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Posts Tagged ‘Grand Central Publishing’

Jamie Raab Interview Sparks eBook Royalty Debate

GalleyCat contributor Jeff Rivera interviewed Grand Central publisher Jamie Raab for mediabistro.com’s So What Do You Do? feature today.

In the interview, Raab (pictured, via) defended her imprint’s standard practice of giving authors a 25% royalty rate for eBooks: “We have an infrastructure to support.” She outlined the values of what traditional publishers have to offer whether they are new in their writing career or established New York Times bestselling authors.

When asked on whether or not she fears big-name writers will take a less traditional publishing route, she replied: “I think about that a lot because I know it’s on authors’ minds. And I think it’s incumbent on every publisher to do a better job than they’ve ever done before — more creative on marketing and eBooks, working in partnership more closely with their authors, keeping them in the loop, publishing more strategically.”

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Chelsea Handler to Helm Grand Central Imprint

Bestselling memoirist and TV host Chelsea Handler will launch a new imprint at Hachette’s Grand Central Publishing division. It will be called Borderline Amazing/A Chelsea Handler Book, opening with three books.

The comedian’s production company, Borderline Amazing Productions, will oversee the imprint. Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me will be the imprint’s first release and it’s due out in May 2011. Another title will feature “the byline of her long-suffering dog, Chunk.”

DeadlineNY offered this quote from Handler: “I’ll be editing and overseeing, while my family and friends make money off me and get something back from the torture I’ve put them through. I’ve got a couple other ideas and people I want to see write books.”

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Rosie Complains About Publisher Typos

Okay, when there are mistakes on the hardcover jacket, misspellings and such, it does kind of suck and make everybody look bad. But Rosie O’Donnell‘s tongue-lashing of Grand Central Publishing, as reported by Access Hollywood, seems just a bit over the top. “So i just got my first hard copy of my new book CELEBRITY DETOX there on the front flap in print ‘when rosie odonnells (sic) mother was diagnosed with cancer in 1968, ten year old rosie thought fame could cure her,’ i was born in 1962 my mother was diagnosed in 1973 WTF!” the actress and former THE VIEW moderator wrote on her website. “I want to scream NO ONIONS at every one (sic),” Rosie typed. “this book has been more of a pain in the a** than it was worth.”

Maybe, but sleeve replacements are doable since the book won’t be in stores till early October. Then again, Rosie – once considered to be the “Queen of Nice” back in her morning talk-show days – certainly has a penchant for flipping out at people and getting upset at publications bearing her name.

No Chance of Evanovich/Cannell Collaboration

When Warner Books – now, of course, known to one and all as Grand Central Publishing – first announced that Janet Evanovich and Stephen Cannell would be joining forces for a new series, it did so with a few hiccups. The deal was first posted, then taken back down, then put back again. It seemed a minor point, something to forget about – not a harbinger of things to come.

Earlier this month, Sarah Wendell at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books got a tip from an anonymous reader wondering why Evanovich’s site, after trumpeting the upcoming collaboration, no longer mentioned the book anywhere. Anonymous had read chapter one, posted on June 1, and when she went back on July 1, there was no chapter two – or chapter one, for that matter. And things got even stranger. “If you type “no chance” site:evanovich.com into a Google search, there’s remnants of quite a few pages – but they’re all 404s,” reported the tipster. “Meanwhile, Cannell used to have it on his news page, home page and appearances page – those mentions are gone, too.” An excerpt was still available on Cannell’s website as of July 9, and is now, but that’s about it.

And that’s about all we’ll see, thanks to Wendell’s update yesterday. According to her source at an unnamed Big Box Bookstore, “the Evanovich/Cannell novel NO CHANCE has ‘no chance’ of being published. The book has been canceled with no date for rescheduling.” When reached for comment yesterday evening, Evanovich confirmed the news. “Steve [Cannell] and I ran into scheduling problems,” she said by email. “We still have an active partnership but the project is on hold right now. As of right now we haven’t a publishing date.” Interestingly, the Amazon page remains active, though that may not be for much longer…

Random House Revolving Door Widens Editorial and Marketing/Distribution Dichotomy

Last week’s post about Daniel Menaker‘s exit and the larger implications for Random House served as unwitting inspiration for Sara Nelson‘s column in this week’s issue of Publishers Weekly. After recapping what she terms (and I concur is) a “stunning” number of job switcheroos at Random House, Nelson wonders if all the gossip and chatter misses the overall point: that none of the departing RH executives, going back to Don Weisberg, the COO of RH North America who left in February, were replaced with external hires:

