Publishing Industry News : Jan. 24, 2020

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

• After two weeks in office, Damon Suede has resigned from his position as president of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) following recall petitions filed by a number of RWA chapters. RWA’s executive director, Carol Ritter, has also submitted her resignation after taking the position in November.

• IDW Publishing has secured global rights to publish illustrated books in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. The first two titles are set to be released in the fall.

• At the 2020 Audie Awards, the Audio Publishers Association will bestow a special recognition for lifetime achievement on author Stephen King.

 • In other Stephen King news, King and fellow author Don Winslow have offered to donate $200,000 to a children’s hospital if the White House holds a press briefing, which would be the first in nearly a year.

• The Florida Citizens Alliance – a conservative group that focuses on children’s education – is pushing to prosecute schools that allow students access to books that contain references to sex and LGBTQIA+ relationships.

• Author Jason Reynolds was sworn in Jan. 16 as the new national ambassador for young people’s literature, a role that Jacqueline Woodson previously held. Reynolds plans to focus on empowering young people in small-town America with a platform he’s calling “Grab the Mic: Tell Your Story.”

• Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-first romance imprint, plans to launch Carina Adores, a line of contemporary and classic LGBTQIA+ romance tales with characters drawn from throughout the spectrum of LGBTQIA+ communities. The new line will debut in June 2020 during Pride Month.

• Two men have pled guilty to charges of theft and receiving stolen property after an alleged $8 million worth of rare books, plates and maps were taken from a Pittsburgh library and sold to the owner of a rare-book store. Among the most notable items was a first-edition, signed copy of Thomas Jefferson’s De la France et des États-Unis from 1787. The two men will be charged April 17, ending the three-year investigation.

• HarperCollins Children’s Books is expanding with the new Quill Tree Books imprint for young readers. Launching in the fall with the tagline “Many branches, many voices,” it will focus on publishing the work of authors with a strong point of view and those who are often underrepresented.

• A new Missouri bill seeks to bar libraries from stocking “age-inappropriate sexual material” for children. Under the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries bill, panels of parents would be elected to evaluate whether books are appropriate for children. Librarians who refuse to comply with the panel’s decisions could be fined and imprisoned for up to one year. Critics describe this bill as a “shockingly transparent attempt to legalize book banning.”