Macmillan Layoffs

Macmillan (parent company of Tor, Tor.com Publishing, St. Martin’s, and others) has instituted layoffs company-wide, reduced pay for some employees, and has frozen hiring effective April 2 in response to the projected impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The salary reductions are expected to last through June, and only impact those making more than $60,000 a year, with greater reductions for higher salaries; senior executives are on half pay, while others ...Read More

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Newsstand Disruptions

Amid growing coronavirus concerns, some booksellers and distributors have canceled new magazine orders.

Barnes and Noble announced they will cease taking new magazine product, effective March 23, 2020, across all stores. Krifka Steffey, director of newsstand merchandising, said,

We will continue to sell the product currently on our Newsstands, and will look forward to the day that we can re-establish this critical part of our bookstore offering.

Diamond Comic Distributors ...Read More

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Dreamspinner Press Publishing News

Dreamspinner Press, a small publisher of LGBTQ romance founded in 2006, has reportedly failed to pay many authors their royalties; by some reports, hundreds of writers have been affected. The press has more than 3,000 titles in its inventory – some genre-related – and authors say that as early as 2017, royalties began to arrive late, or not at all, or, at least once, in the form of a postdated ...Read More

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Penguin Random House Publishing News

Penguin Random House has removed its audiobooks from various unlimited audio subscription programs worldwide, including Storytel and Scribd. An announcement from PRH explained that the company “has decided that at this stage, we will not participate in unlimited access subscription models. Our decision was made collectively by the company’s international leadership team to preserve a diversity of content in the marketplace and the actual and perceived long-term value of our ...Read More

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PRH and Rebellion Audio Partnership

Penguin Random House UK has announced it will produce and distribute audio versions of fiction and graphic novel titles from Rebellion Publishing. The partnership will produce around 30 science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles a year from authors such as Katherine Addison, Derek Künsken, and Adrian Tchaikovsky, as well as adaptations of five new graphic novels in the 2000 AD series.

The first title, available now, is Wanderers by Chuck ...Read More

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SFWA Issues Statement on Thinkerbeat

The Board of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has posted the following statement:

The Board of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is issuing a warning regarding short fiction publisher Thinkerbeat, which publishes the semi-pro magazines “Unfit” and “Unreal.” The publisher publicly posts lists of rejected stories along with the author’s name and a numeric score.

This publisher’s behavior is far outside of industry

...Read More Read more

Kelly and Moreno-Garcia Leave The Dark

Sean Wallace, publisher of The Dark, announced changes to the magazine’s staff. Reprint editor Michael Kelly left The Dark at the end of 2019 “to put more time and energy in his small press company, Undertow Publications.” Co-editor Silvia Moreno-Garcia will leave after the July 2020 issue to focus on her writing career. Wallace announced that there were “no immediate plans to hire a new co-editor.”

While you are here, ...Read More

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London Book Fair Canceled

The London Book Fair has been canceled after a number of publishers and agencies pulled out over fears of coronavirus. A statement by Reed Exhibitions, organizers of the event, said:

The London Book Fair 2020, scheduled to take place at Olympia, London, from 10 to 12 March will be cancelled following the escalation of COVID-19 Coronavirus in Europe.

The effects, actual and projected, of Coronavirus are becoming evident across all ...Read More

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2019 Book Sales

NPD BookScan reported unit sales for print books dropped 1.3% in 2019, with 689.5 million units sold, down from 698.4 in 2018. The decline was due in part to a lack of big bestsellers to compare with the massive interest in political non-fiction in 2018. Unit sales for adult fiction dropped 2.9%. By genre, science fiction had the biggest drop, down 19.7%, while horror rose 16.6% and graphic novels rose ...Read More

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Captions Settlement

Audible and the publishers who sued them over their planned Captions program – which cre­ates scrolling, machine-generated text that dis­plays while their audiobooks are playing – have reached a settlement. Audible’s lawyer Em­ily Resbaum wrote to the court on January 13, 2020 that “We are pleased to inform the Court that the parties have resolved their disputes. The parties respectfully request until January 21 to allow the parties to obtain ...Read More

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Anne Clarke Leaves Gollancz

Gollancz publisher Anne Clarke is leaving the Orion imprint after one year in the post. Marcus Gipps is receiving a promotion to publishing director. Gipps worked as a bookseller for ten years before joining Gollancz in 2011, and most recently held the title of editorial director of Gollancz and SF Gateway. Gipps will work with deputy publisher Gillian Redfearn and will report to Orion managing director Katie Espiner.

