Publishing Industry News: Sept. 6, 2019

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

Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum, a new book based on the late Theodor Geisel’s unfinished manuscript and sketches, will be published by Random House on Sept. 3.

• An Aug. 12 letter signed by three U.S. senators raised concerns that the data harvested by digital educational publishers “could pose a serious risk to students, parents and educational institutions” if “stolen, collected or sold without their permission.”

• A new edition of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women will hit the shelves Nov. 5, well before the Dec. 25 release of the film adaptation. The book will be an official companion to the movie and include movie stills and a wall calendar. 

• Cavalry Media (House of Cards) has optioned Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith for series development.

• The Association of American Publishers filed a lawsuit against Audible on Aug. 23 to block its plan to transcribe its audiobooks. Under the Captions Program, Audible will transcribe a book’s audio in order to create text that will run along with the audio. Publishers and editors expressed concerns that the new program engaged in copyright infringement, stating that it falls under copyright because Audible does not have permission from, nor is it providing compensation to, the copyright holders to transcribe the audio. 

• The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards are given to a selection of women writers who “demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers.” The 2019 winners are Selena Anderson, Magogodi oaMphela Makhene and Nicolette Polek in fiction; Sarah Passino in poetry; Elizabeth Schambelan in nonfiction; and Debbie Urbanski in fiction/nonfiction.

• Milkweed Editions has conferred its inaugural fellowship, the Milkweed Fellowship, on Chicagoan Julian Randall, an African-American poet who will relocate to Minneapolis during his fellowship: a 12- to 24-month program designed to increase access to book-publishing careers for people from backgrounds that are historically underrepresented.

• Independent science fiction and fantasy publisher Baen Books has partnered with audiobook company RBmedia to publish more than 170 audiobooks during the next three years.

• Barnes & Noble will celebrate its one-millionth storytime weekend Sept. 7-8. The nationwide program will feature a new story each day, special activities and the chance to get a free book, while supplies last.

• During the first half of 2019, sales of adult books rose 1.4 percent over the comparable period in 2018, while sales of children’s/young adult books increased 7.4 percent, according to the Association of American Publishers. Sales of religious presses, which the association places in the trade segment, rose 11.4 percent.