Publishing Industry News: Nov. 8, 2019

• The winners of Kirkus Reviews’ sixth annual Kirkus Prize are The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (fiction), How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones (nonfiction), and New Kid by Jerry Craft (young readers’ literature). Winners receive a $50,000 prize.

• After a six-way auction and six-figure deal, HarperCollins has obtained world rights for The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly, who worked for Queen Elizabeth II for 25 years as an adviser and designer. The book will give readers a peek behind the walls of Buckingham Palace. This is the first time when a member of the queen’s staff has been permitted to tell her or his story.

• Bookshop – a mobile-friendly website with one-click purchasing similar to what Amazon offers – will launch in January to sell audio and physical books and offer some discounts. It will benefit indie booksellers trying to be more competitive in the online retail market.

• The Publisher’s Weekly website BookLife has launched BookLife Reviews, which, unlike other review sites, is for self-published authors only. The paid reviews are geared toward readers rather than booksellers and librarians.

• After the unexpected death of Little Free Library founder Todd Bol, his family and the 501(c)(3) organization are at odds over how to protect his legacy. The organization has filed applications with the U.S. Patent Office for “Little Free Library” when used in connection with the words, as well as for the terms “wooden boxes with a storage area for books,” “signs, nonluminous and nonmechanical, of metal,” and “guest books and rubber stamps.” Bol’s family has submitted a formal protest to the patent office to stop the action. If approved, any person or organization that built a wooden book box would be subject to legal action.

• After the Chicago Public Libraries waived overdue book fines and erased outstanding debt several weeks ago, hundreds of long-overdue books have been returned.

• The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association voted to add four Southern California bookselling professionals to its board in one of the first steps the two groups are taking to merge after the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association voted to dissolve at its September trade show.

• The Binc Foundation is providing financial assistance to California booksellers who have incurred losses and expenses as a direct result of the recent and ongoing wildfires. Binc is helping stores that have been forced to close with rent and utilities and supporting employees who have missed household payments because of lack of hours, must relocate to temporary housing, and more.

• Quercus US, the U.S. branch of the UK-based publisher, is being rebranded as Mobius.

• Vesuvian Media Group, a books-to-film multimedia company, has acquired Black Spot Books, which has a growing list of adult and young-adult titles.