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New Harry Potter Play to be Released in Print, E-Book Form

Pottermore, the global digital publisher of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, announced on Wednesday, February 10, that it will publish an original e-book edition of the official script book of the upcoming stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a new play by Jack Thorne written for the theatre, is the eighth Harry Potter story and the first to officially be presented on stage. The play, which is based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, will receive its world premiere in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre on July 30, 2016.

Pottermore will publish the Special Rehearsal Edition of the script e-book of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child simultaneously and in collaboration with the print publishers. The print editions will be published in the United Kingdom by Little, Brown Book Group and in the United States and Canada by Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books imprint. Both editions will be published at 12:01 a.m. on July 31, 2016.

Germany Fixes E-Book Prices to Protect Bricks-and-Mortar Stores

The German cabinet has agreed to expand to e-books a law that fixes book prices to both protect bricks-and-mortar stores from being priced out of the book market and ensure a wide array of publications continue to be available to the public, as reported by Reuters.

The law will apply to cross-border book sales to purchasers in Germany, regardless of where the seller is based, Culture Minister Monika Gruetters said in a statement. 

Germany’s highest court ruled last year that certain discounts offered by Amazon had breached the law.

Under the pricing law, which dates back to the late 1800s, German-language book publishers must determine a price for every title they sell. The law is meant to protect small bookstores from being undersold while allowing publishers to earn enough profit to afford publishing titles that are more niche-oriented but culturally valuable. 

Agate Publishing Launches Children’s Imprint with African American Focus

Agate Publishing is launching a line of books for children, under its Bolden Books imprint, which will publish fiction and nonfiction by African-American writers. The imprint, which will be curated by author Denene Millner, marks Evanston, Illinois-based Agate Publishing’s first foray into children’s literature.

Denene Millner Books will debut in February 2017 with the release of Early Sunday Morning, which will be written by Millner herself and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley. The imprint will aim to release four fiction and nonfiction titles annually, ranging from picture books to YA novels. Millner, an established children’s author, will be in charge of acquisitions and editing and will partner with Agate’s marketing and publicity team on strategy.

“This [line] is a love letter to children of color who deserve to see their beauty and humanity in the most remarkable form of entertainment on the planet: books,” said Millner, who is also the founding editor of parenting blog MyBrownBaby. Millner said the books will share the experience of being a child “from the perspectives of African-American children.”

National Book Foundation Appoints Lisa Lucas Executive Director

Lisa Lucas has been appointed executive director of the National Book Foundation, the NBF Board of Directors announced on Wednesday, February 10.

Starting March 14, Lucas will succeed Harold Augenbraum as the third executive director in the foundation’s history. She joins the NBF after serving as publisher of online writing magazine Guernica and prior to that, as the director of education at the Tribeca Film Institute.

“I am gratified to have this opportunity to lead such an important institution in support of books, writers, and readers from all walks of life,” said Lucas. “The foundation has made major strides in recent years, and I am looking forward to building on the great work that has been done by the Board of Directors, Harold Augenbraum, and the foundation’s staff.”

Ingram Names New COO for VitalSource

Pep Carrera has been named Ingram Content Group’s new chief operating officer for VitalSource Technologies, Ingram’s educational platform company.

Carrera will transition into his new role from his current position as chief information officer at Ingram, while Kent Freeman, currently VitalSource’s COO, will move into the newly created position of chief strategy and development officer at Ingram Content Group.

As VitalSource’s COO, Carrera, who joined Ingram Content Group in 2012, will relocate to Raleigh, North Carolina, where he will lead the teams based in VitalSource’s offices in Raleigh, Boston, and the United Kingdom.

NAACP Image Award Winners in Literature Announced

The winners of the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards were announced on Friday, February 5. Awards were presented in the categories of movies, television, music, and literature.

The winning books, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter, were:

  • Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murrary (Touchstone) for Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction)
  • Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by Pamela Newkirk (HarperCollins/Amistad) for Outstanding Literary Work (Nonfiction)
  • The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (Little, Brown & Company) for Outstanding Literary Work (Debut Author)
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau) for Outstanding Literary Work (Biography/ Autobiography)
  • Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams (Clarkson Potter) for Outstanding Literary Work (Instructional)
  • How to Be Drawn by Terrance Hayes (Penguin Books / Penguin Random House) for Outstanding Literary Work (Poetry)
  • Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America, by Carole Boston Weatherford (Author), Jamey Christoph (Illustrator) (Albert Whitman & Company) for Outstanding Literary Work (Children)
  • X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon (Candlewick Press) for Outstanding Literary Work (Youth/Teens)

The nominees in all categories are listed here.

Audio Publishers Association Announces Audie Award Finalists

The Audio Publishers Association (APA) has announced the finalists for the 21st Annual Audie Awards, which recognize distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment.

Finalists are selected in 25 categories by a diverse group of judges, and three new awards have been added for 2016: Industry Awards for Excellence in Design, Marketing, and Production. Finalists for these new categories and for Audiobook of the Year will be announced in March.

All winners will be announced at the Audie Awards Gala on May 11 in Chicago in conjunction with BookExpo America.

To see a list of all finalists, visit The Audies website