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Sourcebooks NEXT.

Sourcebooks Next Blog

We’re at a historic point in the transformation the book.

Ebooks, reading devices, retailers and e-tailers, software and apps, and all the cool things we haven’t even imagined yet are changing the face of reading, entertainment and learning. Sourcebooks Next is our blog looking not from the perspective of pundit or prognosticator, but from the perspective of a publisher deeply engaged in the workings of the transformation. Please feel free to join us.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

 

We were all saddened to hear of the passing of Hillel Black, our executive editor here at Sourcebooks for nearly 10 years.

Hillel’s impact on the company that Sourcebooks became cannot be understated. It was Hill’s deep love for authors that helped form a cornerstone for the sort of publishing company we sought to create. As the former publisher of Macmillan and editor-in-chief at William Morrow, he joined what was then a small publishing house trafficking entirely in nonfiction. Simply put, Hillel Black put us on the map.

Hillel Black with Alfred Blumrosen

Indeed, Hillel is the reason we have both the Sourcebooks Landmark fiction imprint and a New York City office. Soon after he joined us in the year 2000, Hill was here in Naperville to visit and took Dominique out for dinner. I received a call at home that night from Dominique: “I think I just committed us to starting a fiction program,” she sheepishly told me. To be frank, it was a huge risk.

But Hillel would get it done, famously asking Dominique over sushi what kind of novels she’d like to publish. “Writers like Michael Malone,” she said. Hill being Hill located one of Michael’s old books, found the agent in the acknowledgments, and soon thereafter Sourcebooks Landmark was publishing Michael’s first new novel in more than a decade, placing it on the New York Times bestsellers list. As we’ve recently reported, Sourcebooks Landmark had its best year ever in 2015, and 2016 is off to a rollicking start. Hillel got it all off the ground and would be delighted.

Hillel’s care for books and authors was unparalleled, and his drive to find the next big book was never-ending. He was a mentor to me and to many others here. Several of us have been commiserating today about his phrases of wisdom that have become vocabulary around here – a “publishing prophet” is just one way of explaining his impact. Go for it, ask a long-timer, they’ll have a Hillel story to tell you.

Most importantly, though, Hillel was a dear, dear friend. His was a kind and genuine soul. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Todd Stocke

VP Editorial Director

 

Hillel with Todd and Deb  Hillel and Dominique

At left, Hillel celebrates his retirement with Todd Stocke, Tom Murphy, and Deb Werksman. At right, Hillel and Dominique cut the cake and drink champagne to commemorate his 10 wonderful years with Sourcebooks. Above, Hillel and Alfred Blumrosen, author of Slave Nation, enjoy a drink and lively conversation at Sourcebooks' 20th birthday party.

 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

We are so excited to share that the brand-new sensation The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Spivald, out just this past week, is an American Booksellers Association National Bestseller!

ABA National Bestseller

And it is making an impact regionally as well:

  •        #3 on Midwest Independent Booksellers Association
  •        #6 on the New England Independent Booksellers Association
  •        #6 on Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association
  •        #8 on Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association
  •        #14 on Pacific Northwest Independent Booksellers Association

A huge thank YOU to the booksellers around the country who have come to love this book and are sharing it with readers. Booksellers gave their first stamp of approval by making The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend the #1 Indie Next pick for January, and now they continue to share the love by displaying it prominently, and talking about it with customers. 

 

Friday, January 22, 2016

 

With authors and ARCs in tow, the Sourcebooks library team headed to Boston for the American Library Association 2016 Midwinter Meeting.  We love library shows! They are an opportunity to chat with forward-thinking, enthusiastic, book-loving librarians who all share the same purpose—to get the right books in the hands of the right readers.  We packed the five days with events, giveaways, and signings and were blown away by the excitement surrounding our authors and titles.  Here’s a glimpse of some of the fun:

 

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On Thursday, marketing specialist Beth Oleniczak joined more than twenty publishers to kick off the weekend events by presenting forthcoming kids/YA and adult lists to a room of more than one hundred librarians at the Boston Public Library Book Buzz. (Check out #BookBuzzMA on Twitter for highlights from the day!)

