In many, remarkable ways, the book publishing business is unrecognizable from its form only two years ago. Kindles and iPads have seen to that, of course. Last week, court approval of the settlement in the e-book price-fixing case is quickly leading to a re-writing of market rules that will lead – well, who knows where? And in the midst of all this, a Big Six publisher grapples with a surprising CEO transition.
“On Monday, we learned that Michael Pietsch will replace David Young at the top of Hachette in the U.S. He’s stepping to the plate at a pretty difficult time for Hachette, in their post-Twilight phase,” Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly features editor, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “And with the ink barely dry on Judge Denise Cote’s approval of the e-book price-fixing settlement, HarperCollins has already entered new retail agreements, Amazon is discounting prices of its e-books, and the other settling publishers are also said to be done with their agreements, too.”
Among this week’s reviews, Genreville’s Rose Fox finds Helene Gremillon’s “absorbing” debut novel, The Confidant, one of the more buzzed about books at this year’s BookExpo America. Translated by Allison Anderson (who translated The Elegance of the Hedgehog), the novel begins in Paris in 1975 when a woman receives a long, unsigned handwritten letter that takes her—and the novel—back to Nazi-occupied France. Fox says, “we call it ‘finely written and full of plot twists,’ and think that it is a novel that ‘will grip readers until the very last page.’”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.