Publisher warnings as cyber criminals attempt to pilfer manuscripts
thebookseller.com – Friday October 12, 2018
A spate of global phishing scams attempting to access agencies’ and publishers’ manuscripts and other sensitive information prompted Penguin Random House (PRH) North America to issue an urgent warning to all staff as the Frankfurt Book Fair began.
The company sent an email to staff on Wednesday (10th October), when The Bookseller revealed scouting agency Eccles Fisher was hit by a phishing scam. Owner Catherine Eccles said someone was purporting to be her in emails and attempting to access manuscripts, authors’ details and other confidential material. The PRH email was circulated with the subject line “Important: New Phishing Alert” and reads: “We have recently seen an increase in attempts to steal our manuscripts. This has occurred in multiple locations across the globe. The individuals attempting to access these manuscripts have a sophisticated understanding of our business. We need to protect ourselves from these threats.”
Sally Willcox Joins Paradigm As Literary Agent
deadline.com – Wednesday October 10, 2018
Sally Willcox, the longtime CAA literary agent who most recently oversaw acquisition and development at Tobey Maguire’s Material, has landed at Paradigm, the agency said Tuesday. She will oversee media rights and be based at the agency’s Beverly Hills headquarters.
“Sally excels at discovering and developing intellectual property and it is her passion to find inspiring opportunities for her clients, making her the perfect person to drive and expand our media rights division,” said Adam Kanter, co-head of Motion Picture Literary, and Andy Patman, co-head of Television Literary, in a release announcing the news.
New Women's Prize longlist fee could pose 'serious barrier to entry', fear indies
thebookseller.com – Saturday September 29, 2018
The Women’s Prize for Fiction has introduced a new £1,000 fee for publishers whose books make its longlist of 16. Reaction online to the rule change reveal concerns the fee could pose "a serious barrier to entry" for smaller presses.
Independent publisher Galley Beggar Press took to Twitter yesterday to share it had just noticed the new rule which could prove "catastrophic for small publishers" in its estimation. "£1000 isn't small change to us," said Galley Beggar Press. "Our author won this prize a few years ago when we were even smaller. It would have been near impossible for us to enter with these rules."
Edinburgh independent Stirling Publishing said: "That’s us out. Perhaps we could have an alternative prize, The Poundland Women’s Prize?"
Abrams Artists Agency Acquired By Group Including Longtime Execs, Adam Bold
deadline.com – Wednesday September 26, 2018
Venerable entertainment talent and literary agency Abrams Artists Agency has been acquired, led by a group that includes two of the New York- and Los Angeles-based company’s longtime executives Robert Attermann and Brian Cho, and entrepreneur-producer Adam Bold.
Writers' Handbook 2019 now available as an ebook
firstwriter.com – Tuesday September 25, 2018
Following last month's release of the print edition of firstwriter.com's 2019 edition of its Writers' Handbook, the digital editions are now also available from various outlets around the world. These include:
FutureBook teams with The Pigeonhole for writing competition
thebookseller.com – Friday September 21, 2018
FutureBook is partnering with social reading app The Pigeonhole to run a short story competition exploring the future of the book. The winning author is to be hosted at the FutureBook Conference, 30th November.
Judges will be Molly Flatt, author and associate editor of FutureBook; Anna Jean Hughes, founder of The Pigeonhole; and Tom Hunter, director of the Arthur C.Clarke Award for Science Fiction.
Kaplan Stahler Agency Names Cindy Mintz Head of TV Literary
deadline.com – Saturday September 15, 2018
Kaplan Stahler’s Cindy Mintz has been named head of TV Literary at the boutique agency. In her new role, Mintz will oversee a department of five agents.
Mintz joined Kaplan Stahler in 2013 after a brief stint at Abrams Artists Agency, where she was instrumental in launching their TV literary department. Prior to Abrams, she spent 15 years as a TV packaging agent at ICM Partners.
West Side Publishing Will Launch Little Grasshopper Books
publishersweekly.com – Saturday September 1, 2018
Children's publisher West Side Publishing is launching a new imprint, Little Grasshopper Books, likely by the end of the year. The imprint will encompass a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction formats, from board books to books with virtual-reality components, primarily aimed for children five and under.
The new imprint marks West Side Publishing owner Lou Weber’s re-entry into the world of children’s books. As president and founder of Publications International (PIL), a publisher of automotive titles, cookbooks, inspirational formats, and brain games and puzzle books, Weber was long involved in children’s publishing—especially licensed sound books and interactive formats—until PIL sold its children’s publishing unit to Chinese-owned company Phoenix International Publications in 2014. The latter continues to operate the business under the PI Kids name.
OWN IT! founder launches literary agency
thebookseller.com – Thursday August 30, 2018
Multimedia publisher OWN IT! has launched a literary agency arm, signing author Courttia Newland as its first client.
Billed as a “storytelling lifestyle brand” spearheaded by founder Crystal Mahey-Morgan, the company already operates as a book publisher, a record label and an events arm. Mahey-Morgan will be OWN IT!’s main agent, helping to “diversify how it works with storytellers to include literary representation”. The company is currently negotiating with several sub-agents about a foreign rights partnership, according to a spokesperson for the organisation.
Mahey-Morgan's previous contract negotiation experience includes a year at PFD as well as a three-year stint in the contracts department at Penguin Random House between 2008 and 2012. She described setting up a literary agency as "an obvious next step for OWN IT!"
'Godfather of the industry' Michael Sissons dies
thebookseller.com – Wednesday August 29, 2018
Veteran literary agent and “godfather of the industry” Michael Sissons has died aged 83.
Various agents have paid tribute to Sissons who died on Saturday (August 24th), following a stellar career which saw him representing names such as Simon Schama, Margaret Drabble and William Hague, setting up the Association of Authors' Agents, and overseeing PFD for almost half a century before acting as a senior consultant for the agency for the last decade.
“I would say that he was the godfather of the industry,” said Caroline Michel, c.e.o. of PFD, who had known Sissons for 30 years, since before she entered the publishing industry.
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