Publishing News, January 2021

Knopf Random House Canada is splitting apart: beginning in 2021, Knopf Canada and Random House Canada will operate independently again (they were combined in 2009). Publisher Anne Collins will become executive editor and vice-president of Random House Canada on January 4, 2021. CEO Kristin Cochrane says, “I believe the time is right to have space for each to build on its past successes and pave the way for the future. In an increasingly crowded marketplace, with even more challenges upon us to reach readers with our authors’ books, the need to sharpen the focus of our publishing and clear its path to the reader is greater than ever.”

Discontinued Random House imprint Spiegel & Grau is returning as an indie publisher, to be run by original founders Cindy Spiegel and Julie Grau. Their imprint began at Doubleday in 2007, moved over to Random House in 2008 when the company restructured, and was eliminated when Random House and Crown combined in 2019. The founders will share CEO duties, with literary agent Liza Wachter joining as president. They expect to publish between 15 and 20 titles a year and also plan to “produce original audio content and shepherd works from print or audio to film and TV” through partnership arrangements with Amazon Studios and Lemonada Media. In its earlier incarnation, Spiegel & Grau published occasional literary genre work, including titles by Victor LaValle.

Hachette Book Group is the latest publisher to announce an increase in starting salaries, increas­ing them to $45,000 in expensive areas, and to $41,000 in cheaper regions, starting in February 2021. Employees already compensated at that level will be adjusted too. The move, like similar ones at other companies, is meant to help increase diver­sity and attract employees from more marginalized backgrounds.

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