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P u b l i s h e r s W e e k ly . c o m

PW picks 45 members of the publishing community
who have drawn lots of attention early in their
careers and from whom much more is expected


We Proudly Congratulate Each of
Our Ten 2017 PW Star Watch Honorees:

Chelsea Eberly Andrew Rein

Taylor Grant Lindsey Schwoeri
Phillip Stamper-Halpin Erika Seyfried
Soonyoung Kwon Serena Sigona
Caitlin McKenna Ashley Tucker
Rising Stars

PW salutes the
honorees and
of the
finalists of the third
annual Star Watch

By Liz Hartman

n association with the Frankfurt Book Fair, PW is pleased to present the third annual Star Watch program,
which recognizes the mavericks, visionaries, thinkers, and dreamers who are poised to lead the industry to
new and bright frontiers. This year we received more than 200 nominees, from which a team of judges from
PW, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, and the Frankfurt Book
Fair selected 40 honorees and five finalists, who represent every aspect of publishingfrom production to
editorial, from agents to publicists. One finalist will be named the superstar and will be awarded an all-
expenses-paid trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, courtesy of the fair. The superstar will be announced on
September 6 at a party in New York City to celebrate all of the honorees and finalists.
With e-books finding their place alongside print (rather than displacing it), with the uptick in audio, and with
an independent bookstore renaissance underway, the doom and gloom of the past decade has been replaced with a
lets-take-it-to-the-next-level attitude exemplified by these rising stars. One trend that emerges is the use of digital
platforms and technologies in myriad customized and creative ways to connect books, authors, and readers. Another
characteristic among these standouts is their rejection of standard job delineations and boundaries: Ammi-Joan
Paquette, an agent at the Erin Murphy Literary Agency, is an author herself and is represented by her boss; Audibles
Nicole Op den Bosch launched the Audiobook Creation Exchange while acquiring content and shepherding authors
through the audio publication process (and finishing her B.A. degree).
Production managers and art directors are pushing the limits of what a book can be. To capture the clandestine
atmosphere of a speakeasy, Ten Speed Presss Serena Sigona created a book with a hidden tray that holds a little cocktail
book, and Knopfs Soonyoung Kwon balanced ugly images of war alongside sweeping landscapes in The Mirror Test:
America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan. More on these and all the other highly innovative honorees can be found on
the following pages.
This years five finalists are Suzanna Hermans, co-owner of Oblong Books, who grew up in the bookstore (then
owned by her father) and combines business savvy with a passion for community that allows the store to thrive;
Daniel Loedel, associate editor at Scribner, who has demonstrated a remarkable ability to bring success to what he
calls dark and difficult books; Andrea Montejo, owner of the Indent Literary Agency, which is dedicated to repre-
senting Latino writers in the U.S. and around the world; Gabriella Page-Fort, editorial director of AmazonCrossing,
who has acquired and published 239 books in translationin 19 different languages; and Colleen AF Venable, art
director at Workmans Childrens Book Group, who creates objects that blur the line between toy and book.
These 45 individuals are meeting the challenges of successful publishing and bookselling in todays competitive,
global marketplace. They are also facing, head-on, issues such as bringing more books in translation to the U.S.
market, creating books that will be acknowledged as beautiful objects, and using social media to create sales. All
this while being mindful that the book is the thing, that reading matters.

W W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M 3

Director of e-books
Humble Bundle, San Francisco

llen is the only employee who deals with e-books
at Humble Bundle, a popular, gaming dot-com
that introduced book bundles (usually assembled
around themes) in 2014. Three years later, Allen
has grown the e-book business from $0 to $30 million. She
has created more than 140 book promotions with over 50
book and comics publishers, including Dark Horse Comics,
HarperCollins, IDW, Make, OReilly, S&S, and Viz Media.
The site attracts more than six million unique visits each
month and has more than eight million customers and email
Allen, along with the rest of the team at Humble Bundle,
is unapologetically not humble about the $100 million the
company has given to charity to date. Humble Bundle oper-
ates on an unusual business platform, allowing consumers to
pay what they wish for bundles of DRM-free content with a
portion of revenue allocated for charities. Among those that
have benefited from the companys strategy are the ACLU,
Code for America, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Doctors
Without Borders, Every Child a Reader, First Book, the Hero
Initiative, Jane Goodall Foundation, Science Fiction &
Fantasy Writers of America, and Traveling Stories.

Executive editor, Food & Lifestyle
Chronicle Books, San Francisco

hen Billingsley joined Chronicle in 2008 as
an editorial assistant, she already had cred in
the food business, notably having worked on
the 75th anniversary edition of The Joy of
Cooking. Her portfolio at Chronicle has only enhanced her
stature in the cookbook world with books that include the
Small Victories by Julia Turshen. Sarah Billingsley is an
authors editor, says Turshen. I feel so supported by her and
always appreciate that she prioritizes voice over rules.
Upcoming on Billingsleys list is Feed the Resistance, which
was on PWs list of the 10 most-anticipated cooking and food
titles for the fall. Chronicle publisher Christine Carswell
praises her eagerness to explore new directions and cites the
expansion of Billingsleys list to include this falls Cosmos Sexy
Sutra, a collaboration with Cosmopolitan magazine. Billingsley
has been on the other side too; she is the author of Disney
Frozen, the movie tie-in cookbook of meals, snacks, desserts,
and beverages, and the coauthor of Whoopi Pies, which sparked
an international and baking phenomenon. Carswell notes
that not only is Billingsley a rising star in her own right, but
also, as mentor to her team, she is cultivating a future con-
stellation of stars.
4 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY S E P T E M B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7


Literary agent Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, Ga.

Stonesong, New York

n 2005, when Capriola, a former school psychologist, opened
efore joining Stonesong in Little Shop of Stories, the sum total of her retail experience was
2015, Campoli had more than a brief stint at the Gap after graduating from college. But she
five years of experience as a has always believed that childrens books will save the world.
nonfiction editor at Palgrave At the same time, she believed that Decatur could support an inde-
Macmillan, and was primed to make pendent bookstore for children and their families. After leaving psychology and being
waves as a nonfiction agent, a col- home with her three young children for several years, she was ready to re-enter the working
league says. In just over two years, world, and Little Shop of Stories was born with a staff of only Capriola and a part-timer.
Campoli has secured 16 deals with top The staff has expanded 12-fold, and the shop added more physical space.
publishers. Her list includes such Following last years presidential election, Capriola and her team launched a new
notable books as Elite Minds by Stan program, the Kindness Project, which grew out of concern over the impact the cam-
Beecham (McGraw-Hill), winner of a paigns negativity, intolerance, and divisiveness would have on children. Each month,
Benjamin Franklin Award; a literary the store focuses on a different topic, the refugee experience, for example, and provides
cookbook, Eat This Poem by Nicole book lists, workshops, and activities to encourage discussions about kindness, compas-
Gulotta (Roost), and False Dawn by sion, and empathy within the community.
Steven A. Cook (Oxford Univ.).
Campoli is lauded for creating pro-
posals that will satisfy the choosiest of
acquisition teams, says her colleague,
and then negotiates tooth and nail for REBECCA CARLISLE
Director of publicity, adult titles
the best possible outcome. Her clients
Workman, New York

around the globe appreciate her dedica-
tion; in-house, shes a team player, n 2012, after several years in publishing, Carlisle took a detour
mentoring new agents and sharing her and became associate director of restaurant PR and marketing
proposals and submission lists without for Danny Meyers Union Square Hospitality Group, a post
a second thought. that served her well upon her return to Workman in 2015.
Her robust publicity and marketing campaigns, as her manager
dubs them, have routinely secured extensive national and regional media coverage across
all platforms. Calling her the queen of innovation, seamlessly merging traditional and
new publicity and marketing techniques, Carlisles manager credits her with the suc-
cess of the IACP Awardwinning Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini, Curly Girl: The
Handbook by Lorraine Massey, and the bestseller Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Dylan
Thuras, and Ella Morton, among others.

