Peter Workman Dies at 74
Peter Workman, who founded Workman Publishing in 1967 as a book packager and turned it into one of the country’s most successful independent publishers, died April 7 after a battle with cancer. He was 74. His death comes a few weeks after the company announced that his ill health would prevent Peter, who was diagnosed with cancer last fall, from returning to work at the publishing house.
B&N Upgrades PubIt! to Nook Press
Looking to keep pace with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and the fast-growing self-publishing market in general, Barnes & Noble is phasing out its PubIt! self-publishing service and relaunching it as Nook Press, an upgraded e-book self-publishing platform that offers an array of new services to authors and publishers. B&N is partnering with the self-publishing platform Fast Pencil to supply Nook Press with its proprietary online authoring technology, while also offering Fast Pencil authors access to a variety of marketing opportunities via B&N’s Nook platform.
Futter Takes Over at Twelve
Grand Central Publishing’s Twelve imprint has its third publisher in three years. Deb Futter, v-p and editor-in-chief of GCP, has been tapped to replace Cary Goldstein, who is stepping down to pursue other interests. Goldstein was publisher at Twelve for two years, and he was the second publisher to be named at the imprint after founding editor Jonathan Karp left in 2010 to join Simon & Schuster.
Books on Board Halts E-book Sales
Blaming a combination of deep-pocketed competitors such as Amazon, Apple, and B&N as well as the lingering impact of the abrupt switch to the agency model in 2010, Bob LiVolsi, owner of the indie e-book retail site BooksonBoard.com, has halted sales and is looking to recapitalize in an effort to stay in business. While he is looking for new investors, LiVolsi acknowledged that Books on Board is facing a serious financial crisis, adding that customer accounts remain open and that he encourages customers to immediately download any books they have already purchased.
Zondervan Launches YA Imprint
Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is launching Blink, a new YA imprint, with titles debuting this fall. Chriscynethia Floyd, v-p of marketing for Zondervan, said the imprint is aimed at the general trade, not the Christian market.
Tanenhaus Leaving ‘TBR’
Sam Tanenhaus is leaving his post as editor of the New York Times Book Review after nine years in the role to become a writer at large. He is being replaced by Pamela Paul, who has been the children’s book editor at the paper.
New Terms for Night Shade Authors
After some authors, and agents, reacted poorly to details of a potential deal championed by science fiction/fantasy indie press Night Shade Books, which is hoping to sell its assets to Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing, the involved parties have come up with new terms. A letter sent by Skyhorse’s Tony Lyons and posted online announced that the company, with Start, now plans to offer authors 7.5% of retail on their printed books; 25% of net receipts on their e-books, with an escalator to 30% after 15,000 copies sold; and a 50/50 split on audio.
Floridis Joins Zola
Zola Books, the new independent online book retailer, has hired Tad Floridis as director of international business development. Floridis, who cofounded Canongate U.S., will, Zola said, be “laying the groundwork for [the company’s] launch abroad.” The hire comes as Zola, which had a soft launch nearly a year ago, continues to ramp up its presence in the States.
Bloomsbury Consolidates N.Y.C. Office
Bloomsbury is relocating its New York City office. On April 29, the publisher will move into 1385 Broadway, leaving its current office in the Flatiron Building (at 23rd Street and Broadway) and several other smaller locations.
Kno, Sally Ride Science Team To for E-books
Kno, an educational software developer, and Sally Ride Science, a venture founded by the pioneering female astronaut, are teaming up to launch Cool Careers in Science, an interactive e-book series developed by Sally Ride Science to help attract kids to science careers.
Follett Acquires BetterKnow, Inc.
Follett Corp. continues to try to make it easier for college and university students to access course materials with its acquisition of BetterKnow. The technology platform enables instructors to identify course materials from a variety of sources.