Publishing Industry News: Nov. 15, 2019

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

• Deborah Ahenkorah – co-founder and CEO of Golden Baobab, a social enterprise that promotes African literature for children – has earned Canada’s Pluralism Award.

• Actor Val Kilmer has sold his memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, to Simon & Schuster. It’s set to be released in April 2020.

• The Department of Justice has issued a warning to Hachette Book Group (HBG) because it refuses to name the anonymous author of A Warning, which HBG plans to release Nov. 19. Assistant Attorney General Joseph Hunt has asked HBG to provide the author’s dates of federal-government employment and proof that the author did not sign any nondisclosure agreements or have access to classified information. In response, HBG general counsel Carol Ross stated that HBG is “not party to any nondisclosure agreements with the U.S. government that would require any pre-publication review of this book, and Hachette routinely relies on its authors to comply with any contractual obligations they may have.”

• Mindy Jones, a Michigan mother of five, faces up to 95 days in jail and a $500 fine after failing to return two books to her local library – which were returned six months ago. Jones did not receive any notices from the library because she was attempting to leave an abusive relationship and did not receive mail from her former address. She learned of the warrant for her arrest after her employer did a background check while considering her for a promotion. The library has said only that there is “more to the story.” 

• The University of Warwick and the Sunday Times have released their Young Writer of the Year Award short list: Raymond Antrobus for The Perseverance, Julia Armfield for Salt Slow, Yara Rodrigues Fowler for Stubborn Archivist and Kim Sherwood for Testament.

• Penguin Young Readers is acquiring Eric Carle LLC, which holds the IP rights for beloved picture-book creator Eric Carle, whose books have sold more than 145 million copies worldwide. The deal includes the global publishing rights to Carle’s 70-plus children’s books. One of his best-known works is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

• Two Lines Press will launch Calico, a new book line focused on works of translated literature, in March 2020.

• Chelsea Clinton’s acclaimed book, She Persisted, has been adapted for the stage as a musical. Performances will begin next year.