painstakingly hand-wrote the more than 50,000 words in the

Associate publisher
books margins and on the associated ephemera that formed part
of the novels story, provided the calligraphy for half the book
Regan Arts, New York and created the Eotvos wheel, a complicated decoding device

used in the book.
n just five years, Ciccaglione has When Andrews moved to Regan Arts in 2014, he immedi-
gone from being a summer intern ately hired Ciccaglione as managing editor; two years later she
at book packager Melcher Media, was appointed associate publisher. Beyond the usual tasks associ-
where she worked under Kurt ated with that positionto keep production on schedule, she
Andrews, to associate publisher at Regan also edits her own books. Among her recent projects were the
Arts. At Melcher she worked on projects heavily illustrated Deceptive Desserts by Christine McConnell and
that became bestsellers. including The The Art of the Hollywood Backdrop by Richard M. Isackes and
4-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss (New Harvest), and S. by J.J. Karen L. Maness. At just 27 years old, Andrews says,
Abrams and Doug Dorst (Mulholland). It was S. that revealed Ciccaglione has established herself as a rival to any veteran in
her artistic and creative side, says Andrews. Ciccaglione the industry.
W W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M 5

Director of publicity CINDY DACH
Regnery Publishing, Washington, D.C. Co-owner, general manager

Changing Hands, Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz.
hose to whom she reports and

those who report to Cordova ach began her life in books at the
rain accolades on her. A Phoenix Public Library as an
member of her publicity events manager. A grant enabled
team says that she has not stopped her to create an author series there
learning since she began working under Cordova. She praises that increased attendance and circulation. Armed with that suc-
Cordova for being able to motivate colleagues without being cess, she approached Changing Hands and proposed a simple idea:
overbearing, unfair, or weak; the team member calls Cordova Let me increase your author event series. Lets see if I can help
that stereotype of a perfect employee... first in the office and make this store more profitable. And they let her. And she did.
last to leave. and adds that she is always available to answer She attributes her success to continually asking the ques-
questions. Others on her team credit her leadership with suc- tion, What if? What if we could get more books into the
cessfully launching such bestsellers as David Limbaughs True hands of our community. What if we could increase margins?
Jesus. To that end Dach has launched a series of nontraditional pro-
According to Cordovas manager, she always has her eyes on grams at the store including a political discussion group, a
the prizeconnecting writers to their readers. He also lauds crafting series, and First Fiction, which pairs debut authors
her for her articulate and meaningful contributions in pub- with a casual bar setting. The most recent result of Dachs
lishing discussions, as well as her impressive ability to deal with What If? mantra is the opening of First Draft, a wine, beer,
difficult personnel issues, resolving them in a way that leaves and coffee bar inside the Phoenix store. Now, she says, they
everyone feel whole and the team and program intact and come for the beer and discover a great book.

ensington Publishing

2017s PW Star Watch Honorees,
including our own
Director of Social Media & Digital Sales.


Random House Childrens Books, Senior manager, subsidiary rights
New York Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York

n her 10 years at Random House, efore she joined the foreign
Eberly has earned the status of rights team at HMH, catering
Wonder Woman, according to a to the childrens market, nine
colleague, and thats not just years ago, Finn worked with
because she is the editor of the DC Icons series launched last Jon Baker at what was then the William Morris Agency.
month. Her authors represent a list that must make competitors Recognizing her potential and business acumen early on, Baker
envious: Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Sarah Maas, and Matt de la followed her career with interest when he left the agency to
Pea. become a foreign scout and has observed her become a firmly
Eberly has a particular penchant for female warriors and is a established, respected member of the foreign rights community.
member of a Tamora Piercethemed book club, so it is fitting He praises her for being a talented manager who simultane-
that she has been entrusted with editing Pierces first new ously grasps the international value of childrens titles, from
Tortall novel in seven years. Demonstrating her proactive atti- classics like the Curious George series to contemporary young
tude, Eberly was co-developer of the OMG Shakespeare series adult and picture books, while also knowing what individual
(Shakespeare retold on a smartphone), which has expanded into markets in the still-burgeoning childrens section can bear.
OMG Classics with its seventh book, Greek Gods #Squadgoals, Known for her adventurous spirit, Finn was one of the first
publishing in November. Upcoming in the Eberly hit parade U.S. publishers to visit Chinas growing childrens market in
are the second book in Jessica Cluesss fantasy trilogy, and The 2015, a journey that resulted in an increase of 100 new deals
Cobalt Prince, the sequel to Mark Siegels 5 Worlds: The Sand in that market over the previous year.

Literary agent
Martin Literary Management, Seattle
Assistant art director

Penguin/Riverhead/Viking, New York

fter earning her law degree
at American University, aylor Grant has created the new
Gore joined a New York normal in Creative Marketing
firm, primarily representing Services at Penguin, her col-
indigent clients in federal criminal pro- league says, adding that she has
ceedings. When she joined Martin Literary Management in transformed what is possible to do in an industry eager to
2013, she brought the same tenacity, passion, and sensitivity be part of our interconnected world. Grant trained as an
that she exhibited as a lawyer to her new role as a literary agent illustrator at Parsons School of Design, worked in graphic
in the childrens book world. design for the restaurant industry, and designed apps before
Among the authors she represents are Leah Henderson, joining the ad/promo department at Putnam Riverhead,
author of the recently published One Shadow on the Wall, a just as publishers were turning away from printed promo-
middle grade novel about an orphaned boy in contemporary tional materials. She combines an artists approach with
Senegal who must decide between doing what is right and what innovative concepts to create standout visuals. She estab-
is easy, and Kory Merritt, the illustrator of the Poptropica lished the Penguin Hotline, which provides customized
series. Following the recent Muslim ban, Gore and another holiday book recommendations. One of her most recent
agent joined forces to create an open call for writers of Muslim projects is Riverhead HQ, a physical studio that allows
heritage to query a long list of agents, opening an opportunity Riverhead marketers and editors to take their own photos
for voices of underrepresented ethnicities to be heard. Her bold and create videos to showcase authors and books directly to
endeavor garnered press attention that prompted more agents the consumer.
to jump on board.

ongra tul ati

C ANNIE NYBO! son to our PW Star Watch honoree,

Were proud to have you on the Albert Whitman & Company team!


