BTW News Briefs [6]

#PubforPR Auction Runs Until Thursday

The Publishers for Puerto Rico auction [7] to raise money for organizations helping the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria will run until Thursday, October 5, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

The auction, which began Monday, October 2, features 315 literary prizes donated by authors, editors, illustrators, and literary agents, some of whom have direct ties to Puerto Rico. The money will go directly to Unidos por Puerto Rico [8] and ConPRmetidos [9], two local charity organizations.

For more information about the auction and to read more about the items available, which include signed book bundles, personalized artwork, one-on-one conversations with editors or agents, and more, visit the auction blog [7].

Amazon Ordered by EC to Pay 250 Million Euros in Back Taxes

The European Commission has ordered Amazon to pay €250 million in back taxes, plus interest, after judging that the tax benefits it received in Luxembourg were illegal under EU state aid rules, The Bookseller [10] reported Wednesday.

The Commission’s decision was based on the findings of an in-depth investigation that launched in October 2014. Luxembourg’s 2003 tax ruling had allowed Amazon to shift most of its profits from an Amazon group company subject to tax in Luxembourg (Amazon EU) to a company that is not subject to tax (Amazon Europe Holding Technologies).

Amazon’s tax benefits in Luxembourg resulted in a reduction of the company’s tax bill over eight years, from May 2006 to June 2014. According to The Bookseller, the EC member in charge of competition, Margarethe Vestager, reported that due to the original ruling, almost three quarters of Amazon’s profits were not taxed.

Amazon has four months to repay the amount. An Amazon spokesperson commented on the EC’s decision: “We believe that Amazon did not receive any special treatment from Luxembourg and that we paid tax in full accordance with both Luxembourg and international tax law. We will study the Commission’s ruling and consider our legal options, including an appeal.”

Baker & Taylor Forms Distribution Group

Baker & Taylor (B&T) has launched Baker & Taylor Publisher Services (BTPS), a new publisher services business that will offer distribution and more to children’s, trade, K‐12, higher education, and academic publishers, B&T has announced [11].

BTPS will use the assets of Bookmasters, the distribution and printing business Follett Corporation acquired along with B&T in April 2016. To direct the new division, the company has hired Mark Suchomel, who most recently served as president of client services for the distribution arm of the Perseus Books Group, as senior vice president of sales and client services, while Bookmasters’ Ken Fultz has been promoted to senior vice president of operations.

While the Bookmasters name will no longer be used in relationship to B&T’s distribution business, it will now house B&T’s printing and manufacturing businesses, which Fultz will continue to oversee.

Penguin Random House Acquires Sasquatch Books

Penguin Random House has acquired independent publisher Sasquatch Books, a longtime distribution client of Penguin Random House Publisher Services (PRHPS), PRHPS president Jeff Abraham announced Wednesday.

According to PRH, the Seattle-based publisher had its best year ever in 2016. Sasquatch publishes books on nature, travel, gardening, lifestyle, children’s publishing, food, and wine; among its bestselling titles are The Encyclopedia of Country Living; The 52 Lists Project; and Dead Feminists.

Sasquatch Books will continue to operate as a PRHPS distribution client and will report to Abraham effective immediately. No staff or location changes are planned, and Sasquatch will retain its editorial and operational independence. Financial terms of the deal, which was completed late last month, were not disclosed.

S&S Signs Sales and Distribution Agreement With Oni Press

Simon & Schuster has entered into a worldwide sales and distribution agreement with Oni Press, a comic book and graphic novel publisher based in Portland, Oregon, S&S announced.

Oni’s original comic book series include Scott Pilgrim, Princess Princess Ever After, Lucky Penny, Courtney Crumrin, The Sixth Gun, Stumptown, Wet Moon, Letter 44, The Coldest City, and Kaijumax. The company also publishes comic books and graphic novels based on Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty and Nickelodeon’s Invader ZIM.

The new agreement takes effect March 1, 2018.

