Moldow Retires, Touchstone Closes

Susan Moldow is retiring from her position as presi­dent of Scribner Publish­ing Group and president of the Touchstone imprint at Simon & Schuster at the end of the year. Moldow has worked in publishing since 1966, and has held senior positions at Dell, Penguin, Doubleday, and HarperCollins, as well as Simon & Schuster, and her authors included Anthony Doerr, Charles Johnson, Stephen King, and Colm Tóibín, among many others.

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Publishing News

Crown Publishing Group has joined Random House Publishing group to form a new division, effective immediately, run by Random House president and publisher Gina Centrello. Crown president and publisher Maya Mavjee will leave Penguin Random House at the end of 2018. The imprints will maintain their current editorial identities. Penguin Random House US CEO Madeline McIntosh explained in a letter to the staff that “book discovery and buying patterns continue ...Read More

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Amazon Raises Minimum Wage

Amazon has announced plans to raise their minimum wage for US workers to $15 an hour after public condemnation for their poor pay practices, including criticisms from Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. CEO Jeff Bezos – the richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of over $155 billion, who declared earlier this year that “the only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is ...Read More

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Prometheus Sells Pyr Imprint

Prometheus Books has sold SF imprint Pyr and crime fiction imprint Seventh Street to Start Publishing. Prometheus was founded in 1969, exclusively publishing non-fiction, before launching Pyr in 2005 and Seventh Street in 2011. Publisher Jonathan Kurtz said the sale will allow Prometheus “to more fully engage with the diverse readers in our core categories and maximize the potential of our extensive back catalog.”

Start Publishing president Jarred Weisfeld told ...Read More

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Gascoigne to Leave Angry Robot

Founder and publisher Marc Gascoigne has announced that he will be leaving Angry Robot Books at the end of 2018, saying, “After more than ten years building AR up into a popular, worldwide sci-fi imprint, it’s time for a new challenge. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into a new project soon.”

Angry Robot was created in 2008 as an imprint of HarperCollins before becoming an independent imprint of ...Read More

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Self-Publishing Breaks a Million

Bowker has updated their self-publishing statistics with numbers from 2017 – the first year with more than one million self-published books carrying ISBNs. Bowker counted 1,009,188 ISBNs issued to self-published authors, a 28% increase over 2016. (That’s doubtless far lower than the actual number of self-published books, as many ebook authors don’t bother with ISBNs at all since Amazon, the dominant ebook retailer, doesn’t require them.)

The increase comes from ...Read More

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Gorinsky Launches New Publishing Company

Liz Gorinsky has started Erewhon Books,

a new independent speculative fiction publisher. We opened in June 2018 and are starting to build our list with the aim of debuting our first season of new titles in 2020. We will focus on novel-length works of speculative fiction including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other subgenres, but are open to other works of interest to SF&F readers.

Gorinsky won the 2016 Alfie ...Read More

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Hard Brexit Poses Threat to Ingram, EU-Based POD Publishers

With the threat of a “hard” Brexit looming, European Union-based POD publishers are wondering where to go to print their books. Many so far have been using the services of Lightning Source UK, a division of the Ingram Content Group. But in the event of Britain failing to remain in the European customs union, the importation of books printed in England into the EU may suddenly become subject to customs ...Read More

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Publishing News

Penguin Random House US is offering early retirement buyouts to “long-tenured” employees who’ve been with the company for more than 20 years, and who will be 60 years of age or older by the end of 2018. The deadline to take early retirement is October 8, 2018, and those who take the buyout will leave by December 31. Company spokesperson Claire von Schilling told Publisher’s Lunch that the “voluntary separation ...Read More

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Abrams Acquires Overlook

Abrams has purchased The Overlook Press, with some em­ployees (notably publisher Tracy Carns) set to remain after the transition. The move began in August 2018, with Abrams taking immediate control of all editorial, marketing, and business elements, and planning to take over sales and distribution once existing service contracts run out – Overlook is currently distributed by Nor­ton, while Abrams is distributed by Hachette Book Group.

