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Como Sales Rep Maureen Karb Wins NEIBA’s 2017 Gilman Award

The New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA) has named Maureen Karb of Como Sales the 2017 Gilman Award Winner for outstanding service as a sales representative to New England independent bookstores.

Karb’s first job was at Simon & Schuster, where she eventually became a field sales rep in the New York area. She then worked at Workman Publishing for several years before taking a job at Barefoot Books in Cambridge. Karb has been with Como Sales for the past five years; in 2014, she got the chance to purchase the company “and bring it back to its roots as an independent rep group,” according to NEIBA.

Karb lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, with her family.

PW Star Watch Honorees Announced

Publishers Weekly has announced the top 45 honorees for the 2017 PW Star Watch award, which identifies and celebrates gifted young members of the bookselling and publishing industries.

Honorees were chosen from more than 200 nominations; five finalists will be named in the September 4 issue of Publishers Weekly, and one “Superstar” will be announced at the annual PW Star Watch Celebration in New York on September 6.

The PW Star Watch award was founded in 2015 in partnership with the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Superstar will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the fair this October and an all-access pass to the Frankfurt Book Fair Business Club.

ABA member booksellers on this year’s list are Diane Capriola, owner of Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia; Cindy Dach, co-owner of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe and Phoenix, Arizona; Suzanna Hermans, co-owner of Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck and Millerton, New York; Kate Layte, owner of Papercuts J.P. in Boston; and Andy Perham, director of operations at Books Inc. in San Francisco.

See the full list of honorees on the Publishers Weekly website.

Quarto Group Receives Offer to Buy Company

The Quarto Group, a London-based illustrated book publisher, has received an offer to acquire the company, reported Digital Look, a U.K.-based financial news outlet.

The board of Quarto considers the offer “reflective of the inherent value of the business as a global publishing platform,” according to Digital Look; Quarto has not identified the interested party.

The offer comes amidst a drop in Quarto’s revenues from $58 million to $50 million, with pre-tax losses increasing to $9.2 million from $1.9 million in the same period last year. Quarto chief executive Marcus Leaver said the company has been seeing lower initial orders and reprints from some of their larger customers, with most adult imprints performing below expectations.

Quarto has 11 offices, including in London, Brighton, Bristol, New York City, Hong Kong, and Sydney, and sells books in 47 countries in 39 languages.

According to Digital Look, Quarto shares jumped 18.49 percent after Tuesday’s announcement.

NYU Contracts with Follett to Operate University Bookstore

New York University (NYU) has contracted with Follett Higher Education to operate the NYU Bookstore as a part of the university’s ongoing affordability initiative, NYU announced August 2.

According to NYU, Follett, now the largest campus store operator in North America, estimates that students will save an estimated $2 million due to this change, with the average student saving 15–70 percent off textbooks, compared to the average market price of a new textbook.

Other affordability measures in the new contract include a price-matching program and a greater number of buyback opportunities for students; establishing a new $100,000 annual textbook scholarship program for NYU students; and the ability for students to take advantage of Follett’s digital academic tools and programs.

Follett manages more than 1,250 campus bookstores and 1,600 eFollett online stores nationwide. According to the university, no NYU bookstore employees were left without an employment offer as a result of the new arrangement.