Publishing News

General News

December 15-31, 2003 Edition GENERAL NEWS Primedia Names

CEO for

Online Division

NEW YORK, NY/12/8/03—Magazine publisher Primedia Inc. (PRM.N) has appointed Peter Horan to head its About Inc. online division. He will report to the company’s new chief executive Kelly Conlin.

Horan, who previously worked with Conlin as business publisher at International Data Group, will serve as president and CEO of About, which includes the Internet network.

Conlin, formerly the president and CEO of International Data, was named chief executive of Primedia in October. Horan, succeeds Bill Day, who has left About.

New York based Primedia, publishes a number of magazines including Motor Trend, Soap Opera Digest, and New York, a society magazine which is up for sale.

Before joining About, Horan served for three years as president and CEO of DevX.Com Inc., an Internet media company. He previously spent 10 years at International Data, where he was publisher of Computerworld.

Primedia bought in October 2000 for about $690 million in stock, but has struggled to maintain a profit, and has sold off’s online advertising service, Sprinks, to Google.

Houghton Mifflin

Acquires Edusoft

Assessment Platform

BOSTON/12/8/03—Houghton Mifflin Company today announced the acquisition of Edusoft, a San Francisco, California based assessment platform provider. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Edusoft, founded in 2000, provides a unique standards-based assessment platform that helps school districts improve student achievement through better access to performance data and instructional tools. Edusoft is the first assessment platform to allow immediate access to online student performance results and customized instructional tools based on the automatic scoring of plain paper tests. By delivering meaningful information to superintendents, principals and teachers, Edusoft empowers educators to target instruction where it is needed most.

“The accountability requirements of NCLB have made measuring and benchmarking student performance an integral part of the education process,” said Tony Lucki, Houghton Mifflin president and CEO. “Edusoft helps teachers assess student progress on state standards and create customized instruction using content from their current textbook-regardless of their chosen publisher. This type of flexibility has a dramatic impact on classroom instruction and student progress.”

Edusoft will continue to operate out of San Francisco, retaining its management, research and development, client services, and sales and marketing staff. As a division of Houghton Mifflin, Edusoft will benefit from the Company’s 170 years of experience developing quality educational content. At the same time, Edusoft will continue to offer the same open-content assessment platform, allowing educators to use materials from any publisher’s textbook or exam program.

“Houghton Mifflin is a clear leader in providing quality educational materials to school districts around the nation. The combination of Edusoft’s assessment platform with the depth of Houghton Mifflin’s instructional resources and expertise will, more than ever before, enable school districts to truly close the loop between instruction, assessment and remediation,” said Edusoft Co-Presidents Jay Kimmelman and Daniel Yates. “Our companies are thrilled to work together to provide districts with this critical educational solution.”

About Houghton Mifflin

Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Company is one of the leading educational publishers in the United States, with over $1 billion in sales. Houghton Mifflin publishes textbooks, instructional technology, assessments and other educational materials for elementary and secondary schools and colleges. The Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning fiction and non-fiction for adults and young readers. Additionally, Houghton Mifflin offers computer-administered testing programs and services for the professional and certification markets. With its origins dating back to 1832, Houghton Mifflin combines its tradition of excellence with a commitment to innovation. The Company’s website can be found at

About Edusoft

San Francisco-based Edusoft is one of the leading providers of assessment platforms for public education in the United States. The Company was founded in 2000 with the mission to use the power of technology to address the greatest needs of public education-helping teachers teach and students learn. By delivering meaningful information to educators at all levels, Edusoft makes it practical for superintendents, principals and teachers to make informed decisions about improving student achievement on an everyday basis. The Company’s website can be found at

PEOPLE Grann Back at Random House as Acquiring Editor

NEW YORK, NY/12/5/03—Phillis Grann, who once served as vice chairman of Random House and as a company consultant, has returned after a two-year hiatus to the RH, this time as a senior acquisitions editor for Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group–a post for which she seems ideally suited.

She will acquire about six or eight titles per year and will report to Stephen Rubin, president of Doubleday Broadway. Doubleday will not create a Grann imprint or start a new line in her name.

Originally at Random House, Grann moved to Penguin Putnam last year amid much media hoopla. Meanwhile she served in various consulting roles.

Grann, who reportedly wanted to get back in the business without having to run anything, rounds out an already powerful lineup of Doubleday Broadway acquiring editors, including Nan Talese, Bill Thomas, Gerry Howard and Stacy Creamer.

