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Baker & Taylor in Strategic Partnership With Bookmasters

Baker & Taylor has entered into a new partnership with publishing services provider Bookmasters, Inc.

B&T announced on Thursday that the partnership would expand its portfolio of value-added services to include print-on-demand and short run digital printing; offset printing and binding services; e-book conversion and distribution; editorial, marketing, and book sales services; and publisher distribution and third-party fulfillment. Bookmasters will leverage B&T’s relationships with domestic and international publishers.

“Baker & Taylor is excited to offer our publishing partners the unique benefits and value of Bookmasters’ suite of services,” said David Cully, president of retail markets and executive vice president of merchandising for Baker & Taylor. “The book industry is going through periods of unprecedented change with the migration to digital. We see remarkable opportunities for the entire publishing supply chain to reduce costs while improving service levels to customers,”

The companies, both independently owned by investment funds of Castle Harlan, Inc., a New York based private equity investment firm, will operate under a commercial contract.

Colin Bettam Named Chief Marketing Officer at Kobo

Former LG Electronics marketing vice president Colin Bettam has been appointed chief marketing officer at Kobo. With more than 20 years of marketing experience, Bettam will continue to initiate Kobo’s specials and promotions and will be working to build and expand Kobo’s brand internationally (with India, Russia, and the Philippines coming this year). Bettam comes from the marketing team that worked on the “Life’s Good” brand of electronics.

National Book Foundation Elects New Board Members

The National Book Foundation has elected three new board members: Annette Gordon-Reed, winner of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize; Anthony Marx, president and CEO of the New York Public Library; and Deborah Needleman, editor-in-chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Each new board member will serve a three-year term, which can be renewed twice.

The National Book Foundation is looking to broaden the reach of the National Book Awards and will be expanding the pool of judges for the awards, adding a long-list to the process, and announcing the finalists on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Leadership Changes at Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble’s Board of Directors announced several key leadership changes Monday, including the resignation of CEO William Lynch.

Michael Huseby has been appointed CEO of NOOK Media LLC and president of Barnes & Noble Inc.; Vice President and Corporate Controller Allen Lindstrom has been promoted to CFO of Barnes & Noble Inc.; and Vice President of Corporate Development Kanuj Malhotra has been promoted to CFO of NOOK Media LLC.

Executive Chairman Len Riggio noted that the company is in the process of reviewing its current strategic plan and will provide an update when appropriate.

Amazon Launches Jet City Comics Imprint

Amazon Publishing has launched a new imprint, Jet City Comics. The imprint will publish comics from the likes of George R.R. Martin, Hugh Howey, and Neal Stephenson in both digital editions for the Kindle and print editions to be sold through Amazon and comics retailers.

Other Amazon imprints are 47North, AmazonCrossing, AmazonEncore, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer, Little A, Day One, Two Lions, and Skyscape.

2013 SIBA Book Award Winners Announced

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance has announced the winners of the 2013 SIBA Book Awards, as chosen by independent booksellers in the Southern region:

  • Children’s: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • Cooking: The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook, by Cheryl and Griffith Day (Artisan)
  • Fiction: A Land More Kind Than Home, by Wiley Cash (William Morrow)
  • Nonfiction: Stand Up That Mountain, by Jay Erskine Leutze (Scribner Book Company)
  • Poetry: Descent, by Kathryn Stripling Byer (Louisiana State University Press)
  • Young Adult: Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage (Dial Books for Young Readers)

Midwest Booksellers Choice Award Winners Revealed

Five authors been awarded the Midwest Bookseller’s Choice Awards, as voted on by booksellers in the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association’s region. The award winners, who will be celebrated at the book awards luncheon at the Heartland Fall Forum in October, are:

  • Fiction: Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books)
  • Nonfiction: Visiting Tom, by Michael Perry (HarperCollins)
  • Poetry: A Thousand Mornings, by Mary Oliver (Penguin Press)
  • Children’s Literature (YA and middle grade): Keeping Safe the Stars, by Sheila O’Connor (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)
  • Children’s Picture Books: Otis and the Puppy, written and illustrated by Loren Long (Philomel)