Top Twos-Day: e is for evolution

What’s new at HarperCollins? Rumor has it that Britney Spears is negotiating a deal to write a fictionalized account of her life…like Snooki. And if that doesn’t set your literary teeth on edge, then know that they’ll probably use a ghostwriter, ya think??? Plus, roll out the red carpet for Johnny Depp’s imprint Infinitum Nihil. “Depp will publish titles that reflect his diverse interests and passions.” Really? Can I get an OMG! This on the October heels of news that they are releasing a “…line of General Health, Wellness and Lifestyle books, named HarperWave…”

Also noteworthy at HC, the newly acquired Canadian imprint Patrick Crean, suggests a rehabilitated interest in editorial input. Additionally, HC’s committed to offering their books to Skillsoft’s Books24x7 Platform. And then there’s the recent announcement that HC is closing the “…last two warehouses in the U.S., a sign of how the growth of digital books is prompting book publishers to rethink how they distribute print books…” according to a Wall Street Journal article. WSJ is owned by HC (jess saying). This spin doctor approach holds to their recently declared pledge “‘We want our investments to be in marketing and editorial,’ said Brian Murray, chief executive of HarperCollins. ‘Streamlining our physical distribution chain with Donnelley will create a simpler, faster supply chain, and virtually one-stop shopping for retailers.’”

Y’all do know Rupert Murdock’s tentacles are far reaching, and his interest is in the mighty greenback. Notice that they’ve grouped marketing and editorial. 🙂

Sad news today as The United Methodist Publishing House plans to close ALL of their chain bookstores. Cokesbury, whose distribution ran across many denominations, has 38 standalone bookstores. Closings will impact both the availability of printed materials and employees. “‘This is just part of the evolution that bookstores are all experiencing,’ said Amy Smith, associate to the president and publisher of the United Methodist Publishing House. ‘CokesburyNext is another chapter in an ongoing evolution as we adapt to needs of our customers.’”

More Top Twos-Days…


image by Roxie Hanna, all rights reserved


  1. Gagging on all the stuff in the post (anyone else feeling like a salmon trying to get upstream?)
    Britney…you are already a character enough…(or is that caricature) Part of the “say it often and flashy enough people will believe it concept”?
    At least this will be a job for someone..but can you image trying to accomplish this and stay sane?
    Johnny, Johnny. It was play like a pirate – not be one.

    1. it is a bit overwhelming…sorry Phil. I can’t even fathom trying to compile sentences for that one!
      Oh I see you’re signing up for Johnny Depp’s book club 😛

  2. Bookstore closings, as you know, always sadden me. I’m still in mourning for Borders.

    I do hope, however, that you will be hired to write Brittany’s book. Don’t forget to make her sound as stupid as she looks!

    1. Me too, mourning those closings Mike! Oh no…no wayyyyy, my job is to make my authors look good, can you imagine the spin I’d need to put on this piece??

  3. Thanks for covering the closing of Cokesbury Bookstores. Would you consider signing the petition? It may not save almost 300 jobs but at least the company will know how others feel.
    A lot of rural churches rely on visiting the stores because they don’t have internet access. For most seminaries, Cokesbury is the campus bookstores.

  4. It would have been “mindful” of the United Methodist Publishing House to offter to re-train/re-educate their stand alone bookstore employees for new jobs in their “evolution” process.
    Thanks for all the interesting info, Roxie.

    1. I thought it was interesting that they defended the change as part of what everyone is doing…the evolutionary process…but why not be a part of the bigger solution, and help the employees, as you suggest? Thanks for your insight, Eva

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