Notes: Rowling on 'Real Life'; Bob Miller's HarperStudio
"On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure," said J.K. Rowling in her commencement address at Harvard University. "And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called 'real life,' I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination." You can find a video of the speech as well as the text on Harvard Magazine's website.
Before being anointed as one of Richard & Judy's Summer Reads, James Bradley's Gothic thriller The Resurrectionist had "sold fewer than 300 copies," according to the Independent, which added that, "unless he is very unlucky, Mr Bradley can now expect to be selling 250,000 copies--much more than if he had won the Booker Prize."
"The numbers speak for themselves," said Will Atkinson, sales and marketing director, Faber & Faber, "It's transforming for a book. Along with the big literary prizes, it's probably the most important promotional tool."
Good night and not-so-sweet dreams. Commissioning editor Caroline Raphael, head of BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime, had to defend her recent choices of The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams and Helpless by Barbara Gowdy after some listeners complained that the books were "disturbing."
"I would accept that The Behaviour of Moths followed straight on by Helpless may not have been the best two books to put next to each other," she said. "However we do try to get books on publication, and the paperback of Helpless is out now, and Behaviour of Moths has just been published. That's when people are reading the reviews, and they are being talked about."
Bob Miller's new venture at HarperCollins (Shelf Awareness, April 3, 2008) will be known as HarperStudio.
He's hired Debbie Stier, who has headed Morrow Avon publicity for eight years, as senior v-p, associate publisher. She has also been named director of digital marketing development for HarperCollins's general books group, where she will focus on special projects "to extend the online marketing reach of our authors through partnerships with media outlets." The change is effective July 1.
Julia Cheiffetz is joining HarperStudio as senior editor. She has been an editor at the Random House Publishing Group.
In related moves:
Ballenger has been promoted to v-p, group publicity director, for
William Morrow, HarperEntertainment, Eos and Morrow Cookbooks. Since
2004, he has been director of publicity for HarperEntertainment and
William Morrow and earlier working in publicity at Random House, Simon
& Schuster, Pocket Books and Atria.
Dee Dee De Bartlo has been promoted to senior director of publicity and new initiatives for William Morrow, HarperEntertainment, Eos and Morrow Cookbooks. She joined Morrow 10 years ago.
Globe Pequot Press has
bought Compass Maps Ltd., Winford, England, and reorganized several
parts of the company. Andy Riddle, managing director of Footprint, will
add the role of sales director for Compass, and Linda Flynn, a longtime
employee of Compass, has become general manager.
In the U.S., the map group, formerly part of Morris Visitor Publications, is becoming part of Globe Pequot.