DK to Sell Rough Guides to APA

Dorling Kindersley (DK), an imprint of Penguin Random House, has agreed to sell travel publisher Rough Guides to APA Publications for an undisclosed amount of money, The Bookseller reported [12].

Founded in 1981, Rough Guides today publishes guidebooks on more than 120 worldwide destinations and dictionary phrasebooks for 18 languages. APA is the publisher of Insight Guides and Berlitz and has over 700 publications for the global traveler, as well as licensing agreements covering 20 territories.

Agnieszka Mizak became APA’s managing director on July 1, reporting to CEO René Frey. According to a statement from Penguin Random House, DK will begin consultation with the 30 staff who work on Rough Guides once the move is complete. DK also confirmed that publishing director for travel Georgina Dee will remain at the company.

Personnel Changes at NetGalley Announced

Lindsey Lochner has been promoted to vice president of marketing engagement at NetGalley, where she will be responsible for all marketing and advertising services for NetGalley and Bookish.com, Publishers Lunch [13] reported.

Tarah Theoret has been promoted to NetGalley’s director of community engagement, where she will manage the reader communities for NetGalley.com and Bookish.com. In addition, Kristina Radke has been promoted to vice president of business growth and engagement, and will oversee all publisher acquisition and management for the NetGalley platform in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. She will also oversee partner relationships in Germany, France, and Japan.

Follett Starting School Book Fair Business

Follett Corporation will be entering the school book fair market, the company announced Monday [14].

The Follett Book Fairs launch begins for the 2017–2018 school year on a regional basis, and will expand throughout the country the following year.

According to Follett, the move will allow the company to “maximize its existing partnerships with thousands of publishers to offer a vast selection of books for early education, elementary, and middle school students” and “will provide schools the opportunity to be involved with the selection of product.”

Trevor Noah Wins Thurber Prize for Born a Crime

Trevor Noah has won the 2017 Thurber Prize for American Humor [15] for his memoir, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau).

Named for humorist James Thurber, the Thurber Prize honors the best book of humor writing published in 2016. Noah, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, was presented with the award on October 2 at Carolines of Broadway.

The runners-up for the Thurber Prize, administered by Thurber House, are Ken Pisani for Amp’d: A Novel (St. Martin’s Press) and Aaron Thier for Mr. Eternity (Bloomsbury USA).

2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winners Announced

Two winners have been announced for the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize [16], which celebrates the power of literature to promote peace, social justice, and global understanding.

The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel (Grove Press) is the winner for fiction and What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars by David Wood (Little, Brown) won for nonfiction. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf) was named runner-up for fiction, while City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World’s Largest Refugee Camp by Ben Rawlence (Picador) was named the nonfiction runner-up.

Inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize is the only international literary peace prize awarded in the United States. This year’s winners will be honored at a ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on November 5. Winners will receive a $10,000 honorarium and runners-up will receive $2,500.

Roy Schonfeld Wins Voice of the Heartland Award

Roy Schonfeld of Abraham Associates has won the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and Midwest Independent Booksellers Association’s Voice of the Heartland Award [17], Abraham Associates announced.

The award is given each year to “outstanding individuals who uphold the value of independent bookselling and who have made a significant contribution to bookselling in the Midwest.”

Schonfeld, who has previously worked as a bookseller and a book buyer, will retire from Abraham Associates, a publisher services company, at the end of the year. He was, according to the associations, “one of Stu Abraham’s first hires when he started Abraham & Associates in 1992 and has served on the board of the GLIBA and contributes to the Heartland Fall Forum educational program.”

Schonfeld will receive the award during the book awards dinner on October 11 at the Heartland Fall Forum.

Children’s Literature Association Announces 2018 Phoenix Award Winner

Elizabeth Partridge, author of Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange (Viking, 1998), has been named the winner of the 2018 Phoenix Award [18], presented to the author of a book for children published originally in English that did not win a major award at the time of its publication years earlier.

The winner was announced at the 2017 Children’s Literature Association’s (ChLA) Conference. Partridge will accept her award at the 2018 ChLA Conference, taking place at Texas State University from June 28–30, 2018.