BTW News Briefs

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Here’s what’s happening this week in the book industry:

Simon & Schuster will open a new 300,000-square-foot warehouse facility in Milan, Tennessee, on January 2, 2019, the publisher announced last week. This new warehouse comes just two years after the 2016 expansion of the company’s Riverside Distribution Facility in Delran, New Jersey.

Penguin Random House has announced the 2019 launch of its PRH South East Asia publishing operation, an action that expands the company’s commitment to local publishing in Asia, currently represented by Penguin Random House North Asia and Penguin Random House India. The company, to be based in Singapore, will publish local and international voices across English-language adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction formats for Singapore and Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and other southeast Asian countries.

The University of Chicago Press and De Gruyter have formed a partnership to globally distribute 2,500 University of Chicago Press frontlist titles and backlist e-book titles through the De Gruyter website. The two publishers are also partnering to scan University of Chicago Press’ archive of approximately 6,000 undigitized titles. 

Barnes & Noble stock rose more than 20 percent after the board announced on Wednesday, October 3, that it would consider a sale of the company and that it had appointed a committee to review offers. One of these came from B&N chairman Len Riggio, who is also the company’s largest shareholder.

This week Indigo Books & Music opened its first U.S. bookstore at The Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, New Jersey. The Canadian bookstore chain first announced its expansion to the U.S. last year, which included plans to open three to five stores over two years to test market response.

HarperCollins has acquired world Spanish rights to seven books from bestselling author Fredrik Backman and the world Spanish rights to Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas, to be published throughout the Spanish-speaking world via the company’s Global Publishing Program. HarperCollins has also formed an International Spanish Acquisitions Board to help expand the reach of the company’s Spanish-language titles.

After Amazon received praise last Monday for its decision to raise pay for warehouse workers and other hourly employees to at least $15 an hour, the company informed those employees that it was also eliminating their monthly bonuses and stock awards, which can total hundreds of dollars per month, in order to help pay for the raises.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) educational publishing division has completed its previously announced divestiture of standard testing business Riverside to Alpine Investors for $140 million ($135 million after transaction fees). HMH plans to invest the net proceeds in its Extensions businesses, “supporting its overarching strategy to create integrated solutions and improve student outcomes.”

Baker & Taylor Publisher Services has added 10 new clients, including Teachers College Press, Kaminn Media, WunderMill, and Microcosm Publishing.

At Macmillan, Jennifer Edwards has been named vice president of children’s sales. She joined Macmillan in 2006 as marketing manager for the company’s distribution clients.

The MacArthur Foundation announced its class of 25 fellows, including fiction writer Kelly Link, fiction and nonfiction writer John Keene, poet Natalie Diaz, and playwright Dominique Morisseau. The MacArthur Fellowship is a five-year grant of $625,000 to individuals “who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future.”

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