International Notes: Open Road Acquires Iconic UK and US Titles; Germany’s De Gruyter Reorganizes Open Access

In News by Porter Anderson

Ebook rights to key works of Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates, and Philip Pullman have been added to Open Road’s library, while Germany’s De Gruyter ups its ante in Open Access.

From the FSG cover of Joan Didion’s ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem,’ the ebook rights to which have been acquired by Open Road Integrated Media

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Stories of Modern Life’
Three major authors’ work have been announced as new ebook additions to Open Road Integrated Media’s list of more than 10,000 backlist titles.

The new acquisitions include five works from Joan Didion, whose new South and West: From a Notebook is out from Knopf on March 7:

  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem
  • The White Album;
  • Play It as It Lays;
  • After Henry; and
  • Miami.

The Simon & Schuster cover of Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘The Lives of the Twins’

There also six psychological suspense thrillers by Joyce Carol Oates:

  • Lives of the Twins;
  • Soulmate;
  • Snake Eyes;
  • You Can’t Catch Me;
  • Double Delight; and
  • Starr Bright Will Be with You Soon.

And, from the UK come two titles by Philip Pullman acquired by Open Road’s London lead Charlotte Greig:

  • The Butterfly Tattoo; and
  • The Broken Bridge.

In a prepared statement, Open Road executive vice president and publisher Tina Pohlman is quoted, saying, “Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates, and Philip Pullman have each made a unique and indelible mark on the literary landscape, and they represent the range and endurance of great writing.

“Their work has inspired readers for many years, and we are determined to ensure that it will continue to inspire as many new readers as possible for a long time to come.”

Philip Pullman

And in London, Carnegie Medal-winning author Pullman is quoted, saying that both titles going to Open Road,“mean a lot to me. They’re both unusual in my work, in being neither historical novels nor fantasies

The Broken Bridge is, in a way, a love letter to the landscape of my childhood and teenage years in North Wales, which I still dream about with love and longing. The Butterfly Tattoo is set in the city where I’ve lived for most of my life, Oxford, and it’s a love story that I felt very strongly compelled to write.

“Stories of modern life are the sort I very much like to read, and I can’t quite understand why I haven’t written more books like this. Perhaps I will.”

OA: ‘The Most Challenging Business Model”

German independent academic publisher De Gruyter has announced a reorganization of the management of its Open Access business, “integrating peer-reviewed open-access activities more closely within editorial activities.”

In a statement to the media, the 260-year-old company says, “A separate business unit is being created to offer open access publishing services for third parties.

“The separate business unit will managed by Jacek Ciesielski, who has been named vice president of publishing services, and who will focus his talents and energy on building up the service for third-party content for which De Gruyter does not provide or organize peer review.”

Ciesielski founded Versita, an Open Access publisher acquired by De Gruyter in 2012 and renamed De Gruyter Open. Anke Beck, De Gruyter’s managing director, is to now take on the additional responsibility for an Open Access team, which currently includes 17 managing editors publishing 17 mega-journals and 40 micro-journals, as well as Open Access books.

In the company’s news release, Open Access books directory chief Eelco Ferwerda is quoted, saying, “De Gruyter has a leading role in the transition to open access in the humanities, and has built one of the largest lists of open access books. It’s great to see that they are expanding their offering in this area.”


About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.