1. 'Young Bond' U.S. Publisher Faces Uncertain Future

    By johncox on 2004-09-12

    In June Ian Fleming Publications proudly announced that Miramax Books (the publishing division of the Disney-owned film production powerhouse Miramax) would be publishing the first two Charlie Higson ‘Young Bond’ novels; SilverFin in spring 2005, and a second yet untitled ‘Young Bond’ novel in the fall.

    SilverFin cover art

    ‘SilverFin’ UK Cover Art

    But an article in The New York Post now questions whether or not Miramax Books will still be around in 2005.

    As first reported by The Post, Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein may be on the verge of a breakup with corporate parent, The Walt Disney Co. The question on the minds of publishing world—and no doubt Ian Fleming Publications—is if Weinstein goes and Miramax folds, what happens to the Miramax book business (and Mr. Young James Bond)?

    The Post article goes on to report that Miramax executives are remaining silent on the subject, but industry sources suggest there are three basic scenarios for the 4-year-old book business.

    Scenario 1: Weinstein breaks with Disney, goes off on his own, and neither erstwhile partner wants to keep the book business. Disney already has one publisher—Hyperion—after all. Weinstein, by all accounts a lover of the cachet of being a publisher, and fond of books head Jonathan Burnham, is nevertheless interested in focusing on filmmaking.

    Scenario 2: Weinstein leaves Miramax, and the book division is folded into the Disney empire. Miramax Books already shares distribution and other back office duties with Disney, so, some say, this would be the most seamless transition. Naysayers suggest, however, that Jonathan Burnham would be unlikely to report to Bob Miller, head of Hyperion, and might not stay. And Burnham, almost as much as Weinstein himself, is Miramax books.

    Scenario 3: Weinstein leaves Miramax and takes the book business with him, which after a rocky start, has been consistently profitable. It might be possible, also, that Weinstein’s new book entity would continue to make use of some of the Disney infrastructure, but not be owned by it.

    The Post reports that industry insiders say the most likely scenario is the third scenario.

    It’s interesting to note that the listing for SilverFin on — which had shown the publisher as Disney owned Hyperion Books for Children — was recently updated to show the publisher as just Miramax Books, suggesting “scenario 3” may already be in play.

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