Publishing award-winning childrens books since 1919

Director of publicity CHRISTA HESCHKE
Other Press, New York Literary agent

McIntosh & Otis, New York
reers outstanding track

record in attracting ccording to one of her authors,
major national publicity Christa Heschkes official job
for the presss titles is title may be literary agent,
praised by both her authors and col- but it might as well be time
leagues. Baz Dreisinger, author of Incarceration Nations, says traveler. Thats because Heschke works to take advantage of
that Greer landed the book in more outlets than I ever new global opportunities for such modern classics as The
could have expected with a topic that is vital and hugely Pushcart War by Jean Merrill, MC Higgins the Great by
relevant, but difficult to sell to the masses. Gideon Virginia Hamilton, and Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander
Rachman, author of Easternization, says that Greer is in a Key, as well as discovering fresh, contemporary voices.
league of her own for her sheer energy and determination Author Rebecca Caprara, whose forthcoming novel, Chance
with which she pursues leads. The NBCC Awardwinning Seedling, is due next year from Lerner, says, Christa is more than
At The Existential Caf by Sarah Blakely is another title that an agent, shes a collaborator. Another client, illustrator Vincent
benefited from Greers hand. It was named one of the top X. Kirsch, says of Heschke, She is always there to encourage me
10 books of 2016 by the New York Times Book Review. and has some very clever tricks in her pocket. She has changed
Algerian journalist Kamel Daouds novel, The Mersault my work in that I do not feel I am creating in a vacuum.
Investigation, was praised by NPRs Fresh Air as a tour de Kirschs The Hole Story of the Doughnut was named one of 12
force. All that, and she oversees extensive author tours, Junior Library elementary nonfiction selections for 2016, and
many for international authors, and manages a department Gingerbread for Liberty was a 2016 ALA Notable Childrens Book.
of four.

Sarah Billingsley
Executive Editor, Food & Lifestyle
on your Publishers Weekly
Star Watch nomination
and your wonderful Fall list!

W W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M 9
Congratulations to HONOREES

Senior Agent
Founder and owner
Massive Goods, Brooklyn, N.Y.

ccording to an industry col-
league, Anne Ishii is super
fly and can dance. Nice! But
that is not why she is a Star
Watch honoree. She is an editor, translator, publisher, pro-
ducer, and marketing professional who has been immersed
in popular Japanese culture for more than 15 years. Since
2005 she has translated manga for Viz Media and other
publishers and has earned an industrywide reputation in
that role. She is also a freelance writer and critic of indie
comics and manga, and wrote frequently on those topics

and Author
for PW from 2007 to 2009.
In 2013, she and filmmaker Graham Kolbeins founded
Massive Goods, a book publisher, fashion brand, apparel

maker, and agency based on queer Japanese manga and art
work. Along with Chip Kidd, the noted book designer and
Pantheons graphic novel editor, Ishii is the co-editor and

translator of Massive: Gay Japanese Manga and the Men Who
Make It.

Senior designer
Knopf, New York

t is unlikely that a serious 624-
page nonfiction book would
inspire a book designer to reach
for the stars, but the author of The
Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and
Afghanistan, Kael Weston, considers the book a joint venture with
Kwon, one in which the form and look match the content. Among
the challenges the book presented were arranging the nearly 100
photos that Weston took in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soonyoung
balanced images of the ugliest aspects of war alongside images of
dramatic landscapes amid rubbled towns, Weston says, a con-

on being named a struct that could easily have gone wrong in so many ways.
Peter Andersen, Kwons boss, says that she always allows

pw star watch honoree! the subject matter to determine where her designs go. In the
case of The Mirror Test, she expanded our normal rules around
the photo insert and reimagined what a photo insert can and
should do. Andersen also lauds her work on the cookbook
Vegetarian India by Madhur Jaffrey, where she mastered the
tricky task of combining highly stylized professional food shots
with the authors more casual photographs from India. Her
solution was to scotch-tape the snapshots with what look like
handwritten captions. It is both so boldly and so subtly done
that you are hardly aware of the artifice, Andersen notes.
10 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y S E P T E M B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7

Senior agent
Andrea Brown Literary Agency, San

aughran is both agent and book-
seller, spending weekdays
working remotely for the Andrea Brown Literary Agency Michael
and weekends at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, N.Y. She
is lauded by coworkers from both worlds, and by her authors. A
colleague at the agency says, She has demonstrated herself as
an unmatchable advocate for writers and illustrators, and she is
a generous colleague to not only her fellow agents at ABLA but
the larger community of agents, editors, and publishing
Her fans appreciate her multifaceted online presence manifest
in her ask me anything Tumblr platform; her blog, Literaticat;
and her tweets. At Oblong, she is recognized for being a fierce
hand-seller in the childrens and YA sections, with devoted
customers who return time and again for Jennifers picks.
Along with co-owner Suzanna Hermans (a Star Watch finalist), Executive Editor
Laughran founded an author event series, the Hudson Valley Little, Brown and Company
YA Society, which to date has brought more than 100 authors
to the area.
on being named to

Owner and manager, Papercuts, and PWs 2017
Star Watch
publisher, Cutlass Press
Papercuts J.P., Boston

L List
aytes first job was at Borders,
which had a profound effect on
her; she has a strong belief in
the transformative power of
books. Life is difficult, but I believe books can help, she
said in a TEDx talk last year. Later, she learned the back We salute all the young professionals
end of the business, as she describes it, in the customer
who have distinguished themselves
service department at Hachette and then learned how
books got made in the managing editorial department at as future leaders of our industry
Little, Brown. All of it intrigued me, but I missed the
alchemy of hand-selling books, she adds. Thus, on Small
Business Saturday in 2014, Layte opened Papercuts, which
will be celebrating its third anniversary this fall.
Papercuts is the quintessential independent bookstore.
We sell books; we podcast; we publish, Layte says. We
even have a store dog, Luna. Cutlass Press is the publishing
arm of Papercuts that has released three books with two
more coming this fall. The store has received best-of-Boston
awards from The Improper Bostonian and Boston magazine.

W W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M 11

Random House, New York Director of digital sales and social media

Kensington Publishing Group, New York
ts not only PW that is watching

McKennas star riselast year icolajsen is credited not only for
she was the winner of the 2016 advancing Kensingtons e-book
Ashmead Award, which recog- sales and social media presence but,
nizes a promising young editor. This for a while, being the digital pub-
year her colleagues nominated her for Star Watch because of her lishing program. She joined the company in 2008 as an executive
brilliant diagnostic abilities, infectious team spirit, and per- assistant, but quickly moved to the marketing department, where
haps above all, a true love of books. she singlehandedly managed the nascent digital side of the com-
When she joined the house five years ago, she worked under pany and spearheaded the launch of its digital-first program. She
award-winning author and editor David Ebershoff and imme- now oversees the Lyrical Press e-book imprint while leading
diately stood out for her editorial contributions. Among the digital marketing efforts across all imprints.
books that have benefited from her smarts are the bestseller When Nicolajsen came onboard, Kensingtons social media
Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt; Known and Strange Things, platform was nonexistent. She quickly launched one, regis-
a collection of essays by Teju Cole; and a previously unpublished tering Kensingtons first accounts on Facebook, Twitter,
collection by acclaimed author Shirley Jackson. On the horizon Instagram, et al., and built them into indispensable sales tools.
for McKenna, who is praised by colleagues and supervisors alike E-book sales have grown to 50 times what they were when she
for being one of the fastest and smartest readers we know, are first joined the digital side of the company. Beyond sales, she
the publication of several of her acquisitions, including The Tao distinguishes herself by building strong relationships with
of Bill Murray by Gavin Edwards; The Animators, a debut novel accounts, business partners, and authors.
by Kayla Rae Whitaker; and Green by Sam Graham-Felsen.


