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Coming off a successful year, the Dutch-based Elsevier group has declared an interest in adding to its American acquisitions (including the Congressional Information Service). That won't be easy, considering the growing number of European firms with the same interest.... In 1988, Little, Brown and the Sierra Club will publish the first list of their just-announced joint imprint of children's books, including fiction, nonfiction, how-to, activity, and picture books.... Warner Books has acquired the diaries of Andy Warhol, the pop artist who died in February, and plans to publish them - some 200,000 words that Mr. Warhol dictated on an almost daily basis between 1976 and 1987 - in the fall of 1988....

When a publishing company goes public, it becomes vulnerable to corporate takeover. When it appears not to be acting in the best interests of the public shareholders, it is especially vulnerable. Robert Maxwell has sued Harcourt Brace Jovanovich on a charge of trying to block his takeover bid; Mr. Maxwell charges the publisher with devising an ``unlawful entrenchment scheme'' without shareholder approval. A large part of the cash received from the special dividend (shareholders will be paid a special dividend of $40 a share, Maxwell claims) will be used to purchase an additional 20 percent of the outstanding shares, thus reducing HBJ's public shareholders to minority status....

According to Italy's book trade journal, Giornale della Libreria, translations from French have been outstripped by translations from English. Over half the books translated in 1985 were from English - 2,314 out of 4,889. And that accounts for 10 percent of all the books published in the country (22,683)....

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