S&S Realigns Field Sales Force

Simon & Schuster has cut its number of field reps by about nine and created a new telemarketing department to help offset the loss. Under its new approach, S&S’s seven field reps “will focus on the geographic regions where our sales are strongest—urban areas with a large base of key independent retail, wholesale, and educational accounts,” S&S executive v-p for sales and marketing Michael Selleck said in a memo explaining the reorganization.

The new telemarketing group will operate under the direction of Frank Fochetta, v-p and director, field and special sales, and will “actively participate in the publishing process, proactively sell our list based on the best and latest information, and adopt a hands-on approach to managing and nurturing account relationships.” S&S hopes to have the team in place by February 15.

Lubeck Named BISG Head

Scott Lubeck, most recently v-p of technology for Wolters Kluwer Health, Professional, and Education, took over as executive director of the Book Industry Study Group January 4. Before his position at Wolters Kluwer, Lubeck held executive spots with Harvard Business School Publishing and Newsstand Inc., as well as with Perseus Books Group and National Academy Press. Lubeck’s background in working with both print and digital content was cited as a key reason for his selection. Lubeck succeeds Michael Healy, who became director designate of the Book Rights Registry in October.

Rosato to Lead BEA

Steve Rosato has been named event coordinator for BookExpo America, taking over for Lance Fensterman, who was promoted in December to a new position at BEA’s parent company, Reed Exhibitions. Rosato has been with the company for 15 years and has worked on the show since 1998, holding various sales and strategic positions over the years, most recently as director of industry development and strategic accounts.

Lerner Buys Darby Creek

Lerner Publishing Group has acquired the assets of Darby Creek Publishing and will operate the company as an imprint. The purchase includes 58 titles aimed at the k—12 school library market as well as the trade market. Lerner has distributed Darby Creek titles since 2003, and with the purchase, all editorial, manufacturing, sales, and marketing will be moved to Lerner’s Minneapolis office.

Grey House to Publish Books In Print

Grey House Publishing has taken over the print publication of Bowker’s Books in Print product line under an exclusive licensing agreement. Bowker will continue to maintain the data collection and online databases of the Books in Print line, but new editions of the print versions published after January 1, 2010, will list Grey House as the publisher, and Grey House will fulfill standing orders as well as new orders. Bowker will continue to offer online subscriptions.

Paterson New Ambassador

Newbery Medalist Katherine Paterson has been appointed National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. She succeeds Jon Scieszka, who was the first person to hold the position. Books like Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved helped make Paterson—a 77-year-old mother of four and grandmother of seven—a natural for crossing the bridge to ambassadorship.

ABA Reorg

As part of the reorganization of the association, the ABA has eliminated five positions and given four senior staff members new responsibilities. In the reorganization, Meg Smith has been named membership and marketing officer; Dan Cullen has been named content officer; Mark Nichols has been named industry relations officer; and Jill Perlstein has been named meetings and plannings officer.

'Kirkus’ Reprieve?

In an e-mail sent to colleagues last week, Kirkus Reviews managing editor and nonfiction editor Eric Liebetrau said the publication, which last month was reported to be closing by the end of 2009, is working toward an arrangement with an acquiring company to continue publication. Liebetrau said more details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Obituary: Knox Burger

Knox Burger, an important and colorful literary agent for three decades, died on January 4 at the age of 87. Burger, a WWII vet, started out as a fiction editor at Collier’s magazine and went on to found his own literary agency in 1970. He worked with numerous writers, including Kurt Vonnegut, who dedicated Welcome to the Monkey House to him. Burger’s biggest client was Martin Cruz Smith. Burger sold Smith’s Gorky Park to Random House for a $1 million advance in 1980.