InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames 10,000 Words FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Posts Tagged ‘Perseus’

This Week on the mediabistro.com Job Board: Macmillian, Random House, Perseus

We have several great opportunities for you this week. Macmillan is on the hunt for a director to run its digital media and branded publishing project, Quick and Dirty Tips, a job that we think is worth jumping on now. Random House is hiring in several divisions — the company needs a senior editor at Watson-Guptill and an editorial director at Crown Archetype. Check out these publishing jobs and more below, as well as 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.

Mediabistro Course

Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now! 

BEA: On the Town

powerhouse.jpg

As always, the convention is only part of the BEA story, with parties filling in the gaps. So as promised, reports mixed with more blurry cameraphone photos follow of some of the parties I attended over the course of the weekend.

After our our party Thursday night, Mary Reagan and I cabbed across town to 60 Thompson Street for William Morrow‘s bash, where I finally met Pittsburgh Post-Gazette book editor Bob Hoover and proceeded to gab for twenty minutes about Canada, theater and the amazing Sidney Crosby (see, you can talk about subjects other than books at BEA. In fact, it’s a necessary tonic.) After that was the Litblog Co-Op party which was even more packed than the previous two as a plethora of literary bloggers celebrated with the likes of Richard Nash, Colson Whitehead, Sara Ivry, Katharine Weber, and (though I didn’t spot him) Morgan Entrekin.

Read more

BREAKING: Massive Reorganization for Perseus

PW Daily serves up the news (plus Perseus CEO David Steinberger‘s memo to colleagues) which includes the following:

  • Perseus Books Group has formed six publishing divisions built around Avalon Travel, Basic Books, Da Capo, Public Affairs, Running Press and Vanguard imprints.
  • 24 positions eliminated, with as many as 21 other employees could lose their jobs if they are not willing to relocate or take on new roles
  • Carroll & Graf and Thunder’s Mouth will cease to exist as imprints after this fall, with William Strachan, editor-in-chief of Thunder’s Mouth and Carroll & Graf, and C&G senior editor Don Weise among the editors being let go.
  • Avalon’s New York office will be closed sometime this summer and employees will be moved to Perseus’s headquarters on Park Avenue.

Will there be more news? There has to be, because the fate of former PGW employees and publishers hasn’t even been addressed yet, and one must believe they will be at some point.

More tellingly, the impending shutdown of C&G and Thunder’s Mouth should call into question whether Perseus has any longterm plans to publish fiction. Will Balliett, former executive editor of both imprints, now moves to Da Capo in a similar position. But that imprint is not known for publishing fiction. Basic Books is absorbing Nation Books (which sometimes does fiction) and Vanguard, already established as a place for formerly bestselling novelists to go for a career refresher, will likely continue what it’s doing, but what of C&G’s extensive mystery fiction publishing program, or the backlist reissues that Thunder’s Mouth does? Steinberger might say that “[e]ach of our imprints needs to have a distinct identity, and we didn’t feel that was the case with Carroll & Graf and Thunder’s Mouth,” but without any concrete evidence in place, one really has to wonder.

Counterpoint Bought by Winton; New Venture Begins

PW Daily reports that Counterpoint Press will no longer be distributed by Perseus – and that instead, it has been bought by former PGW founder and Avalon publisher Charlie Winton as part of his brand-new publishing venture, Winton, Shoemaker & Co. LLC. As a result the venture, the final details which should be sorted out by June, will now be known as Counterpoint LLC. Winton will be chairman and CEO while Jack Shoemaker, the original co-founder and publisher of Counterpoint, will become v-p and editorial director of the new Counterpoint. Amy Scheibe will be departing as executive editor.