Rachel Winterbottom ...Read More

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PRH Belongs to Bertelsmann

German conglomerate Bertelsmann is now the sole owner of Penguin Random House after Pearson sold them its 25% owner­ship stake for an estimated $675 million. The deal is expected to be complete in the spring. Pearson owned Penguin, and Ber­telsmann owned Random House, before the merger in 2012, at which point Bertels­mann had a 53% share and Pearson 47%. Pearson later sold 22% of its shares to the other company ...Read More

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Hachette Acquires Disney Titles

Hachette Book Group (HBG) has acquired more than 1,000 Disney Book Group titles for the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers line, including numerous titles that have not yet been published, roughly doubling the imprint’s backlist. The deal encompasses YA and middle-grade titles, as well as board books, picture books, and graphic novels.

Disney will continue to publish works that can be developed “across multiple platforms and media,” and will ...Read More

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The End of 10-Digit ISBNs

Bowker, the company that provides ISBNs (International Standard Book Numbers), has announced plans to introduce a new prefix, 979, for its 13-digit identifiers, because the high demand for the exist­ing 978 numbers is depleting the available digits. Bowker also announced that “there will be no 10-digit equivalent to a 979 ISBN.” The 13-digit numbers were introduced in 2007, but many older systems still use the old 10-digit format after per­forming ...Read More

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Lezli Robyn Named Galaxy’s Edge Editor

Author and Arc Manor assistant publisher Lezli Robyn will take over as editor of Galaxy’s Edge magazine, per an announcement by Arc Manor publisher Shahid Mahmud via the Galaxy’s Edge Facebook.

As many of you know, Mike Resnick passed away recently. He pretty much single handedly created this magazine with the aim to give writers, particularly newer writers, a new venue for their stories. He was known in the industry ...Read More

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Agency News

Seth Fishman will manage a new west coast office of literary agency The Gernert Company in Culver City CA, with plans to hire new employees. Fishman has spent three years operat­ing from Los Angeles, and told Publishers Lunch, “I have been going to LA three or four times a year for 20 years, primarily doing work for John Grish­am, and have always thought it would be ideal to open an ...Read More

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Crossed Genres Publications Closing

Co-founders Kay Holt and Bart Leib announced that Crossed Genres Publications is “on indefinite hiatus, effective immediately, with the expectation of permanently closing once our current titles are all out of print.” They will not be producing any new titles, and have canceled their planned anthology, Recognize Fascism, co-edited with Crystal Huff. Holt and Leib said,

The decision to close down Crossed Genres is solely the result of personal ...Read More

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Trota Named SFWA Editor-in-Chief

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has announced Michi Trota as their new editor-in-chief, taking over the role from Neil Clarke, who stepped down earlier this year. Trota will be in charge of the organization’s communications and publications, including the SFWA Bulletin. SFWA president Mary Robinette Kowal said,

After a candidate search, the board selected Michi Trota to head our publications. We were all impressed with her ...Read More

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Macmillan vs. Librarians

Macmillan CEO John Sargent sent a letter to librarians in late October, addressing their concerns about Mac­millan delaying sales of ebooks to libraries for eight weeks after publication:

“First, I would like to apologize. It is clear to me that I should have written to all of you directly with our terms change. I meant no disrespect…. Please know that this change was well consid­ered and deeply discussed with over ...Read More

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Aconyte Makes Deal With Marvel

Aconyte Books, the fiction publishing imprint of Asmodee Entertainment, made a multi-year deal with Marvel Entertainment to publish tie-in nov­els based on Marvel Comics properties. Publisher Marc Gascoigne says, “The Marvel comic book universe has featured a host of great characters and storylines crying out to be told over the years, and now is the time to step into the spotlight. You can look out for legends from Asgard, several ...Read More

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B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog Fires All Freelancers

Writer Aidan Moher has reported on Twitter that he and all other freelancers writing for the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog have been let go, effective immediately:

All freelancers at B&N SFF Blog were informed today they’d no longer be contracting work and to invoice for outstanding work immediately. I’ve LOVED my time writing for @BNSciFi, and I’m bummed to see it come to an end.

