Publishing: Around the World


Seale Ballenger, new V-P of Publicity for Scholastic
Seale Ballenger has been named vice president of publicity for Scholastic Trade Publishing, effective February 28. Ballenger will report to Erin Berger, senior VP of marketing for Scholastic Trade Publishing. Ballenger has worked in the publishing industry for 30 years and most recently held the title of publicity director for Disney Publishing Worldwide. In his role at Scholastic, he will be responsible for the team of publicists behind such major brands as Wings of Fire, I Survived, Clifford, The Bad Guys, Goosebumps, and Klutz.


Family owners put Blackwell’s bookshops up for sale
The family behind Blackwell’s, the UK’s largest independent bookseller, has put the business up for sale recently after ditching a plan to hand it to employees. A deal would take Blackwell’s, which operates 18 shops and a website, out of family control for the first time in its 143-year history. The retailer said it was looking for an external investor after a plan to put the business into employee ownership fell through. It said that goal “ultimately proved to be difficult, due in large part to the ongoing uncertainty on the high street caused by Covid-19”.

TNTC to revive Tamil Literature
The Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation teams up with publishers and translators to revive and promote forgotten Tamil literary works. The main purpose of the project is to promote Tamil literature among the generation that is not reading Tamil. They may be members of the Tamil diaspora or Tamils living in other states who may not be exposed to such literature. Translating these books into English will benefit them.

These re-publications, financed by the government, will be a great branding initiative for the publishers too. The government mechanism will also help promote the books where the publishers cannot reach — like the public libraries, curriculum, book fairs, government events, and visiting dignitaries. This would allow the books to reach non-Tamil speakers as well.

The Booker Prize judges are announced Amazon to shut down publishing house Westland Books
The Indian arm of global retail giant Amazon is shutting down publishing company Westland Books, which it has owned, several people involved with Amazon and Westland confirmed. Acquired by Amazon in 2017, Westland’s bestselling authors include Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathi, DevduttPattanaik, RujutaDiwekar, and others.

The Publisher’s apology to Anne Frank
A Dutch publishing house has apologized for printing a book that identifies a person who may have betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis. The book’s investigating team suggested a Jewish man called Arnold van den Bergh was responsible for her and her family’s arrests during World War Two. Many people have criticized the book since its publication.

Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945 after spending two years in hiding. Her diary, published after her death, is the most famous first-hand account of Jewish life during the war and is widely read more than 70 years after her death.


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