IPG Signs New Distribution Agreement With Albert Whitman

Independent Publishers Group (IPG) has signed an exclusive North American sales and distribution agreement with Chicago-based children’s publisher Albert Whitman & Company.

On February 1, IPG began providing sales and distribution for all Albert Whitman frontlist digital titles and will begin providing sales and distribution for all frontlist and backlist print titles beginning April 1.

Albert Whitman, which is most famous for publishing the beloved children’s book series The Boxcar Children Mysteries, will also partner with IPG for their initiatives in film and interactive media.

Writers Issue Statement Protesting NYT Bestseller List Cuts

Six authors groups have issued a statement that urges the New York Times to reconsider its recent decision to end the newspaper’s e-book and mass market paperback bestseller lists, among others.

The February 3 statement, signed by the Horror Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists Inc., Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime, reads:

“As organizations representing adult fiction authors, the undersigned believe the New York Times is making a tremendous mistake by abandoning its mass-market paperback and e-book bestseller lists. With this change, the Times is choosing to ignore a significant percentage of U.S. book sales. Further, mass-market paperback and e-book formats provide an entry point into publishing for new voices of every kind: women writers, writers of color and ethnic minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender writers, young writers, and writers who are creating new genres. This decision serves no purpose in fostering a thriving, inclusive fiction market or strengthening the state of publishing. Additionally, the change will make the lists less relevant to authors and readers, as well as the entire publishing and library community. 

On behalf of more than 20,000 members and their millions of readers, we strongly urge the Times to rethink its extremely limited definition of what constitutes a bestselling novel.”

One Book/One NY Campaign Asks Readers to Vote on Five Award-winning Titles

The New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has partnered with New York City bookstores for the new One Book/One New York community reading campaign, which began February 1.

The Mayor’s Office has recommended five books to New York City readers, who are voting to choose the inaugural campaign’s featured title. The five books in the running are: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Riverhead), Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel & Grau), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (Harper), and The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

NYC readers are voting online and the winning title will be announced on March 1; New Yorkers in all five boroughs will then have three months to read it. The campaign will culminate with an event on May 31, possibly at the New York Public Library, that will feature a conversation with the winning One Book/One New York author and the Buzzfeed’s senior book editor.

The Mayor’s Office has prepared table-top displays and bookmarks to help NYC stores create book displays to promote the initiative.

SIBA Introduces the Conroy Legacy Award

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) has announced the creation of the Conroy Legacy Award, a “Lifetime Achievement” category for its annual book award program, The Southern Book Prize (formerly known as The SIBA Book Award).

The Conroy Legacy Award honors the example of beloved author Pat Conroy and recognizes writers who have impacted their literary communities. Recipients of the award, who will be nominated by SIBA member bookstores, must demonstrate support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general; have published writing that focuses significantly on their own home place; and shown support of other writers, especially new and emerging authors.

The annual award will be presented to one writer in the SIBA region, who will be selected by a juried panel of SIBA member booksellers representing all of SIBA’s states. Donations will be made in the name of the winning writer to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and to a literary entity chosen by the award recipient.

Recipients of 2017 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants Announced

PEN America has announced this year’s recipients of the 2017 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants as well as the inaugural winner of the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature.

PEN’s Translation Fund received 224 applications this year — a record number — covering a wide array of languages, genres, and time periods. The Fund’s Advisory Board has selected 15 projects spanning 13 languages; each project will receive a grant of $3,870, and the inaugural winner of the Italian Literature grant will receive a $5,000 grant.

For more information on the 15 recipients and the winner of the Italian literature grant, visit the PEN website.