Albert Whitman & Co., Park Ridge, Ill. Editor

Nation Books, New York
hen Nybo entered

publishing as an Donnell takes books that
intern only six seem to have little potential
years ago, she hit and turns them into suc-
the ground running. As an editorial cesses. She was the only one
assistant at HMHs Clarion books, Nybo acquired five in town to make an offer on the scholar
books. Next stop on her speedy upward journey was S&Ss Ibram X. Kendis Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive
Margaret K. McElderry Books, where she was an integral History of Racist Ideas in America. She edited multiple drafts
part of the Cassandra Clare publishing program. Nybo also and encouraged Kendi to pitch op-eds and do events, The
edited her own projects at S&S, including Catherynne M. book ended up winning the 2016 National Book Award for
Valentes forthcoming novel, The Glass Town Game. nonfiction.
She is fearless in developing projects whether through She worked the same magic with Mychal Denzel Smiths
in-house intellectual property or tracking down top talent, Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching. The painfully
particularly from the video game community. After only personal nature of the story caused Smith to struggle, but
six months at Whitman, she recently acquired Feeder, a ODonnell literally brought him into the office and helped
debut YA title from Dragon Age lead writer Patrick talk him through the entire book. Its rare to find an editor
Weekes. who doesnt just care about the book underway, says editorial
Nybo also has served as the v-p of community engage- director Alessandra Bastagli, but who takes an interest in
ment for the CBCs Early Career Committee, where she each individual authors career as a whole.
organized volunteer opportunities.


on being named to
publishers weekly s 2017 star watch list


Publisher, cofounder
Beehive Books, Philadelphia

hen Philadelphias Locust Moon Comics Shop,
cofounded by ONeill, closed in 2015, there
was a silver lining; its small press arm, Locust
Press, lived on. ONeill mastered the art of
crowdfunding to continue to publish such titles as Little Nemo:
Dream Another Dream, an oversize hardcover anthology of full-
color comics based on Winsor McCays classic comic strip,
Little Nemo. In 2015, he partnered with the Philadelphia
Museum of Art to publish Prometheus Bound, used by the
museum to explore and promote a major exhibition of works
by Rubens, Titian. and Michelangelo. Last year, ONeill part-
Senior manager, editorial operations
nered with artist and designer Malle Doliveux to found Audible, Newark, N.J.

Beehive, a comics and graphic design publishing house and
design firm. Recently, Beehive raised more than $169,000 on hen Op den Bosch began at Audible in 2009
Kickstarter to publish hardcover reprints of classic novels in the customer care department, she was
illustrated by comics artist. The press coverage, his lectures at armed with nothing but her own smarts. She
the Library of Congress, and his curated exhibitions have had yet to earn an associate degree in graphic
earned ONeill the reputation as one of the most exciting and design, which she accomplished in 2012 while working full-
innovative minds in independent comics and graphic novel time. Now, still working full-time, but much further up the
publishing today. ladder, she is on track to earn a B.A. in Spanish from Rutgers
next year. She moved over to the content team in 2011 and
became a rights evangelist, says her supervisor.
Op den Bosch was part of the launch team for ACX (the
Audiobook Creation Exchange), a marketplace where authors,
literary agents, publishers, and other rights holders can connect
with narrators, engineers, recording studios, and others to pro-
duce a finished audiobook. Among the hundreds of authors that
she has shepherded are Bella Andre, Tim Ferriss, Hugh Howey,
and Jasinda Wilder. She also acquires content specifically for
business customers, Kindle Singles, and other short fiction for
Audible Channels customers, and has acquired Spanish-
language works for listeners in North America and English-
language content for listeners in Japan.

Senior agent
Erin Murphy Literary Agency

n an unusual arrangement, Erin Murphy is both Paquettes literary agent and boss. Both Murphy and a
colleague at the agency express amazement at Paquettes ability to seamlessly integrate the dual role. Her
writing informs her representation and vice versa, says Murphy. She shifts easily from brainstorming
about her own work to thinking through knotty issues that have come up on the agent side.
The first deal Paquette made eight years ago, at auction, was for Jennifer Nielsen, who has done 16
books with her and hit the bestsellers lists multiple times. If I heard that in her spare time, Joan also
spins straw into gold, Id only doubt it a little bit, says Nielsen. After eight years with the agency,
Paquette has matched or exceeded her bosss achievements in number of deals (182), top-selling clients
for the agency, and books produced for film or television (Nerve on the big screen, The Royals on the small).

14 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y S E P T E M B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7

Senior editor

Scholastic/Graphix, New York

y the time she graduated from Spelman College,
Pelham had already attracted the attention of the
folks at Scholastic; for three years in a row she won a
Scholastic/Childrens Defense Fund Fellowship. As a
fellow, she traveled to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to Web ad impressions
develop a plan for Scholastic to restore books to schools and

libraries. Immediately after graduation, she joined Scholastic,
where a position was waiting for her.

Web page views

opened emails

unique visitors

social followers

print copies
In the decade since, Pelham has been a part of major critical
and commercial successes such as Kazu Kibuishis Amulet
series and Jeff Smiths Bone. But the foremost example of
Pelhams talent is the partnership she has forged with Raina
Telgemeier to adapt the Babysitters Club series for the graphic
novel format. That success led to Telgemeiers own franchise of
graphic novels that have earned two Eisner Awards, a Stonewall 1872-2017

Honor, and a Boston GlobeHorn Book Honor. Telgemeiers
Smile has spent more than 200 weeks on the New York Times
bestseller list.
An advocate for both the graphic novel form and diversity
initiatives, Pelham has been called by more than one colleague
an editor of books that young readers want and needbooks
that also resonate with parents, teachers, and librarians.
W W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M 15
pw1451/2V.indd 1 1/13/17 4:23 PM

Associate digital marketing manager
Simon & Schuster, New York
Director of operations

Books Inc., San Francisco

n only four years, Perez has
accomplished impressive feats. even years ago, after working as an
She started as an assistant to mar- intern for a local congressman,
keting director Chrissy Noh and Perham realized politics wasnt for
rose to associate digital marketing him. So he took a part-time job
manager. She grew the nascent Riveted, S&Ss online YA com- as a bookseller at Books Inc. while he figured out what was
munity, to a site that attracts thousands of teen and YA readers next. Instead, he fell in love with bookselling, taking on a
on a daily basis. Perez has also forged partnerships with such full-time position and then becoming store manager. Now he
outside brands and organizations as Wattpad and NaNoWriMo is running operations for Books Inc.s 11 bookstores.
(National Novel Writing Month), free online writing com- Books Inc. is the Wests oldest independent bookseller,
munities, which consistently draw new readers into the operating since 1851, and Perham is proud to be part of its
Riveted community. recent growth. He has planned and overseen the opening of
Perez is the force behind S&Ss presence at teen festivals new stores in Berkeley, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and in
including Yallwest, Yallfest, and BookCon. She creates the Terminal 3 at San Francisco International Airport. Next year,
booth programming and swag that attracts hundreds of teens, another store will open in Campbell. Perham believes that
and manages it all seamlessly. many hundreds of communities in this country that dont have
While she was busy rising through the ranks of the mar- a bookstore could support oneor more. He takes pride in
keting department, she also found time to earn her Masters in making his belief a reality by dotting the Bay Area with sev-
Publishing from Pace University. Perez graduated with a 4.0 eral new stores.
GPA and earned the programs Award for Excellence.

your books
with Paper.


