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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.”

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