Today in books and publishing: Imprints shuffle at Simon & Schuster; Spider-Man musical debacle to be detailed in new book; Unitarians launch banned books club; Kindle lands in Japan.
Spider-Man musical author to write disaster book. Actually, Glen Berger's book deal Simon & Schuster is for a memoir about his experiences behind the scenes of the seemingly cursed Broadway production Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. But it might as well be a diaster novel, considering how this "most expensive show in Broadway history" spiralled out of control with high-profile firings, ongoing lawsuits, terrible reviews, and near-death cast injuries. The book's planned title, Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History, promises to give the inside story on everything that went wrong. [The New York Times]
Simon & Schuster shuffles. A lot of consolidation is happening under Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy's direction. All of the publisher's adult imprints will be squeezed into four groups: Atria, Scribner, the Gallery, and Simon & Schuster. The Free Press imprint, now being absorbed into the Jonathan Karp-led Simon & Schuster Publishing Group, is undergoing the most high-profile downsizing, with publisher Martha Levin and editorial director Dominick Anfuso on the way out. The total number of lay-offs is believed to be under 10, according to Publishers Weekly. Reidy says the new combinations make sense, and "will lead to a sharper editorial focus for our imprints even as it takes consideration of the natural affinities among them." Religious publisher Howard Books is being absorbed by Atria, and Touchstone is merging with Scribner. [Publishers Weekly]