HarperStudio: The 26th Story


Back in April Harper Collins announced it was launching HarperStudio a new imprint to be headed by Bob Miller, which would forgo the continually escalating bidding wars and book advances that are threatening to sink the publishing world, in lieu of a profit-sharing model, i.e., the writer gets less upfront (Miller says deals won’t top $100, 000) and a larger percentage of the profits.

This means that we aren’t acquiring the same books that other publishers are trying to acquire. In the beginning, we missed the adrenaline rush and the thrill of outspending our competitors. But as anyone who has ever gone to an estate auction off some roadside in Vermont knows, this also means that we aren’t buying things in the heat of the moment, furniture that we start regretting before we’ve barely lifted the broken pieces into the back of the car.
Senior editor Julia Cheiffetz tells us “We are asking some of the larger questions: In our oversaturated media environment how can we make books exciting and relevant and cool? as well as trying to face the very practical issue of returns and skyrocketing production costs.” So what kinds of books are they acquiring? Hint: Isabella Rossellini, Mark Twain, and 50 Cent are all on the list.

The imprint just launched their new website today, called the 26th story (HS is on the 26th floor) fully equipped with a blog(!) as well as their acquisition list thus far. Here’s a quick look at some of what’s coming up:

Emeril Lagasse: EMERIL AT THE GRILL. The first in a new ten-book series of cookbooks from the beloved celebrity chef.

John Lithgow: UNTITLED MEMOIR. An intimate look at the Tony Award winning actor’s career that reveals not only the seminal moments of his life, but also the power of storytelling itself.

Leonard Maltin: THE 100 BEST MOVIES YOU’VE NEVER SEEN. A fresh look at underappreciated screen gems, by the popular film critic and historian.

Robert Mankoff: THE EXTREMELY SHORT HISTORY OF HUMOR. The New Yorker cartoon editor, cartoonist, and Founder of the Cartoon Bank writes and draws this hilariously condensed review of all things that have even been funny.

Toni Morrison, editor: BURN THIS BOOK: PEN Writers on the Power of the Word including pieces by Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Orhan Pahnuk, David Grossman, and others.

Rolling Stone Magazine: THE ROLLING STONE HISTORY OF THE NINETIES. A nostalgic tribute to the music (good and bad) and culture of the final decade of the twentieth century.

Isabella Rossellini: GREEN PORNO. A strange and enlightening visual exploration of the sex lives of insects, based on the wildly popular short videos by the same name.

Mark Twain: WHO IS MARK TWAIN? by Mark Twain. Twenty-two previously unpublished short pieces by Mark Twain that show Twain’s great ability to reveal the truth through humor.

Robert Greene and 50 Cent: THE 50TH LAW. The bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power joins forces with rap star 50 Cent to examine how to live successfully by living fearlessly.