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Posts Tagged ‘Sonny Mehta’

Revolving Door News at Crown, Peanuts Worldwide & More

A number of publishers announced new hires and promotions this week.

Tracy Behar has been promoted to executive editor and VP at Little, Brown and Company. She has been with this imprint for eight years.

Lania Adler now holds the title of vice president and senior director of marketing at HarperOne.

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Phyllis Grann To Retire from Doubleday

Editor Phyllis Grann will retire from her position at Doubleday. In a letter written by editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta, he praised Grann “as a brilliant editor and savvy businesswoman.”

Grann has worked in publishing for four decades. Prior to Doubleday, she held editorial positions at William Morrow, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Group (USA). She has worked with several celebrated authors including Tom Clancy, Judy Blume, and Patricia Cornwell.

Grann explained: “Doubleday has allowed me to continue doing what I love. And as much as I have enjoyed the work, I now feel it is time to step back.” Following her last day on June 9th, she will be available as a consultant and freelance editor.

Sonia Sotomayor to Publish Memoir with Knopf

Sotomayor.jpgSupreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor (pictured, via) will publish a memoir with Alfred A. Knopf.

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group EIC Sonny Mehta acquired the memoir. “Hers is a triumph of the Latino experience in America,” the editor said in a statement. Literary agent and editor Peter W. Bernstein negotiated the deal. We hope the justice writes about Nancy Drew

Here’s more from the release: “Sotomayor will write about growing up in the South Bronx; her relationship with her mother and the loss of her father when she was nine years old; her inspiration as a young girl to become a lawyer; her journey to Princeton University (on a full scholarship) and later to Yale Law School; and finally, to a life in the law, culminating with her appointment to the federal bench.”

John Grisham Backlist Now Available in eBook Format

johngrisham23.jpgToday Random House announced that the complete John Grisham backlist–23 titles in all–will now be available in digital form. The books are available now, and the author has a new novel scheduled for October.

Last November, Grisham went on the record bashing $9.99 eBooks. He noted, in an interview: “If a new book is worth $9, we have seriously devalued that book…the future is very uncertain with books,”

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group CEO Sonny Mehta had this statement: “Grisham is one of the greatest storytellers of all time … Since the publication of his very first book, he has captivated readers with compelling characters, intricate plotting, and narratives about social justice that are impossible to put down. This is one of our most exciting e-book initiatives to date, and is certain to usher in a new generation of Grisham readers and e-book adopters.”

David Remnick to Publish Barack Obama Biography

25265_remnick_david.gifOn April 9, Alfred A. Knopf will publish The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama by New Yorker editor David Remnick. The book will launch with 200,000 hardcover copies and a simultaneous eBook edition.

For this new book, Remnick (pictured, via Gasper Tringale) will use hundreds of on-the record interviews, including talks with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, and Bill Ayers. In addition, the book will feature letters from Obama’s late mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. The author has edited The New Yorker since 1998 and won the Pulitzer Prize for his 1994 book, Lenin’s Tomb. Read more about the crowded field of Obama books at Politico.

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group chairman Sonny Mehta had this statement: Obama’s election as President was based less on policy prescriptions than on a sense of his character and biography … The Bridge reveals not only his character, but also his trials, motivations, and perspectives in a way that a memoir, even a remarkable one, cannot.”

Five Million Copies of New Dan Brown Book Coming in September

db222.jpgAfter years of delay and anticipation, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group will release Dan Brown‘s “The Lost Symbol” this September with an initial print run of five million copies.

The new novel is a follow-up to the “The Da Vinci Code,” the bestselling adventure that sold 81 million copies worldwide. Brown’s editor, Jason Kaufman, hinted at a “new landscape” that could confirm GalleyCat senior editor Ron Hogan‘s suspicion that the book will focus on 2012, the much ballyhooed Mayan date for the end of the world.

Here are Kaufman’s comments, from the release: “This book’s narrative takes place in a twelve-hour period, and from the first page, Dan’s readers will feel the thrill of discovery as they follow Robert Langdon through a masterful and unexpected new landscape.”

Robert Barnett’s Multimillion Dollar Advance Touch

Bloomberg’s Edward Nawotka finally uncovers some answers to questions I’ve wanted to ask for ages: how exactly does Robert Barnett earn his living from the megawatt authors, politicians and celebrities he represents? Not by standard agency commission, that’s for sure, because even though Barnett, a partner at the DC firm Williams & Connolly, functions on behalf of his book clients much as an agent does — negotiating contracts, assisting with the editing process, refereeing between writer and publisher — he firmly rejects the term.