Haber Joins Rodale Press

NEW YORK, NY/12/8/03—Leigh Haber, formerly an executive editor at Hyperion, has joined Rodale as editor-at-large overseeing general nonfiction. As the largest independent book publisher in the U.S., Rodale publishes nearly 100 book titles each year, numerous bestsellers, has an active backlist of more than 500 titles, and aggressively markets its books through both retail and direct-marketing channels. While Rodale Books is recognized for its highly acclaimed books on health, fitness, cooking, gardening, spirituality, and nature, it is now positioned for growth as it expands its presence with exciting new entries. Recent additions to Rodale’s diverse stable of books represent a foray into new genres, including memoirs, biographies, narrative nonfiction, self-help, science and nature, psychology, current events and personal finance.

Isay Departs Harcourt

NEW YORK, NY/12/5/03—Jane Isay, who has headed Harcourt as editor-in-chief for seven years, will leave the publishing house at year’s end to devote time to her own writing.

She already has one book under contract at St. Martin’s and other projects underway. Isay will work independently with other authors as a conceptual editor and will continue to work for Harcourt on a number of already-contracted titles.

Goldberg McDuffie Promotes Fortier

Mark Fortier has been named a partner in the public relations firm Goldberg McDuffie Communications. He has been with the company, which was founded by Lynn Goldberg, for more than five years.

Stewart Joins Sterling Lord as Agent

NEW YORK, NY/12/2/03—Literary agent Douglas Stewart has joined Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc., in New York after serving as an agent at Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Among Stewart’s clients are Carolyn Parkhurst, David Mitchell, Alison McGhee and Kurt Wenzel. Founded 1979, Sterling Lord handles a variety of fiction and nonfiction, and also film/tv scripts.


Published Thursday, December 11, 2003 (for sales week ended Sunday, December 7, 2003.)

Based on reporting from over 400 independent bookstores across America.


New to the List this week:

A Ton of Great Debuts this Week—

Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842, by Nathaniel Philbrick (HN #10, 067003231X) The Best American Short Stories 2003, edited by Walter Mosley (PF #14, 0618197338) 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, by Patricia Schultz (PN #4, 0761104844) How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, by Dr. Seuss (CI #13, 0394800796)



1. The Da Vinci Code

Dan Brown, Doubleday, $24.95, 0385504209

2. The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Mitch Albom, Hyperion, $19.95, 0786868716

3. The Murder Room

P.D. James, Knopf, $25.95, 1400041414

4. Shepherds Abiding

Jan Karon, Penguin, $24.95, 0670031208

5. The Hornet’s Nest

Jimmy Carter, S&S, $27, 0743255429

6. Skipping Christmas

John Grisham, Doubleday, $14.95, 0385508417

7. The Big Bad Wolf

James Patterson, Little Brown, $27.95, 0316602906

8. Trojan Odyssey

Clive Cussler, Putnam, $27.95, 0399150803

9. The Namesake

Jhumpa Lahiri, Houghton Mifflin, $24, 0395927218

10. Bleachers

John Grisham, Doubleday, $19.95, 0385511612

11. Pompeii

Robert Harris, Random House, $24.95, 0679428895

12. Wolves of the Calla

Stephen King, Donald M. Grant/Scribner, $35, 1880418568

13. Love

Toni Morrison, Knopf, $23.95, 0375409440

14. Blow Fly

Patricia Cornwell, Putnam, $26.95, 0399150897

15. Old School

Tobias Wolff, Knopf, $22, 0375401466


26. The Conspiracy Club

Jonathan Kellerman, Ballantine, $26.95, 0345452577

The thinking, and analyzing, person’s dream of a murder mystery.


1. Dude, Where’s My Country?

Michael Moore, Warner, $24.95, 0446532231

2. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Al Franken, Dutton, $24.95, 0525947647

