One Former Random House Editor Signs a Deal With Another as Karp Buys His Old Boss’s Book Proposal

Less than six months after leaving his job as executive editor-in-chief of the Random House Publishing Group, Daniel Menaker has signed a book deal with his former colleague, Twelve publisher Jonathan Karp, to write A Good Talk, a primer on how to hold a good conversation, Publishers Weekly reports.

Mr. Karp served under Mr. Menaker at Random House for about two years before leaving to start his own imprint at Hachette Book Group USA.

Mr. Karp was named editor-in-chief of the Random House imprints when Mr. Menaker was promoted to the executive editor-in-chief position in spring 2004. He reported to Mr. Menaker in that capacity for just a few months before he resigned and left the company in June 2005.

Mr. Menaker joined Random House as editor-in-chief in 2003 after Ann Godoff, who preceded him there as publisher, was ousted for not turning enough profit for the house’s parent company Bertelsmann. Mr. Menaker’s installation was read as an attempt to reassure those who feared Ms. Godoff’s firing meant that Random House would abandon its literary ambitions in favor of more commercial ones.

Since he left Random House in July, Mr. Menaker has been working as a freelance writer, contributing pieces to publications like The Barnes & Noble Review and The New Yorker, where he used to be an editor. 

Unclear whether Mr. Menaker’s guide to conversation is in any way a response to Pierre Bayard’s "How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read."

Twelve is an imprint of Hachette Book Group USA; Mr. Karp, Twelve’s publisher and editor-in-chief, most recently acquired Senator Ted Kennedy’s memoirs for more than $8 million.