Thursday, January 03, 2013

Publishers Lunch

Prairie Lights Bookstore is teaming up with the University of Iowa Press to publish a handful of books annually, starting with Philip Levine's poetry collection SWEET WILL. The Iowa Press-Citizen reports Prairie Lights will act as the publisher, while UI Press will produce, design and distribute the books. Store co-owner Jan Weissmiller told the paper there aren't any strict guidelines on what will be published, but the work "will likely be fiction, poetry and literary non-fiction, rather than history or journalism."

The LA Times profiled recently-opened bookstore Bank of Books, Malibu, highlighting the "novel ways" the store attracts customers, including books and magazines catering to surfer crowds and a rare books section featuring a 1613 King James Bible (with a $48,500 asking price.) Owner Clarey Rudd opened the store in July, after opening stores in Oxnard and Ventura County in the mid-1990s.

Owner of M is for Mystery Bookstore Ed Kaufman, 82, died Dec. 20 at a Palo Alto Hospital from complications of kidney disease. Kaufman, a mergers & acquisitions lawyer in Los Angeles, opened the San Mateo mystery bookstore in 1996 and operated it until his retirement in 2011, after which the store closed. Kaufman was given a Raven Award for services to the mystery community by the Mystery Writers of America in 2013.

Former publisher of Perseus's Vanguard Press Roger Cooper is launching a publishing consulting firm, Roger Cooper Associates. He will be working with publishers and literary agents with ebook publishing programs to acquire digital content, and with business authors and companies to develop print and digital properties. He can be reached at

The Guardian ran their annual feature in which they survey a number of well-known UK editors to find out "the book that made my year," the one "I wished I had published (here the favorite was Zadie Smith's NW), and "the book that deserved to do better." Among those titles that editors think should have resonated more are:
Light of Amsterdam by David Park (Alexandra Pringle at Bloomsbury UK)
Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod (Robin Robertson at Jonathan Cape)
The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manu Joseph (Roland Philipps at John Murray)
The Heart Broke In by James Meek (Jamie Byng at Canongate)

The Guardian also profiled Christopher MacLehose on the occasion of MacLehose Press's fifth anniversary and the publisher's more than 45 years in the business. Of his time at Harvill when it was folded into Random House in 2002: "The promises of total editorial freedom – every one of them – were overlooked." But MacLehose has many more positive things to say about his company's breakout success with the Stieg Larsson trilogy after many other publishers had passed on the project: "A publisher should go where the books are, wherever that may be. The fact that Larsson is in translation has been completely overshadowed in readers' minds by the fact that it is something they want to read. Surely that's as it should be."

Penguin's June 20 suit against MacAdam/Cage for licensing ebook royalties to Susan Vreeland's GIRL IN HYACINTH BLUE despite not having the legal right to do so appears to be nearing an end. On November 9, New York Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla imposed a default judgment requiring MacAdam/Cage to pay the $22,000 owed to Penguin after months of not responding to the publisher's summons and failing to show up for appointed court dates. Penguin in turn submitted a proposed order on December 12 asking the court to award them an additional $550 in legal costs as well as "interest to be calculated by the Clerk at the statutory rate from May 8, 2012 through and including the date of entry of this judgment."

No comments: