Publishers Weekly May 10, 2021

Publishers Weekly magazine is the definitive professional resource covering every aspect of book publishing and book selling. Over 20,000 book and media professionals turn to Publishers Weekly each week for news and information. Publishers Weekly covers the creation, production, marketing and sale of the written word in book, audio, video and electronic formats.

United States
PWxyz, LLC
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51 Numéros

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1 min
the week in publishing

The Association of American Publishers is giving Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar its 2021 Award for Distinguished Public Service. Klobuchar will accept the award virtually during AAP’s general meeting on June 2. Bloomsbury has promoted Nancy S. Miller to publishing director for adult trade and Mary Kate Castellani to publishing director for children’s trade. Liese Mayer, editorial director for fiction since 2017, is leaving to freelance edit. The PEN World Voices Festival returns this May 18–22, with Ayad Akhtar and Masha Gessen serving as virtual hosts. The event will offer over 20 panel discussions with global authors and thinkers. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has written her first children’s book, The Bench, illustrated by Christian Robinson. It will be published June 8 by Random House Children’s Books. More than 30 people raised $8.35 million to buy…

4 min
sterling 2.0

When James Daunt took over as CEO of Barnes & Noble, he had plans to remake not only the company’s retail operation but its publishing business, as well. In the U.K., Daunt is CEO of Waterstones and also owns an independent bookstore chain and a publishing business (both named Daunt Books). The pandemic altered much of his original blueprint, but he took the first step in overhauling B&N’s Sterling Publishing division in January, naming Emily Meehan publisher and chief creative officer, succeeding Theresa Thompson. In an interview with PW, Meehan said her mandate from Daunt is to completely revamp Sterling in a process internally dubbed Sterling 2.0. The overhaul is so extensive that Meehan is planning to rename Sterling, which B&N bought in 2003, by the end of the year. Meehan joined…

1 min
print unit sales had double-digit gain at april’s end

Unit sales of print books increased 12.4% in the week ended May 1, 2021, over the comparable period in 2020, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The increase came in spite of the fact that sales began rebounding at this time last year after declining as the pandemic hit. The adult fiction category had another big week, with unit sales up 22.3% over the week ended May 2, 2020. Two longtime bestselling authors topped the category list, as John Grisham’s Sooley sold more than 64,000 copies in its first week, making it #1, followed by Danielle Steel’s Finding Ashley, which sold more than 28,000 copies. YA fiction unit sales more than doubled in the week, led by six titles by Leigh Bardugo among the category’s top 10 bestsellers. Shadow…

4 min
virtual tours open borders for overseas authors

One of the unintended consequences of the pandemic and the shift to virtual author events is that booksellers and publishers have had the opportunity to put together events for overseas authors who would not usually tour the U.S. “The possibilities are endless,” said Pierce Alquist, director of the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass. “The pairings and creative panels we have done are once-in-a-lifetime events.” She cited a virtual event in February during which Russian author Maria Stepanova discussed her book In Memory of Memory (New Directions): Alquist, who ran the event, was in Boston; Stepanova was in Moscow; her translator, Sasha Dugdale, was in the U.K.; and the moderator, Elif Batuman, was in Brooklyn. Sales for such events are “good, but I don’t think anyone is having…

4 min
big trade houses report solid q1

First quarter financial reports from five major trade publishers showed that the sales momentum that built up through last year has carried over into 2021, while companies’ year-over-year sales comparisons also benefitted from the slump in late March 2020. Two of the publishers that reported results could be doing so for the last time. Simon & Schuster might see its acquisition by Bertelsmann/Penguin Random House completed before results for the second quarter are released. And the sale of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s trade division to HarperCollins is still expected to be completed by June 30. HMH Books & Media posted sales of $42.7 million in the first quarter, a 12% jump over the same period last year, and its pretax loss was cut to $2.9 million, from $7.7 million. HMH had nothing else…

3 min

DEAL OF THE WEEK Deaver Does Double at Putnam International bestseller Jeffery Deaver inked a two-book, North American rights agreement with G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Mark Tavani acquired the thrillers from Deborah Schneider at Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners. The first novel is set for 2022 and will feature The Never Game’s hero, Colter Shaw. The second, set for 2023, will feature Lincoln Rhyme, who starred in The Bone Collector. Penguin Buys Kohli’s Debut The founder of the Brown Girl Therapy Instagram account, Sahaj Kaur Kohli, sold world rights to her debut book, But What Will People Say?, to Penguin Life’s Emily Wunderlich at auction. Brown Girl Therapy bills itself as “the first/largest mental health community for children of immigrants,” and the book, subtitled On Navigating Mental Health as a Child of Immigrants, will expand…