BTW News Briefs [4]

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

In the December 23 article “Bottleneck at Printers Has Derailed Some Holiday Book Sales,” the New York Times [5] reported that printing presses struggled to keep up with high demand for books during the holiday sales season, creating delays that led to stock shortages for some of the year’s most popular titles.

Book sales are up this year over last year, and physical books are thriving,” according to a December 28 article from Quartz [6]. “We are buying books — especially the kind with physical pages — and we’re doing so, increasingly, in well-loved indie bookstores,” wrote reporter Natasha Frost.

Forbes ran an article on “How to Open an Independent Bookstore [7].”

PartnerShip, an ABA business affinity partner [8], has released a white paper with information for businesses about FedEx and UPS’ 2019 average rate increase of 4.9 percent [9]. The paper evaluates where the new rates are the highest and breaks down major changes for this year.

Publishers Weekly has selected multiple winners for its 2018 Person of the Year contest, although usually only one is selected. Those chosen [10] are the publishers of the top-selling Donald Trump-related titles as of mid-November 2018.

On Facebook, as has become tradition, Barack Obama posted a list on December 28 of his favorite books, movies, and music in 2018 [11]. Among others, the former president’s book choices included the year’s top seller, Becoming by Michelle Obama (Crown), as well as Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (S&S), Florida by Lauren Groff (Riverhead), Educated by Tara Westover (Random House), and There There by Tommy Orange (Knopf). The latter two were Indie Next List number-one picks for 2018.

Abrams began handling all sales and distribution for The Overlook Press [12] as of January 1, 2019. W.W. Norton and Penguin Random House Canada will continue to accept returns in the U.S. and Canada, respectively, until March 31.

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) is collaborating with Sourcebooks and the Denver Publishing Institute to offer a new scholarship [13] to a bookseller who is interested in transitioning to a career in publishing. The scholarship for the four-week summer program in Denver, Colorado, will include funds for tuition, room and board, and up to $2,000 to cover travel and lost wages. Applications are due February 27, 2019.

At McGraw-Hill, Mike Evans has been named chief financial officer, effective January 1, 2019 [14], where he will report to President and CEO Nana Banerjee. Previously, Evans was COO and CFO at Renaissance, which specializes in pre-K–12 learning analytics, and CFO at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, which offers higher education enrollment solutions.

At Sourcebooks, Chris Bauerle has been promoted [15] to vice president and director of sales and marketing after 10 years working at the publisher. He was previously Sourcebooks’ director of sales and marketing.

At Candlewick Press, former senior editors Katie Cunningham and Kate Fletcher were promoted [16] to executive editor positions.

Heart: A History [17]by Sandeep Jauhar (FSG) is the January pick for the PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club. This book, by the bestselling author of Intern and Doctored, explores the public and personal history of the human heart, and tells the story of the doctors whose work led to what we know today about the body’s most vital organ.

Share your news in BTW News Briefs! Publishers and industry partners are welcome to e-mail [18] with news about awards, imprint launches, distribution changes, staff promotions, and more.