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December 11, 2013 | Patt Morrison
It's not just a brand name on a big fancy book. "Taschen" is a man, Benedikt Taschen, who started his publishing empire with a comic-book shop leveraged with a stock of remaindered art books. The firm is headquartered in Germany, but when he's in Los Angeles, his landing pad is the Chemosphere, the John Lautner flying-saucer-on-a-hillside. Taschen just released a three-volume collaboration with National Geographic ("Around the World in 125 Years"), and it's clear from the myriad images at his desk that Taschen cast his eye, and his approval, over what's in those books and so many others.
December 3, 2013 | David L. Ulin and Elaine Woo
When Andre Schiffrin was fired in 1990 as editor in chief of Pantheon Books, it was regarded as a loud shot in the war between commercialism and quality in American publishing. There were protests by noted authors, including Studs Terkel and Kurt Vonnegut, and op-ed pieces that painted a pessimistic view of the industry. In response, Schiffrin's bosses pointed out that Pantheon had lost $3 million in his last year at the helm. His ouster ended a nearly three-decade career at the prestigious imprint, where he had worked with such writers as Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras and Gunter Grass.
December 2, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic, This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
When André Schiffrin - who died in Paris on Sunday of pancreatic cancer at age 78 - was fired in 1990 as editor in chief of Pantheon Books, it was regarded as a loud shot in the war between commercialism and quality in American publishing. There were protests, op-ed pieces; in response, Schiffrin's bosses pointed out that Pantheon had lost $3 million in his last year at the helm. In his nearly three decades at the imprint, Schiffrin worked with writers including Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras and Gunter Grass, but in the end, he was brought down by his unwillingness to scale back his list or reduce his staff.
December 2, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Actress Jennie Garth will publish a memoir in 2014. "Deep Thoughts from a Hollywood Blonde" is coming April 1 from the New American Library. Garth is best known for her starring role in the original "Beverly Hills, 90210" as Kelly Taylor, the high school beauty at the center of the show's love triangle. She returned as Taylor in "90210," the 2008 reprisal of the show with a new generation of teens. The publisher promises the book will go behind the scenes of 90210: "the actress opens up for the first time about the behind-the-scenes stories from 90210," it writes, as well as "her relationships with other cast members.
November 20, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Award-winning television show creator Shonda Rhimes will publish her first book in 2015 with Simon & Schuster, the publisher announced Wednesday. Rhimes, one of the leading women in television, will write about both her professional and family life. The as-yet-untitled book will be part memoir, part inspiration and part advice. “Simon and Schuster is crazy for giving me a book deal as I am clearly in no position to be handing out wisdom,” Rhimes said in the release about the book.
November 19, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Brooke Shields will publish a book about the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters with Dutton, the publisher announced Tuesday. The book does not yet have a title or release date. Shields was a child star raised by a single mom, Teri, who died last year. In a release about the book, Dutton explains, "Shields will share stories of both the highs and lows of being raised by a single mother who loved the world of show business and often was a media sensation all by herself.
November 18, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger
The owner of the Riverside Press-Enterprise is threatening legal action against publishing entrepreneur Aaron Kushner if he fails to make good on his offer to purchase the newspaper. The $27.25-million deal had been set to close Friday. But the Press-Enterprise's owner, A.H. Belo Corp., said Monday that the transaction was still pending and that it will consider taking the matter to court to ensure that the deal is completed. "A.H. Belo and the Press-Enterprise Company are pursuing multiple options to promptly consummate the disposition," the company said in a statement.
November 15, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Derek Jeter is already one of baseball's immortals. Once he finally retires from the game, the New York Yankee shortstop will be a shoo-in for a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. He'll get a bronze plaque, in a spot not far from similar plaques honoring Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson. But for Jeter, that's not quite enough of a legacy to leave behind. Soon he'll have his own publishing imprint too, with Simon & Schuster. One day, you'll be able to find Jeter's name repeated again and again on library and bookstore shelves.
November 10, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
John R. "Trip" Adler III The gig: Adler, 29, is a founder and chief executive of Scribd, a YouTube for publishing in which anyone can upload documents and let others read and share them. With 80 million visitors a month, it's a popular destination. And at 6½ years of age, it turns a profit from displaying ads and taking a cut of sales and subscriptions. Book deal: Last month Scribd struck a deal with publisher HarperCollins to make thousands of book titles available by subscription on its service.
November 5, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Ninety-eight British publishers closed their doors in the year ending August 2013. The cause? E-books and online discounts. Closures were up 42% over the previous year, according to the Guardian. The companies that folded included the 26-year-old healthcare publisher Panos London, and Evans Brothers, which published popular children's book author Enid Blyton for 30 years. During 2012, e-book sales in Britain rose by 134% to more than $346 million. While print sales still dominate the bottom line in Britain with more than $4.6 billion in sales, that total was a 1% drop from the year before.
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