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Our Service Philosophy

CONTENT

To help the author develop and create the best book possible. Material that has both commercial appeal and long-term value.

CAREER

To help the author determine the next best step in their writing career. Giving counsel regarding the subtleties of the marketplace as well as the realities of the publishing community.

CONTRACT

To help the author secure the best possible contract. One that partners with the best strategic publisher and one that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

Recent Posts

HarperStudio is History

Back on March 17 I blogged about the changes at HarperStudio and asked if this could mean that division would close down. Today it was announced that it has come to pass, the division is no more.

HarperStudio had made big news by setting up a low advance model in exchange for high royalties. It was termed a “profit sharing” model. (of course define “profit” first… 🙂 ) Plus they sold their books on a non-returnable basis to the stores, both online and brick & mortar.

It was a highly creative idea and caused quite a stir, especially when there was talk of a 50/50 profit split.

My questions are these. Does this mean the end to the experiment of “profit sharing” in publishing?Also…

Did the model fail to produce the necessary revenue or did the acquisitions team fail to select the right titles?

At the risk of being a hindsight prophet, I think it was the latter. Don’t get me wrong. The books themselves are quality titles for the most part, but none of them became “blockbusters.” The model might work if the book generates enough revenue. But the combination of a modest list, with no break out bestsellers, and the fact that the stores could not return slow moving titles probably contributed to conservative buying patterns and kept the big box retailers from “stacking ’em high.”

What do you think?


The original announcement can be found here, but the content is reprinted below.

HarperStudio, the unusual imprint founded two years ago by Bob Miller, is being shut down and its books and staff will land at other HarperCollins imprints. Miller left Harper last month to become group publisher at Workman (Shelf Awareness, March 16, 2010).

The final titles to be published by HarperStudio will be the summer 2010 list. All fall titles and titles scheduled to be published thereafter will be published by other HarperCollins imprints. In a memo to employees, Michael Morrison, president and publisher of U.S. general books and Canada, said that Harper “will be contacting agents and authors to discuss the best editors and imprints for” its fall and other future titles. “All of our imprints are happy to discuss profit sharing scenarios on a book by book basis.”

Debbie Stier, associate publisher of HarperStudio and director of digital marketing for HarperCollins, continues as director of digital marketing and continues to acquire books for all imprints as editor-at-large. Kathryn Ratcliffe-Lee continues to report to Stier.

Senior editor Julia Cheiffetz is moving to the Harper imprint. Assistant editor Katie Salisbury continues to report to Cheiffetz.

Jessica Wiener continues as director of marketing.

In its brief life, HarperStudio published mainly nonfiction, offered low advances with profit-sharing, tried to sell titles on a nonreturnable basis and signed many authors who were well-known in other fields or were writers who wanted to try projects that differed from their usual ones.

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New Releases March 2010

Below are new books from March 2010 which our agency represented. (In alphabetical order by author. Descriptions are from publisher’s web sites). March 2010 Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue – Chuck Black MultnomahDetermined, smart and a master of both the sword and the bow, Lady Carliss has proven …

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New Releases January & February 2010

Below are new books by our clients which released in January & February 2010 (in alphabetical order by author and descriptions from publisher’s web sites). January 2010 Dreams That Won’t Let Go – Stacy Hawkins Adams Revell Indigo Burns is excited. Her wedding preparations to the man of her dreams …

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A Volatile Industry

Yesterday’s blog linked you to some fascinating articles about the publishing industry. One friend wrote an insightful comment on the blog and cited the article where Boris Kachka proclaimed “The End” on September 14, 2008 in New York Magazine.

To illustrate how volatile this industry is, let’s look at two of the people featured in the article. Jane Friedman is no longer the CEO of HarperCollins (which she was at the time of the original meeting) and Bob Miller resigned today as the head of HarperStudio. HarperStudio was creative with a unique financial model (see the article for the gist of it). But on a web site set up to answer questions about this development HarperStudio wrote this:

“Of our ORIGINAL goals, I’d give us a 6 [out of 10]. But there were other goals that cropped up along the way that were unintended benefits.”

Founded in April 2008, it has already changed in less than two years. Their first year was developmental as it takes time to acquire and produce new book titles. 2009 was a tough year for the economy in general and publishing was not immune. Thus the changes. They stop short of saying it didn’t work very well, but the tone of their answer page is very much a “let’s wait and see what the future holds.”

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Is This the End of Publishing?

You owe it to yourself to read the following links and then watch the embedded video. We are all quite aware that the book publishing industry is in the throes of considerable change. Sales channels are shifting and marketing channels have splintered.

Some folks are dismayed by this, and others see it as opportunity. But, as usual, a middle ground can be found. And that middle ground is displayed in the video below.

But first, the articles to read:

The New York Magazine proclaimed “The End” on September 14, 2008 in an article by Boris Kachka.

Publishers Weekly agreed on January 5, 2009 in an article by Peter Olson, former chairman and CEO of Random House .

Mike Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, chimed in on December 10, 2009 in his insightful blog.

Richard Nash continued the assault on January 5, 2010 in an interview on GalleyCat. More was added the next day.

The below video originally prepared for a recent Penguin sales conference by the UK branch of Dorling Kindersley Books. Watch the entire piece without interruption.

Let me know what you think!

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