Publishing Industry News: Dec. 13, 2019

Curious about what’s happening in the world of books and publishing? Catch up on the biggest acquisitions, news, adaptations and more here!

• Children’s publishers are fighting to exclude children’s publications from the imposed tariffs going into effect Dec. 15. Many products in children’s publishing are made in China because those manufacturers are the most efficient – and in most cases, the only – printing option.

• In their ongoing effort to fight content piracy, the nation’s largest educational publishers have filed a lawsuit seeking to stop pirate ebook sites from illegally selling their ebooks.

• UK publisher Picador has announced that Clive James, 80, died at his home Nov. 24. 

• Bookseller magazine has named The Dirt Hole and Its Variations as the year’s oddest book title, with War on Artisan Cheese coming in second. Other titles on the short list were How to Drink without Drinking, Viking Encounters: Proceedings of the 18th Viking Congress, Noah Gets Naked, and Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich.

• In other weird-awards news, Didier Decoin’s The Office of Gardens and Ponds and John Harvey’s Pax have both earned Britain’s most dreaded literary prize for bad sex in fiction. The “honor,” established in 1993, goes to “the year’s most outstandingly awful scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel.”

• The UK bookstore chain Waterstones has named Greta Thunberg as its Author of the Year 2019 for her book, No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference. The Swedish 16-year-old has become a household name because of her impassioned speeches at the UN and her unwavering resolve to fight climate change.

• Ellen Helmke, owner of Otis and Clementine’s Books and Coffee in Nova Scotia, has opened her store to foster cats. She’s currently fostering her fourth set of kittens, who play on stacks of books, lounge in the windows and snuggle with customers. Helmke said it’s a win-win for her business and the animals: The kittens draws customers to the store, and they become socialized and easily find homes.

• The new Hunters Point Library in Queens has been hit with a lawsuit for its lack of accessibility. The Center for Independence of the Disabled New York filed the lawsuit, arguing that the building, designed by Steven Holl Architects, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

• Two members of the external committee set up to oversee reforms to the scandal-ridden Nobel Prize in Literature quit recently. One claimed that the work to change the culture in the Swedish Academy was taking too long.

• United for Libraries has named Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum a Literary Landmark. It’s where the famed author lived during the 1830s.

• Barnes & Noble has tapped Charlie Macksey’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse to be its inaugural Book of the Year for 2019.