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The Sourcebooks booth, ready to go on Friday night for the opening reception!

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Sourcebooks Fire author Cori McCarthy signed ARCs of her forthcoming contemporary mixed-format novel You Were Here and was so excited to hear from librarians who were fans of her previous book, Breaking Sky!

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Sourcebooks Jabberwocky “Queen of Tween” Anna Staniszewski, a seasoned Bostonian, joined us at the booth to help spread the word about her superfun Switched at First Kiss series and sign copies of the first book, I’m With Cupid.

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Debut author Marieke Nijkamp celebrated the January 5 release of her harrowing, hopeful novel This Is Where It Ends at a variety of events throughout the show. Here, she joins authors (from left to right) Malinda Lo (Adaptation), Kody Keplinger (The DUFF), Adam Silvera (More Happy than Not), and Heidi Heilig (The Girl from Everywhere) on the conference’s incredibly insightful—and best-attended—panel, We Need Diverse Books. Read Publishers Weekly’s recap of the lively conversation here. On the right, librarians eagerly anticipating the WNDB panel!

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At the Booklist/AAP sponsored Read ’n Rave program, a panel of enthusiastic children’s and teen collection development librarians roamed the exhibit hall floor and highlighted their top picks for galleys to grab at the show. We were thrilled to hear panelist Joslyn Jones, children’s services supervisor at the Bowie Branch of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (MD), call out three Sourcebooks Fire titles—This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp, My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul, and Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach.

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Like the rest of the conference exhibitors and attendees, we woke up bright and early Monday morning for a good seat at the Youth Media Awards!  What an amazing year it’s been for children’s books! Congratulations to all of the amazing titles honored this year—and a special congratulations to David A. Adler (author of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky’s Danny’s Doodles series) on his Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for Don’t Throw It to Mo! (Penguin Young Readers).

Thank you to all of the librarians who stopped by the Sourcebooks booth; we’ll see you again in April for PLA 2016!

Beth, Margaret, and Alex

 

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend There’s a person for every book, and a book for every person. This beautiful belief is the last thing that the residents of the fictitious Broken Wheel, Iowa, put their faith in. With closed up storefronts and a dwindling population, this town is one step away from ceasing to exist. But when a Swedish tourist comes to town and opens a bookstore, everything changes. The townspeople are reluctant readers at first, but they soon learn that one little bookstore and the passionate bookseller who runs it have the power to revitalize their dying town. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a book that reminds us that each local bookstore is the cornerstone of their community—a place for adventure, knowledge, escape, inspiration, enlightenment,and to remember that you’re never truly alone.

Readers, Recommend Your Bookstore!

“Bookstores are the heart and soul of their community and have enormous impact on readers’ lives,” said Dominique Raccah, founder and CEO of Sourcebooks. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend inspired us to create a campaign that will not only give back to a few deserving bookstores, but hopefully highlight all the many wonderful bookstores that service communities across the country.”

The Readers, Recommend Your Bookstore campaign encourages everyone to vote for their local bookstore here. Sourcebooks will award the bookstore that receives the most votes with a $3,000 prize; two additional bookstores will each receive a $637 prize. (The specific dollar figure of the second prize is a nod to the book, as 637 is the population of Bivald’s Broken Wheel, Iowa.) As part of the campaign, we’ll also give weekly prizes to those who submit nominations. The campaign began January 4 and runs until February 19, when the winning bookstores will be announced. There have already been nearly 7,000 votes, and the current front-runners are listed on the nomination website! So go nominate your local bookstore now!

ReadersRecommend Leslie from Between the Lynes

What Booksellers Are Saying...

Booksellers showed their love for The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by making it the #1 Indie Next Pick for January! Bess Bleyaert at McLean & Eakin (Petoskey, MI) called it“sheer perfection,” and Stephanie Crowe at Page & Palette (Fairhope, AL) noted that it is “a true testament that one person who cares can make a difference.” Leslie, from Read Between the Lynes (Woodstock, IL) even took her advanced reading copy to the great city of London!

The Readers of Broken Wheel is on sale now, so stop by your local bookstore and pick up a copy today!

 

 

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