The Overlook Press was ...Read More

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Tor Tests Windowing

Starting in July, Tor Books has begun delaying release of ebook ver­sions of some titles to the library market for four months after the on-sale date as “part of a test program to determine the impact of eLending on retail sales.” They plan to “work closely with our library vendors who service this channel to evaluate the results and develop ongoing terms that will best support Tor’s authors, their agents, ...Read More

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Millard Retires

Agent Martha Millard is retiring, effective immedi­ately. She ran her eponymous literary agency for 35 years, and spent the past three years working at Sterling Lord Literistic. She says,

I need to focus my attention on maintaining my health, as I have Parkinson’s. It’s been hugely satisfying to work with some of the best writers in the SF, fantasy, and general field, and I feel fully confident leaving my wonderful ...Read More

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Walmart and Kobo Launch Ebook Partnership

Walmart and Rakuten Kobo have announced Walmart eBooks, an online store offering more than six million ebook titles, launched on August 22, 2018. The partnership between Walmart and Kobo additionally offers digital book cards, audiobooks, and Kobo Aura e-readers through Walmart’s website and store. Walmart eBooks content is also available through co-branded iOS and Android apps. The two companies previously announced a partnership to launch “a new online grocery delivery ...Read More

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SFWA Bulletin Goes Digital Only

John Teehan announced August 1, 2018 via Facebook that the SFWA Bulletin will no longer publish in print:

End of an era. As production manager and occasional editor, I worked on 56 issues over 15 some odd years. The SFWA Bulletin is now going digital, and the current issue is the last print one I’ll be involved with. It was a great run—one of the best gigs ever. Had some ...Read More

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Authors Victimized by Embezzler

Author Chuck Palahniuk and other clients of literary agency Donadio & Olson have collectively lost millions, victims of a long-running embezzlement scheme allegedly run by agency accountant Darin Webb. Webb reportedly confessed to embezzling at least $3.4 million in author advances and royalties from the agency since January 2011. Webb apparently gave a videotaped interview in March 2018 admitting to the theft, saying his reports “contained false and fraudulent representations ...Read More

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Tor.com Publishing Opens to Novella Submissions

Tor.com Publishing will open to novella submissions for two weeks beginning July 30, 2018.

Until the end of this open period, Tor.com Publishing will be considering novellas of between 20,000 and 40,000 words in both the science fiction and fantasy genres. If it’s speculative and fits the bill, we want to take a look at it.

Lee Harris, Carl Engle-Laird, and Ruoxi Chen all actively request submissions from writers from ...Read More

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Shimmer Closes

Shimmer magazine has announced that it will close with the November 2018 issue, after 13 years of publication. A final anthology will be released in late 2018. Publisher Beth Wodzinski says,

If you’re a reader — the site will stay up indefinitely, and we’ve got lots of great fiction for you to browse and buy.

If you’re a subscriber with a subscription that goes past November, you’ll get a separate ...Read More

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Publishing News

Macmillan is celebrating 175 years of operations with events throughout the year, with a “kickoff toast” event at Book Expo, May 30 – June 1, 2018 at the Javits Center in NY. They will publish a history of the company, The Macmillan Story, with distribution to their employees and authors. CEO John Sargent says, “We try to keep that family feel with Macmil­lan. We believe that staying true to our ...Read More

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Romantic Times Closes

Founder Kathryn Falk and her husband and co-owner Kevin Rubin announced that romance publishing industry magazine RT Book Reviews is shutting down, effective immediately. The long-running RT Booklovers Convention is also ending, with the one held this May 15-20 in Reno NV being the last. This year’s RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards were the last that will be given. Falk wrote, “After 38 years, I am retiring and ending my participation ...Read More

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New Penguin Books Imprint

Penguin Books for Young Readers has announced a new imprint, Kokila, focusing on diverse YA and children’s books. Nam­rata Tripathi will be publisher (she was associate publisher and editorial director of Dial Books for Young Readers). They expect to publish between 15 and 20 books per year, both fiction and non-fiction, from picture books to middle-grade and YA, as well as graphic novels. The first titles should launch in summer ...Read More

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Layoffs at Skyhorse

Skyhorse has eliminated 16 full-time employees (from a total of 77) in “a major reorganization,” and plans to reduce their output of new titles by “approximately 25 percent.” They published around 1,100 titles in 2017. President Tony Lyons says the changes are “in response to shortfalls in Skyhorse revenues in 2017 and early 2018, including issues related to its distribution deal and paper shortages, as well as changes in the ...Read More

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Layoffs at Pottermore

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter website Pottermore laid off a number of both senior and junior editorial staff as part of a “reorganization.” A spokesperson said the firings “reflect the evolution of the business and are being handled as sensitively as possible.” Those let go were responsible for writing original content for the site.

