Freese Named NBN President

Rich Freese will return to National Book Network July 6 as president of the Lanham, Md.-based distributor. Currently president of the distribution startup BookMasters Distribution Services, Freese was senior v-p of sales at NBN for nine years, leaving in 2001 to become president of MotorBooks International and later leading PGW. With his appointment, Jed Lyons, who has served as NBN president since it was founded 23 years ago, will focus on the publishing operations of NBN’s sister company Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.

Hachette Signs With Attributor

Hachette Book Group has contracted with Attributor to use that company’s anti-piracy protection service to monitor the Web for illegal use of its content. Attributor’s Web-crawling tool checks a variety of sites, including document-hosting sites and social media and social networking sites for unauthorized posts drawn from Hachette’s books. Attributor alerts Hachette to its findings, and Hachette can then demand that the posts be taken down. Attributor has made similar deals with other content organizations, but this is its first agreement with a book publisher.

Penguin Launches Online Network

In an effort to give more exposure to underserved books, Penguin Group has launched an online network called “From the Publisher’s Office.” The network will have three “channels”: one each for video, audio and reading. The network sits on Penguin’s homepage and will feature series and episodes about books and authors in different categories. The publisher will promote each series to targeted audiences, such as the New Age market for Tarcher Talks. All episodes have links that allow viewers to buy Penguin titles that are featured in a particular program.

S&S Kids Starts Pulse It Site

Simon & Schuster’s children’s division has launched Pulse It, a social network site for teens. The site is aimed at 14-to-18-year-olds and will let teens do things they can do on such places as Facebook—like create personal profiles and befriend other members—as well as read and react to S&S titles.

Intervisual Office Closed

The Santa Monica office of Intervisual Books and Piggy Toes Press has been closed by parent company Dalmatian Publishing and the imprints’ operations transferred to Dalmatian’s Atlanta headquarters. Mary Counts, president of Intervisual and Whitman Publishing, will become more directly involved with Intervisual and Piggy Toes, and the two imprints will continue to publish a full range of titles. With the move, Intervisual and Piggy Toes publisher Debra Mostow Zakarin will become editor-at-large.

Tor Starts Sci-Fi Store

Tor has launched an online bookstore, selling Tor books as well as books published by other houses. The store offers science fiction and fantasy media from most major publishers, and currently carries about 45,000 titles, in hardcover and paperback. It will begin selling e-books from all science fiction/fantasy publishers in three to four months.

Haights Cross Restructuring Debt

Haights Cross, parent company of Recorded Books and Triumph Learning/Buckle Down, is in the process of restructuring its debt, a move that includes a proposal to its investors for a voluntary exchange of its 12.5% senior notes for equity in the company. Deadline for the offering is July 6. Haights said that if the restructuring plan is not approved, the company will explore all other restructuring options. In 2008, Haights had a net loss of $38 million, compared to earnings of $63.5 million in 2007. Sales inched up to $171 million from $170 million.

New Marketer At Borders

Arthur Keeney has been named senior v-p of marketing at Borders. Keeney, who will report to Anne Kubek, executive v-p, was most recently v-p at the grocer Harold Friedman.