Senior editor and Lego publishing
Sales director, mass merchandise,
national accounts
Scholastic, New York

Penguin Random House, New York
etranek is the editor of several

successful original fiction ight out of college, Rein
series based on licensed prop- joined PRH as a sales assis-
erties, including Star Wars: tant, where he immediately
Jedi Academy; DC Comics: Secret Hero Society, and Assassins Creed: stood out for his curiosity and creativity, fre-
Last Descendants. He is also editor of the pop-up book, Lego Pop quently asking a follow-up question (or three) that signaled
by paper engineer Matthew Reinhart. His colleagues and he was thinking big. Rein is known for being relentlessly
authors consider him an editorial rock star and are deeply driven to find larger audiences for the houses content. His
impressed by his personal and professional passion for pop, kids supervisor, Tom Cox, says that he possesses an uncanny
culture, and video games. ability to size up a reading audience and find creative ways
His boss praises him for his skill in the difficult job of spin- to connect these readers to the books that will interest them.
ning a fresh new story from someone elses intellectual property. In less than a decade, Rein has made a quick ascent from
Jarrett Krosoczka, author of books in the Jedi Academy series, his entry-level position to become a sales director with a
calls Petranek a brilliant editor who helps you get your story knack for team building, adds Cox. He has garnered respect
to where it needs to be without inserting his own mandates. and built strong relationships across departments within the
Legos creative director, Mikkel Lee, cites his ability to always company and with his customers built on his work ethic,
access the eight-year-old version of himself. Ben Harper, editor problem-solving abilities, and his fresh approach to mar-
of various series, praises Petraneks creative solutions to the keting and merchandising.
challenges we sometimes face in licensing.


2017 PW STAR WATCH FINALISTS! Photo by Ellen B. Wright


Associate Editor Associate Digital Marketing Manager Editor
Scribner Simon & Schuster Childrens Books Saga Press

Senior editor ERIKA SEYFRIED
Penguin Books, New York Assistant director, digital campaigns and media planning

Random House, New York
n just three years at Penguin,

Schwoeri has accumulated an fter successfully kick-starting Random Houses self-serve
impressive list of books that have Amazon campaigns and launching a partnership with the
been both commercial and critical digital creative agency 24G, Seyfrieds superiors created
successes. In February, she published a position for her tailored to maximize her value to the
the acclaimed Ghachar Ghochar, by Vivek Shanbhag, one of very publishing group. She leads a team tasked with implementing
few books to be translated from the Indian language Kannada new ways to drive measurable sales via digital campaigns that
into English. March saw the publication of the bestseller Cork includes partnering with vendors to ensure their advertising is
Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, optimized and relevant to the consumer. For Lena Dunhams
Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for national bestseller, Not That Kind of Girl, she applied her savvy
Taste by Bianca Bosker. about consumer habits and celebrity culture to create q&a sessions
Last year, Schwoeri published four paperback originals: the for Dunham that had a big impact on sales.
novels Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra; 13 Ways of Looking For Creativity, Inc. by Pixar founder Ed Catmull, Seyfried spear-
at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad; Flynn Berrys Edgar Awardwin- headed a marketing campaign that was as innovative and dynamic
ning Under the Harrow; and a memoir, Where Am I Now?, by as the books content, says a colleague. Those who work with
Mary Wilson. All have been reprinted numerous times. hercolleagues, agents, vendors, and marketing partnerstout
Penguin president and publisher Kathryn Court attributes her inexhaustible social media prowess, her creativity and enthu-
Schwoeris success to having a range of interests along with a siasm in implementing campaigns, and her tireless nurturing of
real sense of what needs to be done, to make her books a authors.


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18 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y S E P T E M B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7

Senior production manager
Ten Speed Press, Emeryville, Calif.

igona makes books that are exciting
to read, beautiful to look at, and
delightful to hold, says her super-
visor, Derek Gullino. And, he adds,
she has an absolute command of manufac-
turing and prepress. Two examples of Sigonas contributions to a
press that prides itself on luxurious, illustrated books with high
production values are The NoMad Cookbook and House Industries.
For the former, the authors wanted to capture the idea of a speak-
easy. To realize that vision, Sigona developed a book in which the
back part is a tray, its edges molded to look like book pages. Tucked
inside the tray is a small cocktail book, whose recipes complement
the recipes in the main pages. After a false startthe trays couldnt
withstand the weight of cartons when they were palletizedSigona
re-engineered the product and overcame the problem.
House Industries features four different kinds of paper and, mul-
tiple color inks, including a varnish that creates a unique pattern
on every page. But its the behind-the-scenes production work,
when Sigona fixes unexpected snafus, that Gullino says sets her



quirkbooks.com | /quirkbooks


Forest Avenue Press, Portland, Ore.

Manager, publishing development
ust over three years ago, Stanfill
and author platforms
Penguin Random House, New York
launched Forest Avenue Press, a

publisher dedicated to show-
s the author of the popular casing Oregon talent on their
YA podcast, UpvoteYA, own turf. Its inaugural release, Brave on
Stamper-Halpin brings an author-focused perspec- the Page, a collection of essays from some of the Pacific
tive to his role in managing communications with Northwests top writers, immediately landed on Powells
authors and PRHs Author Portal. After joining the company bookstore staffs top five list and was named Book of the Year
in 2015, Stamper-Halpin added key tools to the portal that by the bookseller as well. Each of Stanfills subsequent four
streamlined the otherwise daunting experience for authors, books landed on regional bestseller lists. Yet until recently,
agents, and publishers. Last year, he led the Author the press relied on print-on-demand via Espresso Book
Questionnaire Project, which merged all existing question- Machine.
naires across all divisions and imprints in the U.S. and Canada When Stanfill acquired Landfall by Ellen Urbani, the author
into one global form. Working with designers, developers, envisioned more than a regional reach for her book. At the
marketers, and editors, he succeeded in implementing a pro- same time Stanfill wanted to expand her business on the
gram that allows frictionless collaboration between authors and national stage. Their goals aligned to the benefit of both.
marketing/publicity teams. Stamper-Halpin is passionate Stanfill signed a contract with Legato, a division of PGW/
about giving authors the tools and resources they need to Perseus and pressed it to have galleys ready just ahead of the
market themselves: to build their readership, increase their 10th anniversary of Hurricane KatrinaAug. 29, 2015the
online presence, and increase sales. setting of the novel. The goal was handily achieved.