Writer Dahlia ...Read More

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Hachette UK Restructures

Hachette UK has restructured, with a new trade publishing operations unit over­seeing all imprints, headed by Ben Groves-Raines (COO of Orion and Little, Brown UK) as publish­ing operations director, reporting to Hachette dep­uty CEO Richard Kitson. Lucy Hale (deputy CEO of Hodder & Stoughton, Headline, Quercus, and John Murray Press) has “decided to leave,” and her position has been eliminated. The managing direc­tors of the trade publishing imprints have joined ...Read More

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Self-Publishing Stats Rise

Bowker has updated their self-publishing statistics with numbers from 2018 – the second year in a row with more than one million self-published books carrying ISBNs. Bowker counted 1.68 million ISBNs issued to self-published authors, a 40% increase over 2017. (Even that number is far lower than the actual number of self-published books, because many ebook authors don’t bother with ISBNs at all – Amazon, the major ebook retailer, doesn’t ...Read More

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Tachyon Distributed by Baker and Taylor

Tachyon Publications has reached an agreement with distributor Baker and Taylor, which will begin full-service worldwide distribution and fulfillment for the publisher starting in January 2020.

Senior vice president of Baker & Taylor Publisher Services says, “Tachyon is an incredible presence in the science fiction and fantasy world, and we are elated to be partnering with them.”

 

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with ...Read More

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Staff Changes at ChiZine

Following various allegations of late payments, non-payment, harassment of authors and staff, and other improprieties (as documented extensively at File 770), Sandra Kasturi & Brett Savory have stepped down from all publishing-related duties at ChiZine Publications, effective immediately. Christine Harkin is now interim publisher, and can be reached by email for author-related requests. Kasturi and Savory said:

It is important to us that we clear all outstanding arrears as soon ...Read More

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Poisoned Pen Launches New Line

Poisoned Pen Press (the mystery imprint at Source­books) will launch a new line, the Haunted Library of Horror Classics, edited by Eric J. Guignard and Leslie S. Klinger and conceived by Lisa Morton. The first title will be a new trade paperback edition of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (1911), out in January 2020. Each book will in­clude a new introduction by horror authors includ­ing Ramsey Campbell, ...Read More

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Wolfe to Acquire for Subterranean

Subterranean Press has announced that Navah Wolfe will acquire and edit novellas for release in 2021 and beyond. Wolfe says, “I’ve admired the work Subterranean Press has been doing for years, so it’s an honor to get to work with them to publish original fiction. I’m really looking forward to publishing great novellas in Subterranean’s famously gorgeous editions.” She will be open to agented submissions and will also be soliciting ...Read More

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Vesuvian Acquires Black Spot

Multimedia company Vesuvian Media Group has acquired Black Spot Books, a small SF publisher that has produced a dozen titles so far. Its founder, Lindy Ryan, will continue to run the imprint. The parent company’s Vesuvian Books imprint has released around 50 adult, YA, and middle-grade books, and its Vesuvian Entertainment division has a first-look arrangement with Boilermaker Entertainment. CEO Italia Gandolfo says, “As we grow, the importance of acquiring ...Read More

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Wolfe Leaves Saga

Navah Wolfe has left Saga Press, and her senior editor position has been eliminated. Wolfe co-founded Saga in 2013 with Joe Monti as an imprint of the Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division and was named senior editor in 2017. Before that she was a children’s book editor for seven years at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, focusing on SF and fantasy. In 2019, Saga became an imprint ...Read More

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Atwood Embargo Broken

Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, was under a worldwide embargo until Sep­tember 10, 2019. Amazon shipped “a small number” of copies a week early to customers who’d pre-ordered. A Penguin Random House spokesperson said the books “were distributed early due to a retailer error which has not been rectified. We appreciate that readers and booksellers have been waiting patiently… in order to ...Read More

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ALA Petitions Macmillan

The American Library Association launched a petition to protest Macmillan’s “recent efforts to limit library access to ebooks.” The petition reads, in part,

Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmil­lan Publishers will allow libraries to pur­chase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release.

Readers cannot stay silent! We need your help!

This embargo would limit libraries’ abil­ity to provide access to information ...Read More

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