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The Roundup: October 30, 2020

Our roundup of key news affecting authors. In this edition: Hachette launches BIPOC imprint, 10 best book covers, and more…

Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ Editor Starts Her Own Publishing Firm
The New York Times
“Molly Stern, the former publisher of Crown, is starting Zando, an independent publishing company with an unusual marketing strategy.”

Hachette Launches BIPOC Imprint: Legacy Lit
Publishers Weekly
“Legacy Lit will focus on publishing nonfiction, including narrative titles, memoir, women’s interest, social justice and empowerment titles, in addition to select fiction titles.”

Daniel Menaker, Book Editor Who Wrote with Wit, Dies at 79
The New York Times
“Daniel Menaker, who incubated literary celebrities as executive editor in chief of Random House and as a senior fiction editor of The New Yorker,” passed away on Monday.

The Book That Brought Writers’ Fears and Self-Doubt into the Open
Literary Hub
Christina Baker Kline sat down with Bonnie Friedman to discuss “how Writing Past Dark came about, what particular traits enable writers to succeed, and how the landscape has changed for writers since it was first published.”

‘There Are Tons of Brown Faces Missing’: Publishers Step Up Diversity Efforts
The New York Times
“The push in book publishing for more authors and workers of color hasn’t abated, and companies are increasingly making lasting changes to the way they do business.”

Netflix ‘Narcos’ Copyright Win Shows True Stories Hard to Shield
Bloomberg Law
“Underlying the case is when an author of an expressive work based on facts, such as a memoir or autobiography, can protect its creation. Lawyers said that Vallejo, a Colombian reporter whose book documented her romantic relationship with drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar, didn’t have a great case.”

Courtney Maum Thinks the 27th Draft Is Where It Gets Good
Electric Literature
Electric Literature talks to “Courtney Maum, who is leading an independent study on landing yourself a book contract—all the detailed, comprehensive information she includes in her book Before and After the Book Deal, but with exercises and guidance.”

The 10 Best Book Covers of October
Literary Hub
“Another month of books, another month of book covers. Disproving—somewhat—the theory that we can’t have nice things, this month of the ongoing apocalypse brought us quite a few very good book covers, from the frankly gorgeous to the inescapably charming.” 

Penguin Random House Sponsors CLMP’s New Black Literary Publishing Award
Publishing Perspectives
“The award for ‘Black-led presses and other presses that champion the work of BIPOC authors’ names its first winners in the spring.”

As the Vote Nears: High Season for U.S. Political Books
Publishing Perspectives
“Building for years, the clamor on the United States market in political books is reaching a pre-election crescendo this week. NPD sees a bigger year for these titles than any since 2004.”

ALA Announces Longlist for 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals
Publishers Weekly
“In all, a total of 46 books (26 fiction, 20 nonfiction) were selected, with a six-title shortlist—three each for the fiction and nonfiction medals—to be chosen from the longlist titles and announced on November 17, 2020.”

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group Closing Imprint
Publishers Weekly
“The Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group is closing Imprint, the unit formed in late 2014 to focus on branded publishing and new content creation, as well as to acquire original commercial fiction and picture books.”

Editorial credit: Faizal Ramli /