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time or recurring donation. ...Read More

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Waterstones Sold

Alexander Mamut of Lynwood Investments has sold a majority stake of UK-based bookstore chain Waterstones to Elliot Advisors, the UK branch of Paul Singer’s Elliott Management hedge fund. James Daunt will remain as CEO, a post he’s held since 2011, and Lynwood Investments will retain a minority share. Waterstones has more than 280 bookshops in the UK and Europe. Daunt says they are in “expansion mode” and plan to open ...Read More

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Amazing Stories Returns to Print

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, Amazing Stories is relaunching as a quarterly print fiction magazine, with the first issue scheduled to coincide with Worldcon 76 in San Jose this August. Steve Davidson is publisher, and Ira Nayman is managing editor. The magazine is open to fiction submissions (guidelines here). The first version of Amazing Stories launched in 1926 and was owned by various companies over the years; the last print ...Read More

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Mythic Delirium Closes

With the April 2018 issue, Mike Allen’s fiction and poetry magazine Mythic Delirium is closing after 20 years. In his editorial, Allen says,

I’m putting Mythic Delirium on what those of us in Smallpressville call ‘indefinite hiatus.’ Put more plainly, the zine is coming to an end—though I reserve the right to bring it back, should the course of my career deliver me to a point where (re)starting a magazine ...Read More

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More Harassment Accusations

Two more prominent authors with genre connections have been accused of inappropriate behavior: Sherman Alexie of sexual misconduct, and Daniel Handler of crude and offensive remarks.

After rumors began to circulate online in Febru­ary 2018, Alexie issued a statement apologizing to “the people I have hurt” and acknowledging he’d made “poor decisions.” He however rejected “the accusations, insinuations and outright falsehoods made by Litsa Dremousis, who has led the charges ...Read More

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New Amazon Imprint

Amazon has announced a new imprint, Topple Books, to “spotlight the voices of women of color, gender non-conforming, lesbian, bisexual, and queer writers.” Jill Soloway will serve as editor-at-large, with Carmen Johnson helping to oversee the line. Soloway says, “We live in a com­plicated, messy world where every day we have to proactively re-center our own experiences by chal­lenging privilege. With Topple Books, we’re looking for those undeniably compelling essential ...Read More

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Rebellion SFF Commissioning Team

Rebellion Publishing announced the posting of David Moore and Michael Rowley as their “new commissioning team” for SFF imprints Solaris and Abaddon. According to the announcement, “The two will share commissioning and editing duties across both best-selling lists.” Moore joined Rebellion in 2009 and Rowley is new to the company, coming from Waterstones and Penguin Random House UK imprint Ebury.

For more information, see the official announcement.

 

While you ...Read More
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Penthouse Files for Bankruptcy

Penthouse Global Media, publisher of adult magazine Pent­house and the recently relaunched science fiction and fact magazine OMNI, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2018. The company formed in 2016 when CEO Kelly Holland acquired the Penthouse assets in a management buyout. The company revived OMNI last year, with Pamela Weintraub as editor-in-chief and Ellen Datlow as fiction editor. The Winter 2017 issue appeared in late 2017, and was ...Read More

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Amazon Layoffs

Online retailer Amazon.com is laying off “low hundreds” of employees, mostly at the Seattle headquarters. The terminations are primarily positions related to the established parts of the company, mainly the consumer retail business (the part that sells books, among other things). The company plans to hire new employees in growing areas, including their digital assistant Alexa, their digital entertainment division, and their Amazon Web Services technology segment. A spokesper­son said, ...Read More

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Print Sales Up

Sales of print books continue to climb, with unit sales up 1.9% in 2017 over 2016, according to NPD Bookscan (which cap­tures an estimated 80-85% of total print sales): 687.2 million books were sold in every format, up from 674.1 million in 2016. Print sales have climbed every year since 2013, and are now 10.8% above that year’s numbers.

Most of the increase comes from bookstores and online retailers, which ...Read More

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Barnes & Noble Layoffs

Barnes & Noble is laying off many of its most experienced workers following a disappointing holiday season (down 6% from the year before), with lead cashiers, receiving managers, and other seasoned employees being let go company-wide. Employees were given little to no notice of their termination, with many showing up for work only to find their jobs had been eliminated. A B&N spokesperson said the company “has been reviewing all ...Read More

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