Following is a recap of major news at Hachette Book Group for the week of June 10-14, 2019:
B&N developments: Last Friday, Barnes & Noble and private equity firm Elliott Advisors announced that they had entered into an agreement under which Elliott would acquire B&N for $475M in cash. Elliott purchased major UK bookstore chain Waterstones in April 2018, and Waterstones CEO James Daunt would take over as B&N CEO as well. On Monday, book distributor Readerlink (they service Target and Walmart, among others) entered the picture, saying that they are working toward making a bid for B&N that would top Elliott’s price. Read more here: Bloomberg, Reuters, Wall Street Journal.
Bestseller news: Unsolved by James Patterson & David Ellis (LB) debuts this week at #3 on both the Print Hardcover Fiction and Combined P&E bestseller lists. The Conservative Sensibility by George F. Will (Hachette Books) debuts at #12 on both the Print Hardcover Nonfiction and the Combined P&E bestsellers list. Calyspo by David Sedaris (Back Bay) makes its debut on the NYT Print Paperback bestseller (Nonfiction) list at #6. HBG’s distribution clients have seven books on the New York Times list this week. See attached recap for all of our titles on the NYT list, as well as USA Today and ABA Indie lists.
Major release: Anna Fifield’s The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un (PublicAffairs) went on sale this week and is tapping into intense media interest in the North Korean leader – the author appeared on NBC Nightly News; CBS Evening News; PBS NewsHour; MSNBC’s Morning Joe, The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, Live with Ali Velshi, and Weekends with Alex Witt; CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, Cuomo Prime Time, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, and Fareed Zakaria GPS; NPR’s Morning Edition and Fresh Air, along with lots of online coverage(Axios World newsletter, Newsweek, Newsmax, Politico.com, NPR.org), and podcast interviews. Reviews to come in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Japan Times, Korea Times (feature interview, US edition), South China Morning Post, and more.
Indie Next Pick: Kira Jane Buxton’s Hollow Kingdom (GCP) has been selected as the #2 pick on the August 2019 Indie Next List. Bookseller love bodes very well for this amazing novel – check out the 60+ absolute raves from booksellers, attached (thanks, HBG sales reps!).
Children’s Choice Awards: Jewell Parker Rhodes’s Ghost Boys (LBYR) has been named as a winner of the 12th annual Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards, sponsored by Every Child a Reader. This is the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected exclusively by kids and teens. These awards provide young readers with an opportunity to “Voice Your Choice” about new books they have read and loved. Voting was conducted in classrooms, libraries and bookstores, as well as online – with more than 24,000 votes tallied.
Orwell Prize: Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks has made the shortlist for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. The prize recognizes works that “strive to meet Orwell’s own ambition ‘to make political writing into an art.’” The winners will be named June 25.
Earphone Award: The audiobook edition of Bill Geist’s Lake of the Ozarks (Hachette Audio/GCP) won a coveted Earphone Award from AudioFile Magazine, who describe the audio as “one of the funniest performances ever… The production is so rich in detail and hidden gems that listeners may want to hear this again and again. It’s a showstopper.”
LBYR TV News: As announced in Teen Vogue, LBYR author Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith’s Trinkets has been adapted as a Netflix series premiering today, June 14. The story follows three high schoolers who meet and form an unbreakable bond at a Shoplifters Anonymous meeting. Kirsten Smith is a prolific screenwriter with movie credits including 10 Things I Hate About You, Legally Blonde, and The House Bunny. She is also serving as executive producer for the show.
Acquisition news: Hachette Books announced the forthcoming publication of This Ends Badly: How Donald Trump Conned America (OSD September 17), in which MSNBC host Joe Scarborough will “reveal his friendship-turned-bad with the President, offering fascinating insights into Trump’s mind and an indictment of his hostile takeover of the Republican party and American politics.”