That…suggests that Random is indeed shifting focus, but not necessarily in fiction. At worst, the piling on of new jobs to longtime staffers with already full plates is a form of downsizing; at best, it might be that Random, like most publishers, will soon move its emphasis from the acquiring/editing side of the business to the less sexy but increasingly important distribution and marketing side. Editors and authors will always matter-somebody, after all, has to create all that “content” that will be disseminated in forms perhaps not yet invented—but the focus these days is more on selling direct, on digital “product” and on POD.

Nelson’s larger point is a good one, but I suspect that emphasis already began quite a number of years ago, and not just at Random House. Most of those at the executive level – and by that I mean Publisher, CEO or something in between – tend to come up from the marketing, distribution and publicity sides, and yet if a new imprint is formed, it’s usually named after its founding editor (most recent examples: Spiegel & Grau at Doubleday/Broadway; Amy Einhorn Books at Putnam. At least Twelve, Jonathan Karp‘s imprint at Grand Central Publishing, was never going to be named after him.) Eponymous editorial imprints seem to follow a common trajectory: a big announcement spurring a flurry of news, commentary and speculation; an 18 month or so gestation marked by sprees of acquiring not out of place at 5th Avenue department stores; and after a few years – best personified by the fate of Rob Weisbach‘s imprint at William Morrow in the late 1990s – a near-permanent place in the loss-leading category for the publisher. Never mind the irony that the most successful eponymous imprint, ReganBooks, is no more, shuttered in favor of the more anonymous (and temporary) “HC” logo.

So if, as Nelson concludes, publishing houses’ energies are moving even more strongly towards the “less sexy” side of publishing, perhaps it may make sense to question the wisdom of imprints named after editors – especially when in the end – with the exception of one Ms. Judith Regan – they are just as anonymous to readers as are the marketing & distribution people. In other words (and keeping the elemental theme going) maybe it’s not a question of air or water but earth and fire.

Warner Rebrands Business Imprint as Business Plus

PW Daily reports that Grand Central Publishing division will rename its Warner Business imprint Business Plus, with the new name appearing on titles this September. The imprint will work in tandem with Hachette‘s UK subsidiary, Hodder Headline, to give Business Plus a more international scope and “develop joint acquisition strategies and acquire world rights where possible for Business Plus titles.” Rick Wolff will continue to direct the business imprint in the U.S., while David Wilson, editorial director of Hodder, will lead Business Plus in the UK.

Oliver Joins Endeavor Book Division

PW Daily reports that Rebecca Oliver, last with Grand Central Publishing, has joined Endeavor‘s New York book division as a literary agent. She will oversee foreign and domestic subsidiary rights and work alongside Richard Abate, who recently created the agency’s East Coast book division. Oliver had been at Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books) since 1999, first as associate director of domestic rights and most recently as associate director of subsidiary Rights, handling serial and translation rights for GCP and its imprints. In 2001, she oversaw the launch of the Hachette Book Group’s large print program.

Warner Books Morphs into Grand Central Publishing

The New York Times’ Julie Bosman has the scoop on the long-awaited name change for Warner Books: as of now (with an official launch at Book Expo in early June) the Hachette imprint will be known as Grand Central Publishing – a move happening just in time for the company to switch offices from the Time-Life Building on Sixth Avenue to 237 Park Avenue, closer to the famous train station. “I was very nervous,” Jamie Raab, the publisher of Warner Books, said in a telephone interview with Bosman. “It’s like suddenly being told that not only are you being sold, but you have to give up the name you’ve lived with your whole life.”

After trying on a host of names for size, Grand Central Publishing, Raab said, conveyed the company’s wide range of readers and the many genres it publishes. It pointedly omits the word “books,” a gesture to electronic and other emerging forms of publishing that go beyond ink and paper. The first books to carry the Grand Central Publishing imprint are expected to be on the fall 2007 list, which includes a novel by David Baldacci, a memoir by Rosie O’Donnell and a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman. And the new logo is music to Raab’s ears. “I hated it,” she said of the bulky “W” logo hearkening back to the imprint’s creation in 1970. “It’s a period piece. It probably looked really good in the ’70s.”