joined iAmplify.com as president. The online media company offers subscription-based access to digital and audio content.
HC Rushing Bhutto Book
HarperCollins is rushing its planned book by former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated December 27 at a rally in Pakistan. Bhutto had completed the manuscript only a few days before she was killed. Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West was originally set for spring, but will now be published “as soon as possible,” said HC editor Tim Duggan.
Ottaviano Gets Holt Imprint
After 15 years at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, Christy Ottaviano is launching her own eponymous imprint. Ottaviano, who was most recently executive editor at HHBYR, will be acquiring and editing both fiction and nonfiction for Christy Ottaviano Books, with the first list set to launch in fall 2008. The list will include picture books; middle grade and YA; and nonfiction.
Wolfe Signs With LB
Tom Wolfe is leaving longtime publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux for Little, Brown for his next novel, Back to Blood, Wolfe’s first work of fiction since his 2004 book, I Am Charlotte Simmons. LB acquired North American rights from agent Lynn Nesbit of Janklow & Nesbit, and the book, set for a 2009 publication, will be edited by senior editor Pat Strachan (who worked with Wolfe on numerous books at FSG, including Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff).
In the article “Everyone’s 'Magical Thinking’ ” (Dec. 17), the title of Anne Roiphe’s book was incorrect: it was previously called Aftermath and is now tentatively titled Epilogue.
Obituary: Sandy Taylor, 76
Sandy Taylor, who cofounded the nonprofit literary house Curbstone Press with his wife in 1975, died December 21. Taylor, who taught at Eastern Connecticut State University from 1969 to 1990, launched Curbstone to publish a book of poetry by a friend about his experiences in Chile, and poetry and works of contemporary writing by Latino, Latin American and Vietnamese authors formed the heart of the press’s list. Over the years, Curbstone won numerous state and national awards and established the Miguel Marmol Prize for a first work of fiction in English by a Latino writer. Taylor was also a translator of Danish literature and a poet whose work had been published in several languages. A memorial service is being planned for later this year.