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Posts Tagged ‘Running Press’

Children’s Book Creators Celebrate National Doodle Day

Publishers Albert Whitman & Company, Chronicle Books, Gibbs Smith Publishers, and Running Press, have joined together to celebrate this year’s National Doodle Day. In preparation for the May 12th event, several authors and illustrators of children’s books have donated doodles for its annual eBay auction.

Here’s more from the press release: “Daniel Pinkwater, Annie Barrows, Tom Lichtenheld, Calef Brown, Peter Reynolds, Eric Carle, Jon Scieszka, Mo Willems, and Lydia Bastianich all agreed to create unique doodles for the auction. Doodles can be viewed at doodledayusa.org until the launch of the eBay auction on May 12.”

Some authors, like Kurt Vonnegut, have attracted as much fame for their doodles as they have for their writing. Reportedly, this is the first year publishers have participated in National Doodle Day. The publishers will host public events on that day in the following cities: Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Sausalito.

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The NYT Discovers the Skinny Bitches After Everybody Else

But to the paper’s credit, at least in the online version of Motoko Rich‘s article they link to a whole bunch of UK-based articles on Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, the slender authors of the bestseller that has sold in a steady stream since Running Press released it in December 2005. But it wasn’t until Victoria Beckham, also known as the pop star Posh Spice and wife of the soccer player David Beckham, was photographed carrying a copy of it in a Los Angeles boutique in May that the book started climbing the best-seller charts in Britain. When E! News picked up the story in June, the title took off in the United States. On Sunday it was No. 12 on the New York Times best-seller list of paperback advice, how-to and miscellaneous books. This Sunday it will be No. 3.

“It’s definitely the most entertaining diet book I’ve ever read,” said Linda Marotta, the lead buyer at Shakespeare & Company, which has four stores in New York City. Marotta said SKINNY BITCH, which ends up having a hard-core vegan message, had sold “extremely well” in the stores. “It definitely has that sharp, chick-lit look and feel,” said Dana Brigham, co-owner of Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Mass., which has sold more than 200 copies. “You look at the photo of the authors on the back, and they are both drop-dead gorgeous. If you look at the photos of authors on the crunchy granola books – maybe not so much.”

And for the book’s detractors, who criticize its’ seeming agenda for PETA and overly irreverent tone, the authors are sanguine. “Yes, the material in the book is not, for so many reasons, the easiest sell,” said Barnouin, who gave up modeling eight years ago to study holistic nutrition. “It’s not your typical diet book, and there’s a lot of animal-rights information. We just thought, let’s be light, funny, have a fun, catchy name and put a cute picture on the cover of the book. We just knew marketing was going to be the key.” Has it ever, thanks to Posh and a slew of word-of-mouth.

BREAKING: Massive Reorganization for Perseus

PW Daily serves up the news (plus Perseus CEO David Steinberger‘s memo to colleagues) which includes the following:

  • Perseus Books Group has formed six publishing divisions built around Avalon Travel, Basic Books, Da Capo, Public Affairs, Running Press and Vanguard imprints.
  • 24 positions eliminated, with as many as 21 other employees could lose their jobs if they are not willing to relocate or take on new roles
  • Carroll & Graf and Thunder’s Mouth will cease to exist as imprints after this fall, with William Strachan, editor-in-chief of Thunder’s Mouth and Carroll & Graf, and C&G senior editor Don Weise among the editors being let go.
  • Avalon’s New York office will be closed sometime this summer and employees will be moved to Perseus’s headquarters on Park Avenue.

Will there be more news? There has to be, because the fate of former PGW employees and publishers hasn’t even been addressed yet, and one must believe they will be at some point.

More tellingly, the impending shutdown of C&G and Thunder’s Mouth should call into question whether Perseus has any longterm plans to publish fiction. Will Balliett, former executive editor of both imprints, now moves to Da Capo in a similar position. But that imprint is not known for publishing fiction. Basic Books is absorbing Nation Books (which sometimes does fiction) and Vanguard, already established as a place for formerly bestselling novelists to go for a career refresher, will likely continue what it’s doing, but what of C&G’s extensive mystery fiction publishing program, or the backlist reissues that Thunder’s Mouth does? Steinberger might say that “[e]ach of our imprints needs to have a distinct identity, and we didn’t feel that was the case with Carroll & Graf and Thunder’s Mouth,” but without any concrete evidence in place, one really has to wonder.