BTW News Briefs

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Canada’s Indigo Books Looks to Expand to U.S.

Indigo Books and Music, Canada’s largest bookstore chain, is eyeing an expansion into the U.S., company CEO Heather Reisman told Bloomberg Business. The company, which has developed a “cultural department store” model that offers consumers home decorating items, dinnerware, and personal technology, is set to unveil a new store model next year.

Though no timetable is set for Indigo’s international expansion, Reisman told Bloomberg that the chain’s growth would more likely be organic than through acquisitions.

At the end of last year, Indigo had 221 stores in Canada under brands including Indigo, Chapters, and Coles.

Macmillan Partners With BitLit on E-Book Bundling

This week, Macmillan became the latest publisher to sign an agreement with BitLit for e-book bundling, according to Digital Book World. The deal includes a combined total of close to 3,000 titles from Macmillan’s Tor science-fiction and fantasy imprint, and select titles from Farrar, Straus & Giroux and St. Martin’s Press.

BitLit allows consumers to use a photo of their physical bookshelves, a “shelfie,” to identify a list of books that are eligible for free or deeply discounted e-book editions. Readers can then download an e-book by using the app to snap a photo of their book’s copyright page marked with a bookplate, ex libris stamp, or their handwritten name.

Under the Macmillan deal, readers will be able to use the BitLit app to download e-books of their eligible print books for $2.99.

BitLit currently offers about 100,000 titles from 350 publishers, according to DBW. Its other major publishing partners include HarperCollins, Wiley, Elsevier, Baker Publishing Group, Andrews McMeel, and Verso Books.

Currently, only about 10 to 15 percent of titles in customer shelfies match titles from BitLit’s publishing partners, according to company founder and CEO Peter Hudson.

Lerner to Distribute Hutton Grove

Lerner Publisher Services, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, has signed an agreement to become the exclusive U.S. and Canadian distributor of Hutton Grove, beginning in August.

Lerner Publisher Services will distribute six new Hutton Grove picture books this fall in hardcover, paperback, and digital formats. 

Hutton Grove, which is based in London, is the new children’s books imprint from Kuperard Publishing.

Skyhorse Announces Promotions, Reorganization

This week, Tony Lyons, president and publisher of Skyhorse Publishing, announced the first phase of a company-wide reorganization that began last month with the hiring of Alex Merrill as the company’s first chief operations officer. Lyons said the reorganization was aimed at increasing publishing efficiencies from a book’s acquisition through distribution; establishing a stable, flexible platform for future growth; and fostering greater collaboration and synergy with Perseus Distribution and its sales force, among other goals.

Staff changes included the promotion of Julie Matysik to editorial director of children’s and educational publishing, a newly expanded role for managing editor Rodger Weinfeld, and the promotion of Sam Caggiula to director of publicity.