3. The South Beach Diet

Arthur Agatston, M.D., Rodale, $24.95, 1579546463

4. The World According to Mr. Rogers

Fred Rogers, Hyperion, $16.95, 1401301061

5. Flyboys

James Bradley, Little Brown, $25.95, 0316105848

6. Bushwhacked

Molly Ivins, Lou Dubose, Random House, $24.95, 0375507523

7. Franklin and Winston

Jon Meacham, Random House, $29.95, 0375505008

8. Living to Tell the Tale

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Knopf, $26.95, 1400041341

9. The Purpose-Driven Life

Rick Warren, Zondervan, $19.99, 0310205719

10. Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery: The U.S. Exploring

Expedition, 1838-1842- Debut

Nathaniel Philbrick, Viking, $27.95, 067003231X

11. Every Second Counts

Lance Armstrong, Sally Jenkins, Broadway, $24.95, 0385508719

12. Who’s Looking Out for You?

Bill O’Reilly, Broadway, $24.95, 0767913795

13. A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson, Broadway, $27.50, 0767908171

14. Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea

Thomas Cahill, Nan A. Talese, $27.50, 0385495536

15. Schott’s Original Miscellany

Ben Schott, Bloomsbury, $14.95, 1582343497


25. Hope Dies Last: Keeping Faith in Difficult Times

Studs Terkel, New Press, $25.95, 1565848373

More unparalleled oral histories from Terkel, here examining the idea of



1. The Secret Life of Bees

Sue Monk Kidd, Penguin, $14, 0142001740

2. Life of Pi

Yann Martel, Harvest, $14, 0156027321

3. #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Alexander McCall Smith, Anchor, $11.95, 1400034779

4. Middlesex

Jeffrey Eugenides, Picador, $15, 0312422156

5. Master and Commander

Patrick O’Brian, Norton, $13.95, 0393325172

6. Three Junes

Julia Glass, Anchor, $14, 0385721420

7. The Piano Tuner

Daniel Philippe Mason, Vintage, $14, 1400030382

8. Cry, The Beloved Country

Alan Paton, S&S, $14, 0743262174

9. Bel Canto

Ann Patchett, Perennial, $13.95, 0060934417

10. Tears of the Giraffe

Alexander McCall Smith, Anchor, $11.95, 1400031354

11. The Little Friend

Donna Tartt, Vintage, $14.95, 1400031699

12. The Last Girls

Lee Smith, Ballantine, $14.95, 0345464958

13. Good Poems

Garrison Keillor (Ed.), Penguin, $15, 0142003441

14. The Best American Short Stories 2003 – Debut

Walter Mosley (Ed.), Mariner, $13, 0618197338

15. Disgrace

J. M. Coetzee, Penguin, $13, 0140296409


32. The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien, Houghton Mifflin, $20, 0618343997

Fans are studying their Elvish in time for the last installment of the movie



1. Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling

Ross King, Penguin, $15, 0142003697

2. The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2004

Ken Park (Ed.), World Almanac, $11.95, 0886879108

3. Seabiscuit

Laura Hillenbrand, Ballantine, $15.95, 0449005615

4. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die – Debut

Patricia Schultz, Workman, $18.95, 0761104844

5. The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2004

Old Farmer’s Almanac (Ed.), Old Farmer’s Almanac, $5.95, 1571982973

6. Small Wonder

Barbara Kingsolver, Perennial, $12.95, 0060504080

7. Holidays on Ice

David Sedaris, Back Bay, $8.95, 0316779237

8. Nickel and Dimed

Barbara Ehrenreich, Owl, $13, 0805063897

9. Bringing Down the House

Ben Mezrich, Free Press, $14, 0743249992

10. Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

Alexandra Fuller, Random House, $13.95, 0375758992

11. Tuesdays with Morrie

Mitch Albom, Broadway, $12.95, 076790592X

12. The Four Agreements

Don Miguel Ruiz, Amber-Allen, $12.95, 1878424319

13. Book Lust

Nancy Pearl, Sasquatch, $16.95, 1570613818

14. Under the Tuscan Sun

Frances Mayes, Broadway, $15, 0767916069

15. Fast Food Nation

Eric Schlosser, Perennial, $13.95, 0060938455


26. The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare

Chris Smith, Houghton Mifflin, $18.95, 0618391002

Every sword and spear ever imagined by Tolkien is illustrated in this

lavish, encyclopedic book.


1. Angels & Demons

Dan Brown, Pocket, $7.99, 0671027360

2. Deception Point

Dan Brown, Pocket, $7.99, 0671027387

3. Prey

Michael Crichton, Avon, $7.99, 0061015725

4. Mystic River

Dennis Lehane, HarperTorch, $7.99, 0380731851

5. Crossroads of Twilight

Robert Jordan, Tor, $7.99, 0812571339

6. Key of Knowledge

Nora Roberts, Jove, $7.99, 0515136379

7. Hornet Flight

Ken Follett, Signet, $7.99, 0451210743

8. Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution

Robert C. Atkins, M.D., Avon, $7.99, 006001203X

9. Visions of Sugar Plums

Janet Evanovich, St. Martin’s, $6.99, 0312986343

10. Reversible Errors

Scott Turow, Warner Vision, $7.99, 0446612626


1. Eragon

Christopher Paolini, Knopf, $18.95, 0375826688

2. Inkheart

Cornelia Funke, Chicken House, $19.95, 0439531640

3. A Series of Unfortunate Events #10: The Slippery Slope

Lemony Snicket, HarperCollins, $10.99, 0064410137

4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

J.K. Rowling, Scholastic, $29.99, 043935806X

5. The Thief Lord

Cornelia Funke, Chicken House, $6.99, 043942089X

6. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Ann Brashares, Delacorte, $8.95, 0385730586