“I’m a lawyer and proud of it,” he told Nawotka. “I bill my clients an hourly rate; I don’t agree with taking a percentage for someone’s creative output.” (An agent typically takes a 15% to 20% commission as payment.) At $900 an hour, Barnett’s attention doesn’t come cheap. But when it’s a question of a multimillion-dollar contract, Barnett’s hourly rate can offer a client a massive savings over an agent’s commission. In an example Barnett cited, he billed a client $150,000 for negotiating a $3-million book contract — a substantial discount from the $450,000 to $600,000 an agent would customarily charge. Discounts for authors – but not for publishers. Knopf Publisher and President Sonny Mehta said to Nawotka that the upside of working with Barnett “is that when he calls about a client, it’s always someone you will want to take a meeting with. The downside is that he’s an expert on valuation, and as such I can never quite negotiate the deal I’d like.” An understatement to say the least…

Clinton To Publish New Book in September

PW Daily reports that former President Bill Clinton‘s next book, GIVING: How of Each of Us Can Change the World, will be published on September 4 by Knopf. The 256-page manuscript – much shorter than his nearly 1,000-page memoir, also published by Knopf – was acquired by the imprint’s chairman and editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta, and the book will be simultaneously published in hardcover, ebook, audiobook (read by the author) and large print, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to charity.

“I’ve done my best in this book to demonstrate what I’ve seen firsthand through my Foundation’s work in Africa and around the world: that all kinds of giving can make a profoundly positive difference,” Clinton said in a release. “The amount of good that so many individuals and NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) have been able to do has proven to me that almost everyone-regardless of income, available time, age, and skills-can do something useful for others and, in the process, strengthen the fabric of our shared humanity.”

Miller Moves from Vintage to Knopf

PW Daily reports that Vintage/Anchor senior editor Andrew Miller is moving floors in the Random House building as a result of his new gig as a senior editor at Knopf. “Andrew is an exceptional editor who, in his tenure at Vintage/Anchor, has demonstrated a keen eye for topical nonfiction,” said Knopf chairman and editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta in yesterday’s announcement. Miller has edited books by Victor Davis Hanson, Tom Bissell, James Fallows and Neal Pollack, as well as worked with authors including Robert Caro, David Remnick, Lawrence Wright, Robert Kagan, Hampton Sides, and Chuck Palahniuk.

The Everyman’s Library Turns 100

everyman.gifThe Wall Street Journal’s Tom Nolan focuses attention on the centenary of the Everyman’s Library, founded in 1906 by bookbinder-turned-publisher Joseph Malaby Dent to preserve great works of literature. The books found a fan in Knopf editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta, who read them while growing up in post-colonial India. “They were cheap, they were accessible, one found them in bookstores,” said Mehta. “If you were given books as gifts, they tended to be Everyman’s…..A lot of my early reading with classics — though one didn’t even know they were classics, I mean whether it was Dumas or Jules Verne or anything else — that’s what they tended to be.”

Which is why, as competitors like the Library of America and Modern Library encroached the market and paperbacks made classics even cheaper, Everyman’s fell into the hands of UK publisher Tom Campbell in 1990 – who needed an American partner, which turned out to be Mehta. A revived line, with an initial 46 titles (Austen to Zola), was debuted by Random House UK and Knopf in the U.S. in 1991. Since then, the Everyman’s Library — with old and new incarnations celebrating a combined 100th anniversary in the year just completed — has done 500 titles and sold 12 million books.

One avowed fan is Joan Didion, whose seven volumes of non-fiction were recently collected in the Everyman’s edition WE TELL OURSELVES STORIES IN ORDER TO LIVE. “I don’t know if you remember what it was like,” the California-born writer asked recently by telephone from New York, “to first have a book in your hand, whenever it was that you first bought a book? A whole lot of [its appeal] had to do with the way it looked and felt. I remember very distinctly: Somebody gave me a merchandise award at a bookstore in Sacramento, and I bought a Modern Library of Emily Dickinson and the collected poems of T.S. Eliot. And the Eliot had a smooth yellow cover; and the Emily Dickinson had sort of a classic Modern Library cover…pink and gray and black. I mean, it was the physical appearance of these books that meant a whole lot to me, then.”