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Publishing Industry News: Sept. 13-20

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

• The highly anticipated memoir Know My Name is set to be released Sept. 24. It was written by “Emily Doe,” the victim of sexual assault by Brock Turner in 2016. Her name has been kept a secret until now. The book is being published under her real name, Chanel Miller.

• After a lawsuit was filed against Audible for willful copyright infringement for its Audible Captions program, the company has decided to exclude works for which publishers own (or are the exclusive licensee of) the text or audiobook rights. The program will still launch Amazon original content and public-domain works.

• Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai is retiring. New Directions will release his last book, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, on Sept. 24. Courtesy of his long and successful career, many consider him a contender for the Nobel Prize, and in 2015, Krasznahorkai became the first Hungarian to win the Man Booker International Prize.

• Max Brooks, author of the hit World War Z, will release another book in 2020 – Devolution – about the Bigfoot legend. It’s described as a found-document novel that chronicles a sasquatch attack on an isolated eco-community.

• The short list for the 2019 Booker Prize in Fiction includes nominees Margaret Atwood for The Testaments; Lucy Ellmann for Ducks, Newburyport; Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other; Chigozie Obioma for An Orchestra of Minorities; Salman Rushdie for Quichotte; and Elif Shafak for 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. The winner will be announced Oct. 14.

• Formerly a joint venture between NetGalley.com and Feedbooks, NetGalley France is now wholly owned and operated by Firebrand Technology’s NetGalley.com.

• A Catholic school in Tennessee has banned students from checking out Harry Potter books, a decision made on the basis that the books contain actual curses and spells that, “when read by a human being, risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.” A pastor at the school consulted with several exorcists in the U.S. and Rome who also recommended removing the books.

• The final volume of Steven S. Drachman’s popular Watt O’Hugh trilogy, Watt O’Hugh and the Innocent Dead, was released Sept. 1.

• Despite Penguin Random House’s embargo on the new Margaret Atwood book The Testaments, those who ordered it from Amazon are receiving it before the Sept. 10 release date. Indie booksellers have voiced frustrations about Amazon and to Penguin while sticking to the mandated embargo date. Penguin has released an apology, but indie sellers say this goes beyond the book. 

In an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, Lexi Beach, owner of Astoria Bookshop in Queens said, “This is bigger than just this book. Customers will see that people who ordered online got their books. They will come in to our store and see that we don’t have it yet. They won’t know or care about embargoes; they will just see that Amazon can supply them [with] a book and we can’t. They might not come in next time.”