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California Governor Signs Collectibles Fix into Law

In a victory for California booksellers, on Thursday, October 12, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a legislative clarification to California’s collectibles law. After an outcry from booksellers, among others, last year, the law has been amended to exempt signed books.

The original law, passed in June 2016, required sellers of signed books and artwork to provide the buyer with a certificate of authenticity (COA) for any item sold for $5 or more. Soon after it was signed into law, many booksellers, led by Bill Petrocelli of Book Passage in Corte Madera, reached out to California lawmakers, expressing their concern that the law would apply to general bookstores and author signing events. Booksellers were worried about the onerous prospect of having to generate a COA for every signed book.

Book Riot Announces $500 Bookstore Giveaway Contest

Literary website Book Riot has announced it will be running a “$500 gift card to the bookstore of your choice” giveaway from now until November 26.

Independent bookstores can share the giveaway contest with their communities and encourage customers to complete the giveaway form. Book Riot will be purchasing the gift card directly from the winning bookstore and delivering it to the winner.

Entries are open worldwide and will be accepted until 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, November 26. The winner will be randomly selected.

President Bill Clinton to Present Literarian Award at National Book Awards

The 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, will present Scholastic Chairman, President, and CEO Dick Robinson with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at the 68th National Book Awards, according to the National Book Foundation (NBF).

Clinton, a longtime supporter of the arts, will honor Robinson’s service to readers and the literary community as a leader in children’s publishing, education, and media at the ceremony on November 15, according to the NBF, which administers the awards. Robinson’s win was announced last month.

Brian Napack Named Wiley CEO

Former president of Macmillan Brian Napack will join John Wiley and Sons as the publisher’s new president and CEO starting December 4, as reported by Business Wire.

Matthew Kissner had served as Wiley’s interim CEO since Mark Allin resigned in May for family reasons and will remain as chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. Said Kissner, “After a thorough and thoughtful search, the Board of Directors unanimously agreed on Brian as the type of proven leader that can drive our continuous evolution as the trusted, innovative partner that our customers rely on to deliver the critical content, tools and services that they need to meet their goals. Brian has the deep industry experience, the passion for our business, and the leadership ability to get us there.”

Napack has also been senior advisor for private equity firm Providence Equity Partners since 2012. He also serves on the boards of companies including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Ingram, Blackboard, and Recorded Books but will transition off of some of them, according to the company.

Black Dog & Leventhal Founder to Step Down

J.P. Leventhal will be leaving his role as publisher of Hachette’s Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers imprint on December 31, Publishers Weekly reported.

The company, which Leventhal founded in 1992 after years working at Crown Publishing Group, was acquired by Hachette Book Group in 2014. Black Dog & Leventhal will now become part of Perseus Books’ Running Press imprint effective immediately, reporting to vice president and publisher Kristin Kiser.

Consortium Adds Five Publishers for Distribution

Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, an Ingram Publisher Services brand, has announced agreements with five new publishers for the spring 2018 season.

Black Inc., Blair, Fitzcarraldo Editions, Oberon Books, and School of Life all begin distribution with Consortium on January 1, 2018.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Makes Changes to Leadership Team

Educational and trade publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has announced changes to its executive team, including new employees and internal promotions. The following executives will report directly to HMH President and CEO Jack Lynch.

Jim O’Neill, who joins HMH from Achieve3000, will take on the newly created position of executive vice president and general manager of core curriculum, where he will focus on enhancing the company’s basal core business. In addition, Matthew Mugo Fields has been named executive vice president and general manager of supplemental curriculum.

Rose Else-Mitchell, who joined HMH in 2015, has been named to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief learning officer. Amy Dunkin, who has also been with the company since 2015, has been named senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Alejandro Reyes has joined HMH as senior vice president and chief people officer from Laureate Education, where he served as the chief talent and organization development officer. Trish Torizzo is also a new addiiton to the HMH team, in the capacity of senior vice president and chief information officer. Finally, Vicki Boyd has been promoted to executive vice president and general manager of Heinemann, HMH’s professional development publishing arm. Boyd has been with the company since 2003.

Ingram Expands Global Connect Program to Spain

Lightning Source LLC, part of Ingram Content Group, is expanding its Global Connect print-on-demand program and distribution network to Spain, Ingram announced.

Through a new alliance with PodiPrint, one of Spain’s largest media publishing and distribution groups, the company will now be able to provide publishers with access to high-quality, POD book manufacturing as it does now at Ingram’s Lightning Source facilities worldwide. This relationship also gives publishers access to PodiPrint’s established relationships with more than 1,300 retail points of sale in Spain.

Ingram’s Global Connect program now includes eight countries: Spain, India, Italy, Russia, Germany, Poland, China and South Korea.

Bookselling Without Borders Seeks to Increase Number of Scholarships

Bookselling Without Borders, which provides scholarships for American booksellers to attend international book fairs, is expanding to include more scholarships, Shelf Awareness reported. The program was founded by Europa Editions in 2016.

This year, Bookselling Without Borders, sponsored by partner publishers Europa Editions, Catapult, Graywolf Press, and the Other Press, sent three booksellers to Turin, and last year, sent one bookseller, Ariana Paliobagis of Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Montana, to Frankfurt. Next year, the program plans to send 15 booksellers to book fairs in Turin, Frankfurt, and Guadalajara.

In addition to publisher sponsorships, this expansion to 15 booksellers will be funded through a Kickstarter campaign that runs through Sunday, October 29. So far, the campaign has raised $13,000 toward a goal of $30,000. The next Bookselling Without Borders scholarship application period begins in early 2018 and is open to all booksellers in the U.S.

Lincoln in the Bardo Wins 2017 Man Booker Prize

Lincoln in the Bardo by American author George Saunders (Random House) was named the winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

The first full-length novel from Saunders, an internationally renowned short story writer, Lincoln in the Bardo focuses on a single night in the life of Abraham Lincoln: an actual moment in 1862 when the body of his 11-year-old son was laid to rest in a Washington cemetery and the sprits of the dead come to life.

Saunders is the second American author to win the prize in its 49-year history. He was in contention for the prize with two British, one British-Pakistani, and two American writers. 

Saunders’ win was announced by Lola Young at a dinner at London’s Guildhall, where he was presented with a trophy, a £50,000 check, a designer bound edition of his book, and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted. Saunders will take part in his first official public event as the winner at Foyles Charing Cross Road on October 19.