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Posts Tagged ‘Penguin’

This Week on the mediabistro.com Job Board: Workman, Oxford University Press, Penguin

This week, Workman Publishing is hiring a manager of digital sales and promotions, while Oxford University Press is on the hunt for a new art director. Penguin is seeking a designer for its advertising and promotion department, and Duke University Press is in need of an assistant managing editor. Get the details on these gigs and more below, and check out additional just-posted jobs on mediabistro.com.

For more job listings, go to the Mediabistro job board, and to post a job, visit our employer page. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

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David Thorne Imitates Justin Bieber’s Hair Tour

In an effort to raise money for Japanese earthquake relief, singer Justin Bieber sent a lock of his hair on tour and fans around the country have paid $1 to take a picture with it. Mimicking the young pop star, author David Thorne has sent a lock of his own hair on a bookstore tour.

Thorne’s editor, Michael Solana, explained in the release: “Thorne declared war on Justin Bieber last month with his site HelpMeSellMoreBooksThanJustinBieber.com. A 10-city tour of his hair was kind of inevitable.”

Thorne’s hair will spend three days in each store. For every location that hosts the Thorne lock, Penguin Group (USA)’s Tarcher/Penguin will donate $200 to the National Children’s Cancer Society.

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Publishing in China: Beijing Book Fair Leftovers

The Beijing Book Fair – the world’s fourth-largest after Frankfurt, London and BEA – just wrapped up yesterday and here are some notable highlights:

  • Penguin gets big money for Victoria Beckham‘s new style book from a Chinese publisher.[The Bookseller]
  • HarperCollins will distribute a travel guide published by China’s military just in time for the 2008 Olympics. [Forbes]
  • Macmillan hooks up with Chinese publisher FLTRP (Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press) for Chinese course guides. [The Bookseller]
  • Katherine Rushton (from whom we swiped the above photograph) blogs about the BIBF experience.
  • Germany was the guest of honor at BIBF. [CCTV]
  • An Indian perspective on BIBF. [Times of India]
  • Toby Eady: still the go-to agent for Chinese literature. [China.org.cn]

Penguin UK Goes Retro with Covers

Penguin is reissuing 36 recent bestsellers in the classic Penguin paperback look to mark its Publisher of the Year win at the British Book Awards, according to the Bookseller‘s Alison Flood. Its initial print run for the series totals 815,000 copies. The “Penguin Celebrations” titles, ranging from Pat Barker‘s REGENERATION to Donna Tartt‘s THE SECRET HISTORY to Meg Rosoff‘s HOW I LIVE NOW, will be published on 6th September in six of the classic Penguin designs given “a modern reworking” by Penguin Press art director Jim Stoddart. They are slightly larger than the original Penguin pocket size in B format, and all books are priced at £7.99.

“We wanted to celebrate being Publisher of the Year, not just through marketing but also through our publishing,” said publishing director Tony Lacey. He said the look had “a hint of retro as well as being chic” and added that the pricing point was a “homage” to the original Penguin principle of a uniform paperback pricepoint of sixpence (though the percent difference between then and now is rather staggering…)

Pearson Sales Downgraded

Forbes reports that shares in Pearson Group, parent company of Penguin, plummeted to an early low of 734 pence ($14.60) in London Wednesday morning, after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to “Hold” from “Buy,” cutting its price target on the stock to 915 pence ($18.20) from 930 pence ($18.50). By market close, the shares had climbed back up to 753.50 pence ($15.03), a slight gain of 3.50 pence (7 cents), or 0.5%. The reasons for the downgrade hinged on a difficult outlook for both the “attractive” side of Pearson, namely its professional education business, and the “unattractive” publishing arm including Penguin and the Financial Times.

“I think it’s a little bit early to be worried about that,” said Sam Hart, analyst with Charles Stanley. He added that the outlook for the business was “pretty good,” and that Pearson’s $2.5 billion purchase of National Computer Systems in 2000 would help attract schools wishing use online tools as learning aids. According to Numis Securities analyst Richard Hitchcock this was an unfair evaluation. “Our view is we’re positive on Pearson,” he said. Regarding the Financial Times, he added: “You would never underestimate the impact of Murdoch, but it’s not a major profit driver.”