7. The Tale of Despereaux

Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick, $17.99, 0763617229

8. A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning

Lemony Snicket, HarperTrophy, $10.99, 0064407667

9. The Amulet of Samarkand

Jonathan Stroud, Hyperion, $17.95, 078681859X

10. Holes

Louis Sachar, Yearling, $6.50, 0440419468

11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

J.K. Rowling, Scholastic, $8.99, 0439139600

12. Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy,

Part 2

Dav Pilkey, Blue Sky, $4.99, 0439376122

13. Loamhedge

Brian Jacques, Philomel, $23.99, 0399237240

14. A Series of Unfortunate Events #2: The Reptile Room

Lemony Snicket, HarperTrophy, $10.99, 0064407675

15. Because of Winn-Dixie

Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick, $5.99, 0763616052


32. Judy Moody

Megan McDonald, Candlewick, $5.99, 0763612316

Junie B., move over! There’s a new girl in town, and she’s moody!


1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll, Robert Sabuda (Illus.), S&S, $25.95, 0689847432

2. The Polar Express

Chris Van Allsburg, Houghton Mifflin, $18.95, 0395389496

3. Olivia . . . and the Missing Toy

Ian Falconer, Atheneum, $16.95, 0689852916

4. Stranger in the Woods

Carl R. Sams II, Jean Stoick, Carl R. Sams, $19.95, 0967174805

5. Tails

Matthew Van Fleet, Red Wagon, $12.95, 0152167730

6. Goodnight Moon

Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd (Illus.), HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611

7. Diary of a Worm

Doreen Cronin, Harry Bliss (Illus.), Joanna Cotler/ HarperCollins, $15.99,


8. How I Became a Pirate

Melinda Long, David Shannon (Illus.), Harcourt, $16, 0152018484

9. The Cat in the Hat

Dr. Seuss, Random House, $8.99, 039480001X

10. On Noah’s Ark

Jan Brett, Putnam, $16.99, 0399240284

11. Walter the Farting Dog

William Kotzwinkle, Glenn Murray, Audrey Colman (Illus.), Frog, $15.95,


12. Brundibar

Tony Kushner, Maurice Sendak (Illus.), Hyperion, $19.95, 0786809043

13. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – Debut

Dr. Seuss, Random House, $14, 0394800796

14. The Night Before Christmas Pop-Up

Robert Sabuda, Little Simon, $24.95, 0689838999

15. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle, Putnam, $9.99, 0399226907

May We Recommend


MR. TIMOTHY, by Louis Bayard (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060534214) “Louis Bayard doesn’t squander his great premise. He manages to write a thriller using Dickens’ characters without going against Dickens’ spirit. Mr. Timothy is lots of fun.”—Caleb Wilson, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Jackson, TN

FOR LOVE OF INSECTS, by Thomas Eisner (Harvard Univ. Pr., $29.95, 0674011813) “Eisner, a Cornell professor, has spent his career researching the lives of insects. His totally fascinating book recounts his discoveries in a world most of us have remained oblivious to, but we will never again be oblivious after reading this book.”—Willard Williams, The Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough, NH


MAIGRET’S CHRISTMAS, by Georges Simenon (Harvest, $14, 0156028530) “Simenon’s wonderful stories of Inspector Jules Maigret have always been sensitive to weather, so what could be more delicious than a collection set in the holiday season? Here are nine cases, including the classic “Seven Little Crosses in a Notebook.””—Lansing Sexton, Olsson’s Books & Records, Washington, DC

Roderick Townley for Children 9 -12

INTO THE LABYRINTH (Atheneum, $16.95, 0689846150) “In this sequel to The Great Good Thing, the characters who live in the storybook are rushing to keep up with the many readers they get when the book is republished, and it becomes even more difficult when the book is loaded onto the Web. There are many funny scenes—Sylvie the Princess persuades the Writer to add a new character who can teach yoga to the cast to relieve their stress and lots of adventure in cyberspace.”—Nancy Felton, Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA

The first fun book is available in paperback: THE GREAT GOOD THING (Aladdin, $4.99 paper, 0689853289) Also a Listening Library Audio (0807204854)