BTW News Briefs

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Here’s what’s happening this week in the book industry:

Independent Publishers Group (IPG) has announced a series of promotions as well as an expansion of its marketing and publicity services. This includes the promotion of Cynthia Sherry to group publisher of IPG’s in-house publishers, Chicago Review Press, and Triumph Books, and Noah Amstadter to publisher of Triumph Books.

Independent publishing company Rowman & Littlefield has acquired the 12 imprints of Finney Company, a 73-year-old publisher based outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Finney’s nearly 400 nonfiction titles focus on career and technical education, early tools and trades, outdoor recreation and the environment, and more.

Mark Smith, founder and former CEO of Bonnier Zaffre and co-founder of Quercus Books, and former Quarto CEO Marcus Leaver have formed a new U.K.-based company, Welbeck Publishing Group. Welbeck, which will be headquartered in London and maintain a “global outlook,” has since acquired U.K. publisher Carlton Books.

Trigger Publishing is launching Upside Down Books, a children’s mental health and wellbeing imprint. The inaugural list will include fiction and nonfiction picture books, activity books, and middle-grade titles that focus on promoting positivity, emotional intelligence, and wellness.

In the fifth installment of his Patterson Partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs, bestselling author James Patterson has pledged $1.25 million in individual grants of $250 to 4,000 teachers across the country to devote to their classroom libraries. The grants will be matched by 250 Bonus Points from Scholastic Book Clubs.

Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden has appointed Karyn A. Temple as Register of Copyrights and the Director of the U.S. Copyright Office. Temple has served as acting registrar since 2016.

Digital audiobook company now offers booklovers around 2,000 Spanish-language audiobooks to choose from in a variety of genres. Readers can browse the inventory and view’s recommendations here.

A group of around 30 booksellers, authors, and publishers will participate in the first Bookstore Romance Day on August 17. The event will be a “soft launch” for what organizers hope will become an annual celebration of romance books at bookstores across the country. Billie Bloebaum of Third Street Books in McMinnville, Oregon, first proposed the idea, which is modeled after Independent Bookstore Day.

Book printer and manufacturer Thomson-Shore will be acquired by Minnesota-based CJK Group. The Michigan-based company founded in 1972 recently filed for bankruptcy.

Penguin Random House Publisher Services will sell and distribute all frontlist and backlist titles of Blue Star Press across sales channels worldwide, effective in September. Founded in 2015 in Bend, Oregon, Blue Star focuses on creative how-to, lifestyle, and wellness titles.

Scholastic has acquired majority ownership of Make Believe Ideas Limited (MBI), the U.K.-based children’s book publisher founded by Jo Bicknell in 2004. Bicknell will retain a stake in the company, remain on the board, and stay on as CEO.

Macmillan has announced several promotions in its sales department: Brian McSharry has been promoted to vice president of sales operations; Andie Anderson, to senior client operations and account manager; Jaime Bode, to national accounts manager; and Vanessa Torres, to assistant client account manager. In addition, Eunice Pak has been promoted to national accounts sales coordinator; Kristen Bonanno, to national accounts sales coordinator; Emily Day, to library marketing coordinator, specializing in YA; and Jake Swirsky, to sales coordinator.

Faye Bi has become publicity director at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, after serving as publicity manager at Holiday House.

At Workman, Emily Weldon has been promoted to associate publicist.

To help readers celebrate the 100th Children’s Book Week, Every Child a Reader has introduced a brand-new activity kit with content created by illustrators from the world of comics and graphic novels, including Jed Alexander, Morgan Clement, and Chad Sell. The kit is available for download at

The New York Times/PBS NewsHour Book Club pick for April is Emily Chang’s Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley (Portfolio).

Hosted by We Need Diverse Books and the Library of Congress, the 2019 Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature ceremony took place on Friday, March 29. Winners included Elizabeth Acevedo for The Poet X (Teen category) and Jewell Parker Rhodes for Ghost Boys (Younger Readers category), among others.

Bart Moeyaert has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children’s literature. The Flemish author’s body of work includes more than 50 titles, ranging from picture books and YA novels to poetry, which have been translated in more than 20 countries.

The shortlist for the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize has been announced. The £30,000 prize is awarded to the best published literary work in the English language written by an author aged 39 or under. The winner will be announced on May 16.

The shortlist for the 2019 Hugo Awards has been revealed, along with finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) Award for Best Young Adult Book, and the 1944 Retrospective Hugo Award. Voting on the final ballot by members of the 2018 and 2019 World Science Fiction Conventions will open later this month.

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