20 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y S E P T E M B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7


Director of publicity
HarperCollins Childrens Books, New York
Executive editor

Little, Brown, New York

he list of authors Sun has worked
with as a publicist and now as a n his less than three years at Little
publicity director is a veritable Brown, Szczerban has had a sig-
whos who of leading stars of nificant impact. He has impressed
childrens literature. Among them are Mac Barnett, Drew us all with his business sense, his keen eye for valuable
Daywalt, Neil Gaiman, Kevin Henkes, Jon Klassen, Thanhha projects, his terrific expertise with illustrated books and cook-
Lai, Patricia McCormick, Patrick Ness, Lauren Oliver, and Sara books, and his all-around excellence as a reader, editor, and
Pennypacker. She has been instrumental in building careers, as colleague, says Reagan Arthur, LB senior v-p and publisher.
well as furthering the legacies of such literary giants as Maurice To be fair, Szczerban did get a bit of a head start in the business:
Sendak, Shel Silverstein, and Margaret Wise Brown. while still a student at Carnegie Mellon, he was an assistant
Booki Vivat, a former colleague and now the author-illus- editor at the universitys press. From there, degree in hand, he
trator of Frazzled, says that Sun had a monumental impact on went to Simon & Schuster, where he helped launch the TED
the success of her novel. Sun embodies the idea of a rising star; imprint. In 2012, Szczerban received the industrys Larry
she is a force. Vivat also cites her advocacy for diversity. Sun Ashmead Award for young book editors.
was a founding member of CBC Diversity, and this past year, Among Szczerbans projects are Sarah Knights highly pop-
along with Andrew Harwell (last years PW Superstar), estab- ular Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and Get Your Sh*t
lished a diversity working group for the childrens division of Together; the upcoming Milk Street Kitchen from cooking legend
HarperCollins. Christopher Kimball, and White House photographer Pete
Souzas Obama: An Intimate Portrait.

Associate art director
Quirk Books, Philadelphia Penguin Publishing Group, New York

hen Thornburgh joined the press five uckers first job in publishing
years ago, she immediately noticed a was in the ad/promo depart-
dearth of titles that connected to female ment at Penguin for Putnam
readers. She set out to change that with and Tarcher titles. She liked
a crop of women-focused books, including Wonder to say then that she designed every-
Woman and Basic Witches. With the publication of the thing but the book, from taxi-top
bestseller Fangirls Guide to the Galaxy, she anticipated advertisements to corporate catalogues.
the cultural conversation around women in geekdom. But she was determined to some day
She also has built a reputation for shaping popular design books and sought out mentors to learn everything she
internet content into booksOur Perfect Marriage could about book design. Now, as the four-color cookbook editor
developed from the couple behind the @ for Penguins Avery and Pam Krauss lines, Tucker proudly
WeFoughtAbout Twitter accountas well as devel- describes her work as designing everything about the book,
oping in-house properties such as Crafting with cover to cover.
Feminism and the forthcoming Geekarella. Megan Newman, v-p and publisher of Avery Books, cites the
And thats just her day job. Thornburgh is the author tremendous impact Tucker has had on defining a sense of style
of Whos That Girl, her debut YA novel published in for the imprints cookbooks. Newman also praises her ability to
July by HarperTeen. Her second YA novel is due from work with authors to enhance and refine their vision while also
the same publisher in 2018, and Atheneum will soon being mindful of their individual aesthetic. Another colleague,
publish her debut picture book. In addition, Claire Vaccaro, cites her ability to juggle several books, but
Thornburgh is completing an M.F.A. in Writing for approach each project with a unique vision.
Children from Hamline University, where she has won Upcoming projects that Vaccaro promises will showcase
two scholarships. Literary agent Eric Smith, who earlier Tuckers outstanding talent are Cedella Marleys Cooking with
worked with her at Quirk, says, She does amazing Herb, the former White House pastry chef Bill Yossess The Sweet
work... and is a force to be reckoned with. Spot, and Valentina Solfrinis Naturally Vegetarian.

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, New York

fter seven years as a childrens book
editor, Wolfe, along with colleague Joe
Monti, built Saga Press, a science fic-
tion and fantasy imprint, from the
ground up. It quickly became a major player in the
SFF world, publishing several critically acclaimed books, such as
Nebula Award finalist Borderline by Mishell Baker and titles by
Cassandra Rose Clark, Frederick S. Durbin, Theodora Goss, Kay
Kenyon, Rachel Neumeier, and others. This year, Wolfe was a finalist
for the Hugo Award for Best Editor, Long Form and the Locus Award
for Best Editor.
Wolfe has also made her mark editing anthologies including The
Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, which she edited with Dominik Parisien
and was called the best original fantasy anthology of the year by
Locus magazine. Wolfe and Parisiens next anthology, Robots vs. Fairies,
is due in January.
Wolfe says that she loves books with characters that steal your
heart and never give it back; stories that linger in your heart, get
under your skin, and make us question the status quo.
22 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K L Y S E P T E M B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7
Congratulations to our
PW Star Watch Nominees
Cassandra Pelham Michael Petranek
Senior Editor, Graphix and Scholastic Press Senior Editor and LEGO Publishing Manager

SCHOLASTIC and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Scholastic Inc.

Colleen AF Venable
Art director, Childrens Book Group

Workman, New York

enable took an unusual route to her current stressful six months, Venable recalls of her work with top
position, where, according to Workman gen- graphic artists/authors including Ben Hatke, Gene Luen
eral manager Jill Salayi, she creates books that Yang, and George OConnor, whose Olympian series she
have never existed before. Venable began her wished she had when she struggled with school-taught
career as a receptionist for the Childrens Book mythology. But Venable was hooked on design, and ever
Council and also wound up running the coun- since she has been determined to make books that anyone
cils librarya treasure chest of Caldecott and would want to hold in their handbooks that I would have
Newbery winners that left a deep impression on her. From wanted as a kid.
there, she joined the marketing team at Macmillan Three years ago, Workman hired Venable with a mandate
Childrens Publishing, where she participated in meetings to make art objects for great and terrible children, Salayi
in which the art and design of titles, including covers, was says. With her team of creatives unlike any in publishing,
discussed. as Salayi describes them, Venable has overseen the redesign
Venable noticed that her comments in those meetings of Workmans childrens list from top to bottomfrom
were often met with affirmative nods from First Second pub- brands such as Brain Quest, Indestructibles, and Paint by
lisher Mark Siegel, who one day asked, Do you know Sticker to individual frontlist titles as well.
Photoshop? The innovation comes from what Venable calls the art
Venable had never studied design (though she did have cave, a studio she founded where designers, inventors, film-
some knowledge of Photoshop), but Siegel brought her over makers, and 3-D modelers all work togethera perfect set-
to his imprint and sent her to design school. It was a very ting for a leader who has a vast skill set in helping creators
reach their goals, Salayi says. From this design workshop
has come a number of innovative, interactive books that
expand the very nature of the form, Salayi adds.
For Spy on History: Marty Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring,
Venable created an intricate system of cryptography for
young readers to decipher. In Rocket, a physical 3-D-modeled
toy flies through spreads of outer space. The Most Dangerous
Book, an illustrated guide to archery designed by Venable, is
another title that blurs the line between book and toy: it
transforms into a real bow and shoots paper arrows that
resemble historical varieties of arrows from all over the
Though Venables mtier is art design and direction, she
is involved in the publication process from beginning to end.
Before we acquire books, we lay out spreads as a group, she
notes. Some art directors chafe at the idea of editorial over-
sight, but Venable says, Im used to designing with the
editor standing behind mein a good way. She even brings
her brief stint as a marketer to bear, developing interactive
promotions for stores and custom projects that transform
books into kits.
And all that is just Venables day job. In her spare time
she writes childrens books, including the six-book Guinea
Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series, Mervyn the Sloth Is About to
Do the Best Thing in the World, published last year, and the
forthcoming Amy the Red Panda Is Writing the Best Story in the
World, due in November.

