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PRH Announces Oprah Edition of Behold the Dreamers

On Monday, June 26, Penguin Random House (PRH) announced that Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue has been named the newest Oprah’s Book Club selection.

A new trade paperback edition, including a Q&A with Mbue and a reading group guide, went on sale on June 26 under the ISBN 9780525509714. The hardcover (ISBN 9780812998481) and CD (ISBN 9780147523099) editions of Behold the Dreamers are already on sale.

The original paperback edition, under ISBN 9780812987973, has been canceled. The Oprah edition will be the only trade paperback edition available.

Open Road Launches Program to Market Other Publishers’ Backlist

Open Road Integrated Media has launched a full-service program to market backlist titles on behalf of other publishers across all sales channels, with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) as an early customer.

Open Road has a record of delivering 40 percent annual revenue growth on its own catalog since the end of 2015, which the digital media company cited as one reason for expanding its marketing services to other publishers.

“We’re aware of the success Open Road has had marketing its own list,” said Ellen Archer, HMH trade publishing president. “As another publisher with a robust list of iconic backlist titles, we are interested to see how the focus and sophistication they bring to backlist marketing will benefit our list.”

PRH to Close Blue Rider Press

Penguin Random House is discontinuing the Blue Rider Press imprint, Publishers Weekly reported.

In a memo sent from Penguin Publishing Group president Madeline McIntosh to Penguin Random House (PRH) employees, McIntosh wrote that the Blue Rider Press imprint “has faced the particular challenge of being a small startup in a hypercompetitive market, with results that have not been as consistent as we need them to be.”

As a result, McIntosh wrote, existing and upcoming Blue Rider books will be released under the Dutton imprint. David Rosenthal, who established the imprint in 2011 to publish a select number of fiction and nonfiction titles, and associate publisher Aileen Boyle will be leaving PRH in the coming months.

Blue Rider Press had published about 24 titles annually and had a total staff of about eight, Publishers Weekly reported. As the Plume trade paperback imprint was moved under Rosenthal in 2015, Plume will now also move under Dutton. According to McIntosh’s memo, it is still being decided whether new paperback originals will be released under the Plume or Dutton names.

HarperCollins SVP, General Counsel Chris Goff to Retire

Christopher Goff will retire as HarperCollins’ senior vice president and general counsel, effective September 30, the company announced on Tuesday.

Taking his place will be William (Bill) Adams, currently senior vice president and associate general counsel at Penguin Random House, who has been named general counsel worldwide and will take on oversight of all legal matters for the organization globally.

Goff joined HarperCollins in 1989, handling all legal affairs for the Children’s Book Group, Zondervan, and Lippincott (then owned by HarperCollins). He was named HarperCollins deputy general counsel in 1997 and general counsel in 2004.

Before being tapped to join HarperCollins this year, Adams spent 18 years in the legal department at Penguin Random House; prior to that, he was employed at the publishing and media law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine. Adams will join the company in September and will sit on the global executive committee and report to Murray. The general counsels of each division will report to their CEOs and to Adams.

Random House Children’s Books Partners With JetBlue for “Soar With Reading” Program

Random House Children’s Books and JetBlue have launched the seventh annual “Soar With Reading“ initiative, to run through August 31.

This year, the literacy program will distribute 100,000 free books to children in need in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, through four custom vending machines installed throughout the city. JetBlue first launched “Soar With Reading” in 2011 as a way to fight book deserts, which offer limited access to age-appropriate books. This is the third year that the airline has funded the book vending machines; the previous two years, vending machines were installed in Detroit and Washington, D.C. 

In addition, four cities — Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco — will compete for votes through an online #BookBattle, which will decide which city receives the 2018 donation. For the first time, anyone who casts a vote online will also receive a special 99-cent digital children’s book from Penguin Random House.

Crown Launches New Imprint, Currency 

Crown Publishing Group has created a new imprint, Currency, to be led by Tina Constable, Publishers Weekly reported.

The imprint, according to Crown president and publisher Maya Mavjee, “will be a nonfiction imprint dedicated to publishing both narrative-driven and practical books by thought leaders across a range of creative disciplines to help us navigate and succeed in an uncertain and rapidly evolving world.”

Currency will publish books on business, economics and finance, and individual, organizational, and societal transformation and growth, according to Publishers Weekly. The Crown Business imprint will be retired, and books currently under development there will appear under the Currency name. The first Currency titles are expected to be released this fall, including The Startup Way by Eric Ries.

In addition to leading the new imprint, Constable will maintain her existing responsibilities, with her title now senior vice president and publisher of Currency, Forum, Convergent, and Waterbrook Multnomah. Employees who will continue to report directly Constable include executive editor Mary Reynics and editor Derek Reed, who will now acquire titles for Currency in addition to maintaining their existing roles for the Crown Forum and Convergent imprints.

Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award Recipient Announced

Military historian and author Peter Paret has been named the 11th recipient of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.

The award from the Chicago-based military museum and library, which includes a gold medallion, citation, and $100,000 honorarium, recognizes the contributions of a living author for a body of work dedicated to enriching the understanding of military history and affairs.

Paret is a graduate of London University and a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater. Today, he is professor emeritus in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, a member of the American Philosophical Society, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the Leo Baeck Institute for German-Jewish History. He is also the author of 14 major publications, including Clausewitz and the State, Imagined Battles: Reflections of War in European Art, and An Artist Against the Third Reich.

Museum & Library Founder and Chair Jennifer N. Pritzker will formally present Paret with the award at the organization’s annual Liberty Gala on November 4 at the Hilton Chicago.