BTW News Briefs

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

Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, died at the age of 88 on Monday night in New York, her publisher, Knopf, confirmed Tuesday. She was the beloved author of major literary works on the black experience in America, including Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, and Sula.

The sale of major book chain Barnes & Noble to private equity firm Elliott Advisors has been completed. The deal was first announced on June 7 and was followed by reports of a possbile competing bid from Readerlink, which never materialized. Elliott Advisors, which own Waterstones in the U.K., paiid $6.50 per share in a deal valued at $683 million; Waterstones head James Daunt will relocate to New York to run both the U.K. bookstore chain and B&N. 

President Donald Trump announced on August 1 that the U.S. will add a 10 percent tariff next month to an additional $300 billion in goods imported from China, which would include printed books. This week, China retaliated by allowing its currency to weaken, causing stocks to fall. Trump had threatened a 25 percent tariff on books and other goods from China a month ago, but backed off after a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Representatives from the publishing and bookselling industries, including ABA President Jamie Fiocco, testified in June before the Office of U.S. Trade Representatives in opposition to the tariffs.
 
Madeline Miller’s #1 New York Times bestselling novel and Indies Choice Book of the Year Award-winner Circe will become an HBO series. The series will be produced by Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content, and written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver.
 
Harper Focus, a separate imprint within Harper Christian in Nashville, is launching a new nonfiction imprint, Harper Horizon. Debuting in spring 2020, Harper Horizon will focus on titles that “encourage readers to live life by embracing values such as: integrity, optimism, patriotism, family-values, community, respect, sacrifice, creativity, hard work, wisdom, and inspiration.”
 
Dufour Editions will transfer all of its distribution operations to the Casemate Group on October 1. Returns will be accepted until December 31. Dufour Editions will continue to publish under its own imprint, with global distribution to be handled by Casemate.
 
Simon & Schuster U.K. has appointed Clare Hey to the position of publishing director, fiction, adult publishing, beginning November 4. Hey is currently publishing director for Orion Fiction.
 
Leslie Davisson is joining the Simon & Schuster special markets sales team as national accounts manager. She was most recently sales and marketing director at Pomegranate Communications.
 
Caroline Payne has been promoted to marketing coordinator at Dutton.
 
Lui Simpson has been promoted to the position of senior vice president of global policy at the Association of American Publishers (AAP).
 
Lauren Monaco has been promoted to senior vice president and group sales director for Penguin Publishing Group for Penguin Random House Sales, and Carrie Swetonic was promoted to the newly created position of senior executive director of nonfiction backlist for Penguin Publishing Group.
 
The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) has chosen Jarrod Annis, manager of Greenlight Bookstore’s Fort Greene, Brooklyn, location, as the association’s 2019 Joe Drabyak Handseller of the Year. The award recognizes booksellers who find “the right books for their community as well as the right book for each person who walks in the door.”
 
Jessica Martinez has won the 2019 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. Sponsored by Sisters in Crime, the $2,000 grant is given annually to an emerging writer of color who has not yet published a full-length work.
 
Share your news in BTW News Briefs! Publishers and industry partners are welcome to e-mail editorial@bookweb.org with news about awards, imprint launches, distribution changes, staff promotions, and more.