BTW News Briefs

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

On Monday, The New York Times published an article by reporter David Streitfeld that claims that fake and illegitimate books proliferate on Amazon, such as versions of George Orwell’s 1984, that distort authors’ words and compete with legal titles from publishers. Streitfeld previously wrote about the topic in June. In response, Amazon issued a lengthy statement stating it prohibits counterfeit products and identifying the salient issue as “differing copyright timing between countries.”

The attorneys general of more than a dozen states are preparing to launch an antitrust investigation of the major technology companies, primarily Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple. The Justice Department had announced in July it would be reviewing whether these platforms are engaging in antitrust practices; that investigation is being coordinated with the Federal Trade Commission’s probe of the four companies on the same grounds.

Arcadia Publishing, based in Charleston, South Carolina, has completed its acquisition of the majority of the assets of Pelican Publishing. First announced in April, the deal adds about 2,000 titles to Arcadia’s list. Six Pelican employees have joined Arcadia but will remain in New Orleans.

Also at Arcadia Publishing, director of national sales and marketing Kate Everingham is transitioning away from her full-time role at the company but will still be available to assist as a consultant. In addition, Amy Kaneko will join the company on September 3 as director of national sales and marketing; Kaneko most recently worked at Weldon Owen and Insight Editions.

Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing will partner with investigative journalist Dylan Howard to establish a new true crime imprint, Front Page Detective; Skyhorse will publish books in physical editions, and Start Publishing will release the e-edition. Their first title will be Diana: Case Solved, out September 17.

Travel guide book publisher Lonely Planet has announced a new partnership with Hachette Book Group (HBG) to outsource its U.S. & LATAM warehousing, distribution, sales and customer service starting March 2020. The company’s Oakland warehouse operations will be moved to Hachette’s facility in Lebanon, Indiana. This partnership also means that HBG will be distributing nearly half of all U.S. travel guides.

In a Facebook post, President Barack Obama released his summer reading list with a selection of books he’s been reading, which included, among other titles, the collected works of the late Toni Morrison and two Indie Next List number-one picks: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday) and Maid by Stephanie Land (Hachette).

Mary C. Francis will become director of the University of Pennsylvania Press, effective September 23. Previously, she served as editorial director at the University of Michigan Press/Michigan Publishing and executive editor at University of California Press. She is also on the board of directors of the Association of University Presses.

At Knopf, Abby Endler was promoted to publicist from associate publicist.

At Chronicle Books, Christina Amini is being promoted to executive publishing director for adult trade, and Rebecca Hunt is being promoted to editorial director for entertainment.

Kirkus Reviews has announced the list of judges for the sixth annual Kirkus Prize, which will award $50,000 in each of three categories (fiction, nonfiction, and young readers’ literature) on October 24. This year’s judges include two booksellers from ABA member stores: fiction judge Michelle Malonz, a buyer at Changing Hands Bookstore in Arizona, and nonfiction judge Aaron John Curtis of Books & Books, who serves as the Florida stores’ “Quartermaster.”

Tommy Orange, author of June 2018 Indie Next List number-one pick There There (Knopf), was named one of the winners of the 2019 American Book Award, which is administered by the Before Columbus Foundation and was created “to provide recognition for outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s diverse literary community.”

The 2019 Hugo Awards were presented at the 77th World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, Ireland. Among other awards, The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor) won for best novel, and Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Holt/Macmillan Children’s Books) won the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book.

Author Jennifer Egan will receive the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association’s (NAIBA) 2019 Legacy Award, which recognizes “individuals whose body of work contributed significantly to the realm of American arts and letters.”

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.