BTW News Briefs

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

Amazon is reportedly reconsidering its decision to bring one of its second headquarters to Long Island City, Queens, following local resistance, community protests, and political backlash against the project. Watch for a more detailed story in the upcoming issue of Bookselling This Week.

BookExpo announced the panelists for the May 31 Children’s Book & Author Breakfast, to be hosted by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush: Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, who will discuss her debut children’s book, Sulwe; Tomi Adeyemi, author of bestselling young adult novel Children of Blood and Bone; Eoin Colfer, bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series; and Da Chen, bestselling author of Brothers and Colours of the Mountain.

National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas recently wrote an op-ed in Time magazine titled “Stop Saying Books Are Dead. They’re More Alive Than Ever,” in which she cites the growing number of indie bookstores and delivers an optimistic message, writing, “Each day, there are more books being published that speak to every kind of person, from every kind of place. And I believe readers can be built — because I know we have an unlimited number of invitations to this party.”

Simon & Schuster will distribute Health Communications in the U.S. and worldwide starting May 1.

The Center for Fiction is planning a grand reopening party on February 19 for its new $6 million, three-story building in downtown Brooklyn. The new 17,500 square-foot headquarters, the purchase of which was announced last spring, includes a bookstore, a reading room, and a 160-seat auditorium.

Verso Books is launching a fiction imprint named Verso Fiction, which will publish two to four “uncompromisingly intelligent and beautiful books without regard for borders, genres, and political convention” annually. The first two books, publishing this fall, will be Kitchen Curse by Indonesian writer Eka Kurniawan, and Will and Testament by Norwegian author Vigdis Hjorth.

Travel publisher Lonely Planet has named Luis Cabrera as its new president and CEO, succeeding Daniel Houghton. Previously, Cabrera worked at BCG Digital Ventures, an arm of Boston Consulting Group.

At Harlequin, Emer Flounders has been promoted to senior publicity manager. He will work on books for Hanover Square Press, Park Row Books, and MIRA Books. At Viking/Penguin, Kristina Fazzalaro has joined the company as senior publicist. At the Harper Group, Jennifer Civiletto has been promoted to associate director of publishing. At House of Anansi Press and Groundwood BooksKaren Brochu has been promoted to vice president of sales and marketing, a newly created position.

The shortlist has been announced for the 2019 Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards. Winners will be announced March 4 in London.

The Biographers International Organization (BIO) chose BIO co-founder James McGrath Morris to receive its 10th annual BIO Award.

Share your news in BTW News Briefs! Publishers and industry partners are welcome to e-mail editorial@bookweb.org with news about awards, imprint launches, distribution changes, staff promotions, and more.