24 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY S E P T M E B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7
Publishers Weekly offers sincere thanks to everyone for their
submissions to the PW 2017 Star Watch program.
We congratulate the Top 45 honorees for their hard work
and contributions to the publishing industry!


Special recognition goes to our partners and sponsors

for making this event possible.


Daniel Loedel
Associate editor
Scribner, New York

f youre looking for a beach read, dont ask Loedel, a
quickly ascending 29-year-old editor at Scribner who has
already garnered an impressive list of what he calls dark
and challenging books. While he doesnt want to get a
reputation for sucker punching peoples souls, he says,
hes not particularly interested in entertaining readers.
What he is passionate about is presenting works that offer
high emotional stakes and move the conversation.
Nan Graham, Scribner senior v-p and publisher, praises
Loedels tremendous versatility in successfully publishing
books of literary fiction, popular science, psychology, and his-
tory, while always staying true to his very high standards. His
recent publications include Selection Day, the latest novel by
Aravind Adiga, the Booker Prizewinning author of The White
Tiger, who trusted the young editor enough to change pub-
lishers to work with him. And in March, Loedel published One
of the Boys, the debut novel by Daniel Magariel about two young
brothers contending with the love they have for their abusive
father. It was widely acclaimed and was picked as a New York social change, and when there were very different ways of
Times Editors Choice, and rights were sold in many treating the disease than we have now. Woven into the narra-
territories. tive are passages about schizophrenia and the historical context,
Loedel considers himself to be lucky to be at Scribner, where making it, Loedel says, a very unusual, great document.
he is supported in his often-difficult picks. Its not always that In an atypical arrangement that pleases Loedel, he is co-
a short and dark book can win the affection of everyone on the editing the book with Scribner executive editor Kathryn
sales force, he says. He gives most of the credit to his colleagues Belden. He values the intimate one-on-one relationships that
in making this work, but he gives himself a tiny pat on the back editors have historically had with authors, but says, I really like
for expressing his enthusiasm for the books as well as articu- working in teams: its really nice to bounce ideas between edi-
lating what makes them worth engaging with. As Graham tors, and thats not done enough in this industry.
succinctly puts it, He motivates staff with his eloquence and Although Loedel is young and sets a high standard for his
conviction. choices, he is keenly aware of the crucial balancing act when
Loedel wants readers to get their heads out of the sand about youre a literary editor of books that may not sell even when the
taboo or difficult topics such as suicide, schizophrenia, and stars are all aligned and the reviews are raves. One of his nonfic-
impoverishment in immigrant communities. The latter is at tion titles, Rethink: The Surprising History of New Ideas by Steven
the core of The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory Poole, was a J.P. Morgan book club pick this summer. And, in
in an American City by Laura Tillman, about the brutal murder what Loedel calls an entrepreneurial exercise (rather than an
of three young children by their parents in the border city of opportunistic one), he reissued Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of
Brownsville, Tex., one of Americas poorest cities. Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers by James Donovan, origi-
Coming in January is A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise, a book nally published in 1964, in time for the 2015 release of Bridge
about schizophrenia that Loedel is particularly eager to get out of Spies. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom
into the world. Its written by Sandra Allen, a former BuzzFeed Hanks, was loosely based on the book. While not a tie-in per
editor, who crashed into the project when she unexpectedly se, the book sprang onto bestseller lists.
received a package from her schizophrenic uncle. Inside was a Loedels passion for books with high moral stakesand sales
convoluted, error-filled, smelly autobiographical manuscript potentialhas served him well. Graham recounts that at a
that she sort of translated into a narrative of his life story, recent meeting, the president and CEO of S&S U.K. and
Loedel says. She takes the reader into what having the disease Commonwealth publishing turned to her and said, Daniel is
was like for him growing up in Berkeley at a time of major the most impressive young editor I have ever met.

26 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY S E P T M E B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7
500,000 MOBILE USERS rely on PW mobile as a daily source of information.

Suzanna Hermans
Then came an even bigger hurdle: Amazon. It remains a
challenge today but was even scarier when the e-tailer
launched and started offering books almost cheaper than I
Co-owner could buy them from a publisher, Hermans recalls. That
Oblong Books, Millerton and Rhinebeck, N.Y. hasnt changed, but whats new is the imperative to shop

localto support communities and keep their bookstores
s soon as she was tall enough to see over the open. Its been wonderful to watch the needle swing back to
counter, Hermans started working the cash reg- a vibrant, independent bookselling universe, Hermans adds.
ister at Oblong Books. The store was cofounded The key is adding value. Yes, you can buy anything I sell
in 1975 by her father, Dick Hermans, in for cheaper somewhere else, so why do you want to buy it from
Millerton, N.Y., and Oblong is now the largest me? Hermans asks. Because were extremely knowledgeable
independent bookseller in the Hudson Valley. about our inventory, because its beautiful here, because we
She attended her first NEIBA when she was support our community. When we go away, its not just that
about 12 years old, and for the past 10 years has co-owned you lose a bookstoreyou lose a community partner.
and managed the family business, which includes a second One of Hermanss favorite community projects is working
outlet added in Rhinebeck six years ago. She has seen many with the elementary school in Rhinebeck on a special pro-
changes in the business over the decades. gram for fourth graders. During the semester-long project,
Ive been aware of what has been happening in the book the students learn every aspect of creating a book, culmi-
business since I was about 10, Hermans says. I watched my nating in making their own. They talk with a book author
dad deal with the coming of B&N in our area. Fortunately and illustrator, a book editor, and a book designer. At the end
B&N was far enough away that it didnt have too terrible an of the journey, as Hermans refers to it, they visit the bookstore
impact on the store, but we certainly watched a lot of our and learn about marketing and selling from Hermans and her
friends businesses suffer or close. I grew up thinking, Chain staff. We get to nerd out with the fourth graders, she says.
stores are the worst. Now, 20 years later, oh my God, we need Another program is their Fixin into Film book group,
B&N. Its interesting to watch them go from being a com- in partnership with a small nonprofit arts cinema across the
plete enemy to a total partner. street from the Rhinebeck store. The group reads a book,
screens the movie adaptation, and then engages in discussion
about both.
The store is fortunate to have a plethora of libraries in the
area that provide plenty of partnering opportunities. Another
stroke of good fortune came a couple of years ago, when
Malcolm Gladwell, an owner of the historical White Hart
Inn in Salisbury, Conn., close to the Millerton store,
approached Oblong about working with them and libraries
to have events with authors. From Gladwell, the message was,
We want to invite the community into this space; we want
it to be a community center, Hermans explains. Hanya
Yanaghihara and Colm Tibn are among the authors the inn
and store have hosted.
The community-building work is paying off handsomely.
Hermans reports that her two stores have had a number of
their best years ever recently. Her list of achievements is
remarkable. In 2011, she and Oblong were the subjects of a
front-page story in USA Today. In 2013 she was elected
president of the NEIBA board of directors, its youngest
president to date. Hermans served on the American
Booksellers for Free Expression advisory council for six years.
This year, Hermans was honored as one of five female trail-
blazers in Dutchess County by the Poughkeepsie Journal and
has been selected as a judge for the 2017 National Book
Award for Young Peoples Literature, which she calls the
biggest honor of my career.