Winton said to PW Daily that the idea to acquire Counterpoint was part of the original negotiations to sell Avalon (Winton’s former company) to Perseus, but that the bankruptcy of Publishers Group West “put it on the back burner while we straightened out the world.” Perseus wound up acquiring PGW during the PGW bankruptcy proceedings and represents 120 PGW clients. As for Counterpoint, Winton is shopping for office space in Berkeley for the 10-person Counterpoint staff, though it remains to be seen if any or all will, in fact, move to California. Also worth noting is that the other half of Shoemaker & Hoard, Trish Hoard, only recently moved to Manhattan after many years in Washington – no word yet on whether she will stay put, but emails and phone calls are pending…

Major Changes as Perseus Integrates PGW

Publishers Marketplace reports on its front page this afternoon that Perseus will combine its and PGW‘s sales efforts into a single domestic sales group representing the company’s own imprint and Perseus and PGW distribution clients. Perseus will keep 68 PGW employees, but CEO Rich Freese will leave by the end of July as the transition period is complete.

Marketplace further reports that PGW executives and veterans staying on include Kim Wylie (who will continue to be responsible for all PGW client publisher sales, reporting to Perseus’s Matty Goldberg) and PGW field sales director Elise Cannon, who will head a newly combined Perseus and PGW field sales force of 16. Others named include Eric Green, Sue Ostfield, Susan McConnell, Kevin Votel, Eric Kettunen, Sarah Rosenberg, Heather Cameron, Karla Simmons, Sean Shoemaker, Matthew Chilcott, and Roxanne Schwartz.

This Week in AMS: More Time Requested, Victory for Nonconsentings

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported at the end of last week that Advanced Marketing Services is asking the Delaware bankruptcy court to have until August 10 to file for Chapter 11, an extension from the current April 28 deadline. Bankruptcy law gives companies a limited amount of time to propose a Chapter 11 plan to pay creditors without competition from rival plans. As has been widely reported, AMS sold Publishers Group West to Perseus and its wholesaling operations to Baker & Taylor .

Meanwhile, as more former PGW clients sign on with different distributors (including National Book Network, which was in the running to buy PGW outright) one non-consenting publisher was victorious in court at the end of March. Goofy Foot Press, a single-title publisher run by Paul Joannides, was awarded all of the post-petition sales that it requested–a payment that other PGW publishers received. PW Daily further reported that Judge Christopher Sontchi issued a stern rebuke to AMS’s attorneys, calling their treatment of Goofy Foot and other small presses, from whom he had received numerous letters, “outrageous” and threatened to withdraw the executive compensation order for bonuses. According to the hearing transcript released this week, the judge said their actions were “inconsistent with the representations that were made to the Court for the basis to approve the PGW sale to begin with,” and added that if the sale hadn’t already gone through, he would have stopped it. Harsh words, if a bit on the 20-20 hindsight front.

As for Goofy Foot, PW Daily adds that the press is close to signing on with NBN, which illustrates a point made here in the midst of the AMS fray: even losing the bid for PGW made NBN a winner because they could cherry pick among the non-consenting publishers and take on a smaller, more cost-effective load and thus remain able to break even or at least turn a profit. Perseus, of course, got to acquire the publishers it truly wanted (like Avalon and Grove/Atlantic) and integrate dozens more for its own devices. There’s much dust to settle, especially with a court hearing still slated for April 20 for releasing books still held by PGW.

The B&T buyout of AMS is Official

Remember when AMS news dominated GalleyCat‘s pages? It wasn’t all that long ago, but once the court decisions were handed down and PGW went with Perseus, things got a little more quiet. Except, of course, they didn’t, it’s just that the media got disinterested even though a handful of publishers who elected not to go with Perseus or any other distributor for the moment are getting undue unpleasantness by way of AMS’s attorneys. One non-consenting publisher, Paul Joannides of Goofy Foot Press, has gone so far to file a motion in bankruptcy court to have its contract rejected. “They are refusing to let us have our stock, and now they are withholding our money on recent sales that just a week ago they assured us they would pay,” Joannides said in an email to us.

