Rosen Named ‘PW' Bookselling Editor
Judith Rosen, PW's New England correspondent since 1998, has been named the magazine's new bookselling editor beginning September 1. Rosen will continue to cover the New England region from her Cambridge office, but will now expand her reporting on all areas of bookselling. Her appointment reflects PW's renewed commitment to cover all the channels through which books are sold in a period when the industry is changing on an almost daily basis. Rosen has worked in both publishing and bookselling and will report to Jim Milliot, PW co-editorial director.
More Borders Layoffs
Approximately one week after laying off 100 people in its Tennessee warehouse, Borders has eliminated an unspecified number of employees at the company headquarters. A spokesperson confirmed that layoffs took place, but declined to say how many or in what departments, explaining only that "we have made changes to our staffing levels so that the right people are in the right positions and that those positions are aligned with our strategic objectives." In January, 86 positions were eliminated at the company's headquarters.
Dana Leaving Great Lakes
Jim Dana, executive director of the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, will be leaving his post after the fall trade show. Dana, who has led the organization since its founding in 1989, will serve in the Peace Corps beginning November 2. The GLIBA board has already begun looking for a new executive director. The job is posted on gliba.org; applications are due by September 3.
Bigger Loss at Indigo
Increased investment in Kobo led to a loss of C$5.3 million at Indigo Books & Music in its first quarter ended July 3, up from C$2.3 million last year. Total revenue for the quarter rose 5.7%, to C$204.3 million. Indigo and Chapters superstores posted 1.5% growth, while Coles and Indigo Spirit, small format stores, were down 0.7%. Sales from Indigo's online channel, chapters.indigo.ca, were flat compared with last year's figure.
Meyer Leaving In S&S Reorg
Victoria Meyer, who has worked in publicity at Simon & Schuster for 20 years, will leave the company in October as part of a reorganization plan drafted by newly installed publisher Jon Karp. According to a Karp memo, beginning in early 2011 the flagship imprint will be organized into small teams, each consisting of "approximately two editors, two publicists, and one marketing specialist. Our publishing teams will propose, develop, and execute their own publicity and marketing plans, from the moment of acquisition through paperback publication." These teams will report to Karp and associate publisher Aileen Boyle.
Elaine Koster Dies
Literary agent Elaine Koster died on August 10 in New York City. She was 69.
Koster became v-p and editor-in-chief at NAL in 1972 and eventually took over as publisher, where she acquired reprint rights to Stephen King's Carrie from Doubleday. King later said Koster "may have been the key figure in the ascendance of the paperback in the marketplace during the 1970s and 1980s." Koster was also president and publisher of Dutton. While at Dutton and NAL, she worked with Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, Jamaica Kincaid, Eric Jerome Dickey, Erica Jong, and Dorothy Allison, among others.
Koster founded the Elaine Koster Literary Agency in 1998. In 2002, she took on Khaled Hosseini, who had been previously turned down by 30 other agents. She sold his book, The Kite Runner, to Riverhead Books in a pre-empt; it went on to sell more than 21 million copies.
B&N Proxy Fight Looms
After a court blocked Ron Burkle's attempt to overturn Barnes & Noble's poison pill, the second largest shareholder in the retailer announced he will nominate three candidates to run for the B&N board in opposition to the company slate that includes B&N chairman Len Riggio. A showdown between Riggio and Burkle seems certain for the company's September 28 annual meeting.
Bookstore Sales Down
Bookstore sales fell 0.5% in the first half of 2010, dropping to $7.42 billion, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Compared to the first half of 2008—before the recession had fully kicked in---store sales were down 3.6%. Sales in June 2010 were off 0.8% compared to June 2009.
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