BTW News Briefs

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

Julia Cowlishaw has been named CEO of Vroman’s Bookstore and Book Soup, effective January 6, 2020. Cowlishaw previously worked as a bookseller and manager at Warwick’s Books & Stationery in La Jolla, California, and Shaman Drum Bookshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has also worked at Ingram in field sales and as director of national accounts. In addition, Cowlishaw was a board member of GLIBA and of the ABA Bookseller Advisory Council, and she currently serves on the board of Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc).

Shelf Awareness’s John Mutter interviewed incoming American Booksellers Association CEO Allison Hill for its December 16 issue. Hill discussed her decision to join ABA, as well as her thoughts on technology’s use for booksellers, the future of bookselling, and working with publishers.

The Trump administration suspended the slate of tariffs that were set to go into effect on December 15. The new tariffs, which cover all adult books printed in China with the exception of Bibles and religious books, would have affected products including a range of children’s books that had been excluded from the tariffs that began September 1. 

In anticipation of 2020 rate increases at FedEx and UPS, shipping company PartnerShip is offering a free white paper about the change that booksellers can download.

Rounding the corner to the holidays, Libro.fm is reminding booksellers in a blog post that audiobooks are a great “green” gift, because there is no shipping or packing involved. In addition, customers will create a smaller carbon footprint by buying Libro.fm audiobooks from their local bookstore.

According to the NPD Group, the bestselling book of the past decade in the U.S. was Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. The erotic novel sold 15.2 million copies from 2010 through 2019, NPD reported.

Pearson is selling its remaining 25 percent stake in Penguin Random House to Bertelsmann, as its CEO John Fallon prepares to retire next year. This makes Bertelsmann the sole owner of PRH.

Beginning January 1, 2020, Simon & Schuster will sell and distribute Manning Publications in the U.S. and Canada.

Meredith’s former Time Inc. Books imprint will now operate as TI Inc. Books. As of January 1, 2020, IPG will sell and distribute the full backlist catalog in North America. TI Inc. Books is best known for brands like People, Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle, Southern Living, and Real Simple.

Also starting January 1, IPG will begin distributing Océana Travesía, the imprint for Spanish-language children’s books published by Editorial Océano de Mexico. IPG began distributing Editorial Océano de Mexico in March 2014 and now distributes all of the publisher’s titles.

Ailen Lujo has joined Viz Media as director of publishing marketing, and Chantelle Sturt has joined the company as director of publicity and public relations. Lujo was formerly executive director of trade marketing at DC Comics.

At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Bridget Nocera has been promoted to publicist for culinary and lifestyle books.

Oprah Winfrey will receive Poets & Writers’ Leadership Award at the organization’s 50th anniversary gala on March 16. Said board chairman Susan Isaacs, “Perhaps more than any other individual, Oprah has elevated the position of books in our culture, lifting up writers and helping countless readers discover great books.”

PEN has announced the longlists for the PEN Literary Awards, which will award more than $330,000 to writers and translators whose winning works were published in 2019.

The longlist for the 2020 International Prize for Arabic Fiction has been announced. In contention for the $50,000 prize are 16 books by authors from nine countries. The shortlist will be announced February 4, and the winner will be honored at a ceremony on April 14.

Porchlight Book Co. (formerly 800-CEO-READ) has revealed the winners of the 2019 Business Book Awards.

Rebecca Makkai’s novel The Great Believers (Viking) was named the winner of the L.D. and LaVerne Harrell Clark Fiction Prize, which recognizes “an exceptional, recently-published book-length work of fiction in celebration of the Clarks’ lifelong contributions to, and love for, literature and the arts.”

Mystery Writers of America has announced the winners of three special Edgar Awards: Barbara Neely was named the 2020 Grand Master; Left Coast Crime will receive the 2020 Raven Award; and Kelley Ragland has won the Ellery Queen Award. The winners will be honored at the Edgar Awards banquet in New York City on April 30.

The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association’s (NAIBA) has chosen Wesley Sanders, storytime manager at Boogie Down Books in Bronx, New York, as the recipient of the association’s diversity scholarship. NAIBA will be covering Sanders’ registration, hotel cost, and travel expenses for the 2020 Winter Institute in Baltimore.

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