BTW News Briefs

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

Germany’s antitrust agency has begun an investigation into Amazon over complaints that the company is abusing its dominant market position relative to other sellers that use the platform.

Fountain Bookstore owner Kelly Justice and two other independent bookstore owners criticized Amazon in a November 30 article in the Richmond Times Dispatch about local indies’ reaction to Amazon’s choice of Crystal City, Virginia, as one of two sites for its second headquarters and related government incentives.

Margaret Atwood has announced she is writing a sequel, The Testaments, to her iconic dystopian feminist novel The Handmaid’s Tale, which will be published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday in September 2019. Atwood will be a keynote speaker at ABA’s 2019 Winter Institute in Albuquerque this January.

The judge presiding in fired Barnes & Noble CEO Demos Parneros’ case against the company has given him until December 21 to decide whether or not to move ahead with his motion to dismiss B&N’s countersuit against him.

Polis Books is launching Agora Books, a diversity-focused imprint for crime and noir fiction. The independent publishing house will kick off the imprint next fall with three new titles.

Richard Rhorer has been promoted to vice president and deputy publisher at Simon & Schuster.

Janet Cooke, vice president and group sales director of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, will leave the company at the end of the year, and Christopher Dufault will succeed her. Senior Vice President and Director of Adult Hardcover Sales at Penguin Publishing Group John Lawton will retire in the spring, and Vice President and Group Sales Director Lauren Monaco will expand her role accordingly.

At Arcadia Publishing, Charles Gallagher will succeed Paul Raffle as the company’s chief operating officer, effective immediately. Raffle, who had agreed to stay on for a brief transition period, is now leaving his full-time position and will help out on a consulting basis.

Staci Burt, formerly of St. Martin’s, has joined Grand Central Publishing as publicity manager.

Gayley Avery has joined DK in the newly created role of vice president of marketing and publicity. Avery previously worked as marketing and publicity director at Bonnier Publishing.

Mystery Writers of America has withdrawn the award for bestselling mystery author Linda Fairstein as one of next year’s Grand Master Edgar recipients in the wake of controversy over her role as prosecutor in the 1989 Central Park jogger case, which falsely convicted five black teens.

The fifth annual 35 over 35 list launched on Monday, December 3. The program, started by publishing industry veterans Kera Yonker, Sarah Russo, and Charlie Orr, is dedicated to celebrating those authors aged 35 and over who have published their first book. 

PBS named There Will Be No Miracles Here, a memoir by Casey Gerald (Riverhead), as the December selection for Now Read This, the network’s NewsHour-New York Times book club.

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