BTW News Briefs

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Here’s what’s happening this week in the book industry:

Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter has launched Exquisite Objects, a new dedicated page that will highlight beautifully produced publishing, art, and design projects during the month of February. The projects selected will appear on the Exquisite Objects page as well as in Kickstarter’s newsletter, magazine, and blog.

Educational and social nonprofit First Book is partnering with author Alane Adams’ Rise Up Foundation to donate $130,000 in new books to Houston and Northern California school districts affected by natural disasters. As its first project, First Book will donate 11,600 books to 12 schools in the Lake County, California, area, which was hit by last year’s Mendocino Complex fire.

Dundurn Press, Canada’s largest independent trade publisher, has been sold to a group of technology entrepreneurs: Lorne Wallace, Jason Martin, and Randall Howard. The three took ownership of the company in January from previous owner Kirk Howard.

Black Ocean is now distributing Gramma Press; new titles will be released in partnership with Black Ocean, while Gramma’s backlist will be republished as part of the Black Ocean catalog.

The University of Georgia Press has bought Milestone Press, which publishes guidebooks for the U.S.’ Southern Appalachian region. The first new title to be published under the Milestone Press imprint will be Backpacking Overnights: North Georgia Mountains and Southeast Tennessee by Jim Parham, to be released in May.

Starting this July, Rizzoli New York will distribute Pavilion Books in the Americas via Penguin Random House Publisher Services. This will include Pavilion Children’s, Portico, Pitkin, and the National Trust. Based in London, Pavilion Books publishes the Then and Now series and oversees publishing programs for companies and organizations with titles on cooking, children’s, gardening, and lifestyle.

Rakuten Kobo has appointed Pieter Swinkels as the company’s chief content officer. Swinkels will be responsible for the growth of Kobo’s content catalog and business relationships with publishers, agents, and authors. Swinkels was previously Rakuten Kobo’s executive vice president of publisher relations and content.

At Crown Publishing, Diana Baroni has been promoted to senior vice president and editor in chief of Harmony Books and Rodale Books, and Doris Cooper has been promoted to senior vice president and editor in chief of Clarkson Potter. In addition, Lorena Jones has been promoted to senior vice president and editor in chief of Ten Speed Press.

At Random House Children’s Books, Kathy Dunn has been promoted to executive publicist.

The Book Manufacturers’ Institute has launched the Rising Star Awards, created to “recognize book industry professionals who may not be longstanding industry veterans, but are making a positive impact on their companies, in their communities, and in the industry.” The winners will be announced on April 29 at the BMI Spring Management Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Audio Publishers Association (APA) has announced the finalists for the 2019 Audie Awards. The APA also announced that this year, the host of the awards show, taking place March 4 in New York City, will be Queer Eye star Tan France, who is set to narrate the audiobook of his upcoming memoir.

Author Sandra Cisneros has been named the winner of the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature, which is given annually “to a living author whose body of work, either written in or translated into English, represents the highest level of achievement in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and/or drama, and is of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship.”

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