Rakuten to Close Marketplaces in U.K., Spain
On June 7, Rakuten announced plans to close its Rakuten U.K. marketplace (www.rakuten.co.uk) and its Cambridge operations, as well as Rakuten Spain marketplace (www.rakuten.es) and its Barcelona operations. The company said it is making these moves in order to focus investment on France and Germany, where it sees potential for sustainable growth.
Rakuten anticipates that the marketplace closures will take place by the end of August.
“The website closure comes five years after the Japanese company bought Play.com for £25m in 2011 as a rival to Amazon in the U.K.,” The Bookseller noted.
In October 2014, Rakuten launched rakuten.co.uk, selling physical and audiobooks via third party retailers, The Bookseller reported. The e-commerce site ran alongside Play.com until the latter closed in early 2015.
Rakuten also owns e-reading company Kobo.
Ian Hudson Named CEO of DK
Ian Hudson will become the new CEO of Penguin Random House’s DK division, The Bookseller reported. Hudson spent more than two decades at Random House U.K. and the past three years with Penguin Random House.
In a June 7 memo, Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle told employees that DK CEO John Duhigg, after 25 years with Penguin and DK in a variety of executive positions, will resign effective June 30. Hudson will step into the position on July 1.
Hudson, who will report to Dohle from London, will relinquish his current dual positions as PRH CEO, International (English language), and deputy CEO of Penguin Random House U.K. He will continue on as chair of the Bertelsmann Management Representative Committee and as a member of the Bertelsmann Supervisory Board.
James Patterson Launches BookShots
On Monday, June 6, James Patterson formally launched his new BookShots publishing program, a new imprint from Little, Brown that will offer fast-moving, novella-length stories priced at less than $5.
The first two BookShots titles went on sale Tuesday, June 7, and are available in BookShots format only: Cross Kill, starring Patterson’s popular recurring character Alex Cross, and Zoo 2, the second installment in his Zoo series.
Patterson will be writing, collaborating on, or personally curating every BookShot title. Each title will be fewer than 150 pages and will come in compact paperback and e-book formats.
The 2016 BookShots publishing schedule includes two to four thriller and romance titles per month. BookShots Flames, a line of novella-length romances presented by Patterson, go on sale in July. BookShots will also expand into nonfiction and other genres, starting with Trump vs. Clinton: In Their Own Words, publishing September 27.
HarperCollins Produces Facebook Live Daily Programming
On Monday, June 6, HarperCollins launched new weekday programming through Facebook Live featuring live-streaming video of its authors discussing their books and their writing process, as well as Q&As with fans.
HarperCollins authors and employees are participating in daily topical Facebook Live sessions lasting between 15 to 45 minutes each, with authors streaming live from their homes, the HarperCollins offices, bookstores, and other locations. Facebook Live sessions will appear on the authors’ Facebook pages, as well as on the HarperCollins Book Studio 16 Facebook page and other HarperCollins channels.
National Book Foundation Elects Two New Members
The National Book Foundation has elected two new members to its board of directors: Cheryl Cohen Effron and Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. NBF’s 22-member Board includes representatives from various industries, including publishing, nonprofit, retail, library, entertainment, and more.
Effron is a member of the New York City Planning Commission and president of ATC Management, where she oversaw the creation of Chelsea Market. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards including those of the Brookings Institute, the Municipal Arts Society, New York Cares, and The New School.
Walsh heads the Worldwide Literary Department at William Morris Endeavor and is the founder of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. Over her career, Walsh has partnered with many major writers, including Alice Munro.
Griffin Poetry Prize Winners Announced
Norman Dubie and Liz Howard have been named the International and Canadian winners of the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize, respectively.
Dubie received the International Griffin Poetry Prize for his book The Quotations of Bone (Copper Canyon Press); Howard received the Canadian award for her book Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent (McClelland & Stewart). The Griffin Poetry Prize is for first edition books of poetry written in, or translated into, English and submitted from anywhere in the world.
On June 1, the shortlisted poets read excerpts from their books at Toronto’s TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning and received a leather-bound edition of their book and a $10,000 honorarium. Each of the winners received $65,000 (Canadian) in prize money.
Also honored were Adam Zagajewski, the recipient of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry’s 2016 Lifetime Recognition Award, and Marie Foolchand, the 2016 Bilingual Champion of Poetry in Voice.
Lambda Literary Award Winners Announced
The winners of the 28th Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) were announced at a June 6 gala ceremony at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.
At the event, which was hosted by comedienne Kate Clinton, Rookie editor Tavi Gevinson introduced Hilton Als, New Yorker writer and author of the award-winning book White Girls, who received the Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature. Native American poet Natalie Diaz introduced the celebrated poet Eileen Myles, who received Lambda’s Pioneer Award.
The 28th Annual Lambda Literary Award winners are:
Lesbian Fiction: Under the Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Gay Fiction: God in Pink, Hasan Namir (Arsenal Pulp Press)
Bisexual Fiction: The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, Anna North (Penguin Random House/Blue Rider Press)
Bisexual Nonfiction: Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham, Emily Bingham (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Transgender Fiction: Tiny Pieces of Skull, or a Lesson in Manners, Roz Kaveney (Team Angelica Publishing)
LGBT Debut Fiction: A Love Like Blood, Victor Yates (Hillmont Press)
LGBT Nonfiction: “No One Helped”: Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy, Marcia M. Gallo (Cornell University Press)
Transgender Nonfiction: Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency, Willy Wilkinson (Hapa Papa Press)
Lesbian Poetry: Life in a Box is a Pretty Life, Dawn Lundy Martin (Nightboat Press)
Gay Poetry (TIE): Crevasse, Nicholas Wong (Kaya Press), and Reconnaissance, Carl Phillip (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Transgender Poetry: succubus in my pocket, kari Edwards (EOAGH Books)
Lesbian Mystery (TIE): Ordinary Mayhem, Victoria Brownwort (Bold Strokes Books, Inc.), and Tarnished Gold, Ann Aptaker (Bold Strokes Books, Inc.)
Gay Mystery: Boystown 7: Bloodlines, Marshall Thornton (Kenmore Books)
Lesbian Memoir/Biography: Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, Kate Carroll de Gutes (Ovenbird Books)
Gay Memoir/Biography: James Merrill: Life and Art, Langdon Hammer (Alfred A. Knopf)
Lesbian Romance: Making A Comeback, Julie Blair (Bold Strokes Books, Inc.)
Gay Romance: When Skies Have Fallen, Debbie McGowan (Beaten Track)
Lesbian Erotica: The Muse, Meghan O’Brien (Bold Strokes Books, Inc.)
Gay Erotica: Érotiques Suprèmes, Miodrag Kojadinovic (Choose the Sword Press)
LGBT Anthology – Fiction: Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi & Fantasy Comic Anthology, Sfé R. Monster (Editor) & Taneka Stotts (Assistant Editor) (Beyond Press)
LGBT Anthology – Nonfiction: Glitter and Grit: Queer Performance From the Heels on Wheels Femme Galaxy, Edited by Damien Luxe, Heather M. Ács, and Sabina Ibarrola (Publication Studio)
LGBT Children’s/Young Adult: George, Alex Gino (Scholastic Press)
LGBT Drama: Bright Half Life, Tanya Barfield (Dramatists Play Service)
LGBT Graphic Novels: The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ & Amal, EK Weaver (Iron Circus Comics)
LGBT SF/F/Horror: The Gracekeepers, Kirsty Logan (Crown Publishers)
LGBT Studies: A Taste for Brown Bodies: Gay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire, Hiram Pérez (NYU Press)