Sluggish Dollar Affects Penguin Results

Pearson, parent company of Penguin, has reported its 2007 interim results. Its education unit increased sales by 7% and moved into first-half profit of 5m pounds, while Penguin revenues were up 1% with profits 11% higher. “Our half-year results are always just a hint of our potential for the year, but certainly a strong hint this year,” said chief executive Marjorie Scardino. “Penguin’s publishing and profit are both solid and promising, as is its approach to change in publishing; and in Education we continue to set the pace as we use technology to personalize learning.”

Penguin UK Jumps on BzzAgent Bandwagon

The Bookseller reports on Penguin‘s marketing plans for Elizabeth Buchan‘s new novel THE SECOND WIFE, which includes marketing agency BzzAgent’s deployment of 1000 shills ordinary people to help buzz the book. The 1,000-strong group are encouraged to spread news about a title through book clubs, emails and online reviews, by carrying it around, discussing it at parties and blogging. They each receive a copy of the book and a “BzzGuide” that identifies key discussion points and potential readers. The campaign will run all summer, with feedback reported to Penguin in September.

Jane Rose, acting commercial marketing director at Penguin, said that buzz marketing was still a new concept in the UK. She added: “We are always looking for an alternative to [conventional] campaigns, and this is an extension of trying to get different communities interested in the book.”

Dorothy Parker Anthology Lawsuit Trial Begins

The NYT’s Motoko Rich gives an overview of LA-based lawyer Stuart Silverstein‘s ongoing, long-running lawsuit against Penguin for using Silverstein’s book NOT MUCH FUN: THE LOST POEMS OF DOROTHY PARKER as an uncredited source for their own anthology. The issue in question is whether Silverstein is entitled to what is known as “compilation copyright” protection for his selection of Parker’s work. Four years ago the case went Silverstein’s way, and all copies of the Penguin anthology were supposed to be pulled. But then in 2004, the ruling was reversed – leading to the trial that begins today.

Interestingly enough, neither Silverstein nor Penguin will receive royalties -they all go to the NAACP, which got them after Parker left her estate to Martin Luther King, whose own estate went to the NAACP thereafter. Which is why David Shanks, chief executive of Penguin, said Silverstein’s suit was depriving the NAACP of royalties. “His suit and the injunction denies the NAACP the compensation Parker sought to provide it,” he told Rich by email. “Silverstein is simply seeking to personally profit from the sales of Parker’s poems.” Silverstein thinks otherwise. “If someone stole your car and offered to let you keep your vanity license plates,” he said, “would you consider that a fair offer?”

Faulks Confirmed as Author of Centenary Bond Novel

Score one for MI6, who correctly predicted that Sebastian Faulks, most recently the author of ENGELBY, is the newest author aboard the James Bondenterprise. DEVIL MAY CARE is scheduled to be published on May 28, 2008 – just in time for the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming‘s birth – by Penguin in the UK and Doubleday in the US. Doubleday president and publisher Steve Rubin bought US rights from Gillon Aitken with Deb Futter to edit.

“Three pages into DEVIL MAY CARE and you are immediately thrown back into the world of James Bond and all those wonderful characters we have come to love,” Rubin said in the announcement, reprinted on Doubleday Broadway’s official blog. “DEVIL MAY CARE is pure Fleming channeled by Faulks – a madcap adventure, a romantic romp and a book you can devour in one sitting. It all starts in Paris, and no one alive writes better about Paris than Sebastian Faulks.”

The book will be set in 1967, when, Faulks said yesterday, “Bond is damaged, ageing and in a sense it is the return of the gunfighter for one last heroic mission”. His own interpretation of the spy, he hinted, would show all the caddishness of Bond’s previous incarnations, tempered with just a shade of new-mannish sensitivity. He has been widowed and been through a lot of bad things … He is slightly more vulnerable than any previous Bond but at the same time he is both gallant and highly sexed, if you can be both. Although he is a great seducer, he really does appreciate the girls he seduces and he doesn’t actually use them badly.”

Borders Gets In On the Mobile Game

Borders is set to work with top book publishers including Penguin, Random House, HarperCollins and Bloomsbury to deliver the first chapters of forthcoming books from authors on mobile, according to NMA. The plan is to offer consumers the opportunity to read up to 30 samplers for free every month. The chapters will be available for downloaded using technology from application provider ICUE and are sent with a coupon attached allowing consumers to redeem 20% off the physical book.

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