28 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY S E P T M E B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7

Andrea Montejo
Indent Literary Agency, New York

ccording to author David Unger, winner of
Guatemalas 2014 Miguel ngel Asturias
National Prize for Literature and a teacher of
translation at City College of New Yorks grad-
uate M.A. program, Andrea Montejo is the
most important agent representing exclusively
Latin-American writers and Latino writers in
the U.S. She has sold five of Ungers books to publishers in
the U.S. and abroad, and her expertise and influence extends
far and wide. Montejo has been a fellow at the Turin,
Frankfurt, Jerusalem, Santiago, and Guadalajara [book
Born in Colombia and a graduate of the Paris IV Sorbonne,
Montejo began her career in 2001 at Rayo, a Harper Collins
imprint (since closed) dedicated to reaching a broader Latino
and Spanish-speaking readership. At that time, there was
great enthusiasm for publishing for these readers, and many
imprints catering to them were created. But unrealistic and Ernesto Quionez.
expectations and the financial crisis of 2008 led to the demise Soon to be delivered is a new book by Oscar Martinez, a
of many of these imprints. Montejo was not deterred, and 10 journalist from El Salvador who came to the attention of
years ago she opened Indent, a full-service agency based in readers here with The Beast (Verso), about migrants crossing
New York that represents Spanish- and English-language the border into the U.S. Montejo describes that book as an
authors for the U.S. market and throughout the world. extraordinary piece of journalism, and she has similar high
When Montejo left Rayo, she gravitated toward bringing praise to describe the authors forthcoming title, El Nio de
Latin-American voices to English-speaking readers, a rela- Hollywood, which chronicles the life of Miguel ngel Tobar, a
tively new initiative for publishing. Her success can beat member of the notorious Mara Slavtrucha gang that formed
least in partattributed to her firm understanding of what in Los Angeles and subsequently became one of the most vio-
Latinos and other Spanish-speakers in the U.S. need and want. lent gangs in Central America and on both coasts of the U.S.
In the early 2000s, Montejo says, publishers made the mis- Another timely book that Montejo is working on is Cuba
take of believing that the 40 million Latinos in this country on the Verge, edited by Leila Guerriero and featuring 12 pieces:
would rush into bookstores, because they didnt understand six by authors inside Cuba, six by those outside. It examines
the market. Most first-generation Latin-American immi- this moment in Cuban history, looking at what happened in
grants speak languages other than English (and not always light of Obamahow the country and specifically Havana
Spanish), but many second- and third-generation immi- have been altered, she says.
grants dont. Accordingly, Montejo has taken a broader Though the U.S. market remains somewhat resistant to
approach at Indent. I grew up in Columbia, so between translations, after a decade of running Indent, Montejo
Columbia and the U.S., I feel a very strong north-south con- reports promising signs. She still gets rejected a ton, but
nection, she saysone that isnt always reflected in the ways she sees a changing of the guard with the latest generation of
books travel. She explains that most Latin-American book editors, many of whom speak second languages and are more
publishing lists are determined in Spain and yet, I feel that comfortable with evaluating manuscripts in foreign lan-
my inspiration, my cultureeverything I aspired tois in guages. I want to think that books in translation will get
the U.S., and I think Im not alone. more attention in these turbulent timesthat there is some-
Among Montejos authors hailing from south of the thing positive to all this extremism that will make us reeval-
border are Lydia Cacho (Mexico), Alberto Fuget (Chile), and uate what were doing, Montejo says. We need more and
Mayra Santos-Febres (Puerto Rico). Montejo also repre- more to see other parts of the world, how others think and
sents Latinos living in the U.S., including Alberto Ferraras live, and to learn from their experiences.

W W W . P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY. C O M 29

Gabriella Page-Fort
Editorial director

AmazonCrossing, Seattle

few months ago AmazonCrossing, the literary

translation imprint of Amazon Publishing, cel-
ebrated its seventh anniversary. Under the lead-
ership of Page-Fort, who has been at the press
since its inception, AmazonCrossing has pub-
lished more than 300 titles from 36 countries
in 21 languages. Page-Fort acquired 239 of
those titles in 19 languages. Galen Maynard, associate pub-
lisher and foreign rights director of Amazon Publishing,
credits Page-Fort with changing the landscape of literature
available to English readers today and introducing voices
from around the world at a pace unmatched in the industry.
Page-Forts list includes the 1.5-million-copy-selling
Hangmans Daughter series by German writer Oliver Ptzsch
and a wide array of award-winning books from many coun-
tries, including Zygmunt Miloszewskis crime novel Rage,
which won the prestigious Paszport Polityki Prize for
Literature in Poland; Mariam Petrosyans The Gray House,
winner of Russias Big Book Prize; and Shion Miuras The in multiple genres with the goal of adding languages. She
Great Passage, which won a Japanese Bestsellers Award. embraces the challenges that translating from languages and
Literary agent Tom Colchie, who represents several inter- cultures less familiar to English speakers in the U.S. and
national authors, called Page-Fort a maverick of the first abroad offer.
order. He adds, What I especially appreciate about Gabriella Indonesia has been interesting for me personally, Page-Fort
is that she doesnt divide literature into high or low, difficult says. The language differs in its use of verb tenses and temporal
or easy, too dark or too lightshe only cares about whether references, and she calls working with Indonesian texts a great
or not the work has something wonderful to say to readers. education. Indonesian writer Laksmi Pamuntjaks debut novel
Page-Forts passion for translation harks way back to a high changed my life, Page-Fort adds, and led her on what she calls
school Spanish class. As soon as we did our first text transla- an obsessive quest to study 20th-century Indonesian history.
tion in the class, I had a pretty good understanding that trans- On the horizon is the first translation from Greek for
lation was awesome, she says. She joined Amazon Publishing Amazon Publishing: The House by the River, by Lena Manta,
in 2008 after spending a decade at Continuum as publishing one of Greeces bestselling writers. The novel, due out in
services supervisor, a vague jack-of-all-trades title that November, opens a window into Greek culture and history
enabled her to learn many aspects of publishing in a small by telling the stories of five young women. It also is a great
environment. Her first job at Amazonone that she didnt fit for all of us with Ferrante fever, says Page-Fort.
have for long because of the rapid changes taking place within Also forthcoming is A River in Darkness, a memoir of escape
the companywas working with publishers to bring their by Masaji Ishikawa, who fled North Korea to Japan. It has
authors into Amazons print-on-demand program. Right been an honor to work with a man who has experienced this
across the hall, Amazon Publishing was just starting to much darkness and handles the most difficult subjects with
blossom and, as Page-Fort recounts, I had the honor of being a graceful levity, Page-Fort says. He invites us into his
the first employee hired for AmazonCrossing specifically. heart, putting a human pulse on the glaring simplicity of
Page-Fort is grateful to Amazon for asserting that a spe- recent headlines.
cialized imprint in translation is a good idea. She adds, Porter Anderson, editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives,
Having that focus as an editor has allowed me to hone my summed up her accomplishments succinctly when he recently
expertise working with translators and editing translations. wrote, What Page-Fort is doing here may be one of the best
Within the context of a translation-only imprint, Page- things to happen to work in translation in decades: shes
Fort and her team have a completely open focus, publishing demystifying it.

30 P U B L I S H E R S W E E K LY S E P T M E B E R 4 , 2 0 1 7
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