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CBC and WNDB Partner on Internship Program

The Children’s Book Council (CBC) and We Need Diverse Books™ (WNDB) have formed a partnership to provide educational programming and resources for students selected for the WNDB Internship Program, which is launching this summer. In an announcement on Tuesday, the groups said that the program aims to open up the children’s book publishing industry to talented job-seekers from diverse backgrounds and provide them with an opportunity to learn through professional guidance and hands-on experience.

Among the opportunities offered by CBC to WNDB publishing interns will be:

  • Exclusive educational opportunities, including a luncheon with the CBC Diversity Committee, comprised of children’s book editors and publicists at top publishing houses
  • Inclusion in the CBC Early Career Committee‘s summer event, connecting the interns with publishing staffers in their first five years in the industry
  • An invitation to a CBC Forum, a CBC-member event which provides information and discussion on current publishing trends and issues
  • An invitation to a CBC Diversity Panel, a CBC-member opportunity that brings together voices within and outside of children’s publishing to communicate the challenges they face in selling and promoting diverse books, and to work together to develop solutions
  • Tip sheets for getting jobs in the publishing industry and making the most of their internships

For additional information, visit the CBC website.

GLIBA, MIBA Bestseller Lists Debut

Congratulations to the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, which this week debuted separate Indie Bestseller Lists. Sales reporting from stores in each region was previously combined to create the Heartland Bestseller List.

The Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association Bestseller List and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association Bestseller List are possible thanks to the increasing number of stores in each region reporting their weekly sales.

Shortlists Announced for 2015 PEN Literary Awards

On Thursday, April 16, PEN American Center announced the shortlists for the 2015 PEN Literary Awards. The longlists, announced in March, have been narrowed down to five titles in each category, including fiction, nonfiction, biography, essays, translation, and more.

The winners of the awards will be announced on May 13 with the exception of the Debut Fiction, Art of the Essay, and Open Book awards, which will be announced at PEN’s Literary Awards Ceremony on June 8 at The New School in New York City.

SIBA Book Award Finalists Announced

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has announced the finalists for its 2015 SIBA Book Award.

The list of finalists, released on Monday, April 13, features 21 books that represent Southern indie booksellers’ favorite hand-sells of the year in fiction, nonfiction, children’s, young adult, and cooking.

The finalists, which showcase a broad range of Southern styles and settings, include A Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (William Morrow), Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books), and Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story by Rick Bragg (Harper).

ALA Releases List of Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2014

In its annual report on the state of libraries in America, the American Library Association noted that its Office for Intellectual Freedom had received 311 reports of attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves in 2014.

The State of America’s Libraries Report,  which ALA released this week, also revealed the 2014 Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, which reflect diverse authors and cultural content.

The 2014 list was topped by The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, which was challenged for being “anti-family,” “sexually explicit,” and “unsuited for age group,” as well as for “cultural insensitivity” and including drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, violence, and “depictions of bullying.”

The ALA defines a challenge as “a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness. ”

Wendy Sheanin Promoted to Vice President/Director of Marketing at Simon & Schuster

Wendy Sheanin has been promoted to vice president, director of marketing for Simon & Schuster. Sheanin has been responsible for S&S’s retail marketing efforts since joining the company in 2007.

“Wendy rises to every challenge, seizes opportunities, and represents Simon & Schuster in the best possible way,” said the announcement from S&S Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer Liz Perl.

Sheanin, a former events manager at San Francisco’s A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, has been instrumental in the company’s outreach to independent booksellers and to S&S’s success in garnering Indie Next Picks — 29 Picks in 2014, including two #1 selections, Perl said.

Sheanin also plays a key role in organizing and executing S&S’s presence at BookExpo America, the regional trade shows, and ABA’s Winter Institute as well as the company’s participation in Independent Bookstore Day and Indies First. She also oversees S&S’s Book Club outreach, including the “Something to Read About” newsletter, website, and catalogs, and is a key player in the company’s relationship with Edelweiss.

New Zealand Booksellers and Retailers Launch eFairness Campaign

Retail NZ and Booksellers NZ have announced the launch of an #eFairnessNZ campaign, starting this month. The campaign is encouraging New Zealand booksellers to urge the government to close the current loophole in collecting GST (goods and services tax).

Currently, people are not required to pay GST or duty on low-value purchases (goods less than $400 in value) when they buy from foreign websites, a regulation that Retail NZ and Booksellers NZ say discriminates against New Zealand retailers.

The groups have taken the position that the New Zealand Parliament should make GST a universal tax by requiring all retailers — whether they operate online, in bricks-and-mortar stores, or a combination — to collect sales tax, and are encouraging booksellers to write to their local representatives.