But as that story plays out, so does the fate of AMS, now officially in the hands of Baker & Taylor after court approval of the $76 million dollar sale. PW Daily reported yesterday that Baker & Taylor has created Baker & Taylor Marketing Services and, beginning Monday, resumed shipping new titles to the warehouse clubs. The purchase, which also includes UK and Mexico assets, involves a range of assets used by AMS to sell bestsellers and other books into the membership warehouse clubs. The San Diego Union-Tribune had more on this story last week, including the news that post-bankruptcy, AMS lost more than $1 million per week in January and an even higher sum in February. Bruce Buechler, an attorney for the creditors, said the losses could total up to $2 million a week. “It’s a sad day,” said Bud Leedom, publisher of San Diego’s California Stock Report, who noted that AMS was one of the region’s oldest companies trading on Wall Street. “When they were founded in the 1980s, San Diego wasn’t a place that was known for publicly traded companies,” Leedom said.

Today in AMS: Perseus Completes PGW Deal, Trouble in Non-Consenting Paradise

PW Daily reported yesterday that Perseus completed its acquisition of the distribution contracts of 124 former Publishers Group West clients yesterday and began writing checks to those publishers. Publishers will receive payment either by wire transfer or mail, whichever they prefer, CEO David Steinberger said. With the closing, Perseus began shipping books from the AMS/PGW Indianapolis warehouse yesterday, shipping 70,000 units to accounts to fill orders under the transition services agreement that will last through July 31. “My goal is to be able to lay out a more concrete plan for our entire organization within 60 days,” Steinberger said.

But here’s where the fun part starts: although Perseus will have a PGW booth at BEA and a PGW catalogue, the company does not now own the PGW name, which is still being used by AMS. But since “Transition Vendor” probably won’t go over well with the BEA-niks, and there are still summer titles to be hawked, PGW it is – unless AMS raises a stink about the name, which seems unlikely.

Meanwhile, Radio Free PGW reports on why the revised offer for non-consenting publishers is still not necessarily in their best interests and how they could file for damages. “This little problem with damages is the main reason why the Judge awarded the deal to [Perseus], because the PGW estate would have had greater exposure to damage claims if NBN had won. AMS knows this all too well, since their investment brokers were the ones whose testimony may have sunk the NBN offer.”

Today in AMS: “Transition Vendor” and Pressure on Non-Consentings

Today is a special day in the annals of publishing, as it is technically the last day of Publishers Group West‘s existence. Tomorrow the company will be known as Transition Vendor, and the switch of many publishers to distribution by Perseus formally begins, reports Shelf Awareness. It’s the most obvious sign of the “second phase” of bankruptcy discussed in this week’s Publishers Weekly, and how the weekly checks from Perseus will stop as the 70 cents on the dollar plan goes into effect – and publishers must get used to waiting up to 3 months for future payment.

Soft Skull‘s Richard Nash was the only publisher contacted by PW who said that the bankruptcy will definitely force him to delay some titles, although some others were not yet sure about what they will do for the rest of the year. “We’ll be doing triage on what books need to be published and which can wait,” Nash said.

Read more

This Week in AMS: Recovery for Freese, NBN Still in the Hunt

The dust may be settling on Perseus winning the auction to take over PGW publisher contracts, but the turmoil hasn’t stopped. Before getting to that, let’s wish PGW President Rich Freese a speedy recovery after he fell on stairs at his home Sunday night, breaking three ribs, an elbow and possibly damaging his hand. The good news, according to Shelf Awareness, is that there were no spinal or neurological injuries,
according to friends. He has had some difficulty breathing because of the broken ribs and asthma but may be released from the hospital as
early as today.

Meanwhile, Radio Free PGW is doing a yeoman’s job of staying abreast of every new development (and we’re hoping they don’t shut down on March 7 as threatened, but understand why this may be so.) Read on for their thoughts on PGW’s rejection offer of non-consenting publisher contracts (which they deem “mean-spirited and spiteful” and “a blatant attempt to strong arm and punish non-consenting publishers”) NBN’s still-standing 85 cents on the dollar offer for non-consentings, and why it’s bad news to be an AMS employee at the moment with the expected bloodbath at the ready in the wake of its impending buyout from Baker & Taylor , if no objections are filed with the bankruptcy court by February 28.

NEXT PAGE >>