Cover Stories: Wayne Rooney; Ottakars; Hachette; Emma Barnes

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The Independent Culture

*Given that David Beckham was burned in effigy after a far less serious foul caused him to be sent off in the 1998 World Cup, how will fans react to Wayne Rooney's unsporting moment? And how will it impact on sales of the first of Harper Collins's projected series of Rooney titles, due at the end of this month? And what about WAG-in-Chief Coleen's own memoir? Kicked into touch, perhaps. HarperCollins's multi-volume Roo mania now looks almost as flaky as Sven's formations.

*As Waterstone's top brass face the task of integrating Ottakar's into the business after the final acceptance of their bid - a process that will surely result in job losses and store closures - MD Gerry Johnson has announced that staff are no longer to go abroad on publishers' publicity trips. Publishers have recently organised jollies to Barcelona, Venice, Carcassone, New York and other destinations so that booksellers can meet an author whose career they are helping build. HarperCollins even offered hospitality to watch three of its authors - Beckham, Rooney and Owen - play Sweden. Johnson now says that "there is no commercial reason for anyone to accept hospitality abroad".

*When Hachette, part of the French combine Lagadère, bought the publishing interests of Time Warner, it agreed to rename the companies. So Time Warner Inc became Hachette Books US while the UK company reverted to Little, Brown Group. LBG has now gone back even further by renaming its paperback imprint as Sphere - a brand which, in the mists of time, had been part of the Thomson Corporation. A clear case of what goes round comes round, you might say.

*Congratulations to Emma Barnes, MD, founder, publisher and designer of Snowbooks, which she set up to publish the sort of books ignored by mainstream houses: Management Today has named her among a list of 35 female high-flyers under 35.

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