More on Hyperion’s new Women’s Fiction imprint

By Carmen Comment

Though the news was reported eons ago, the NYT’s Motoko Rich has a more detailed look at Hyperion‘s brand new imprint geared towards women. More to the point, Voice, headed by former Viking editor Pamela Dorman and Hyperion publisher Ellen Archer, is specifically focusing on women from their mid-30’s and older and will have a resolutely anti-chick-lit bent, they said. The first five titles will begin to be marketed to Hyperion’s sales force next month, beginning with Leslie Bennetts‘ THE FEMININE MISTAKE and also including Claire Cook‘s LIFE’S A BEACH and an anthology edited by Karen Stabiner.

“I felt that I, as a 44-year-old woman, working, married and a mother, did not see my life reflected in any of the media stories,” Archer said, referring to newspaper and magazine articles chronicling the battles between working and stay-at-home mothers and the choices that educated women were making to quit their careers to raise families. “I wanted to create a demographic of women in their mid=30’s to later that could better illustrate the landscape of a woman’s life.”

Some industry folk questioned whether women really needed an imprint of their own when they already buy a majority of published books. “Pam’s a good editor, and I’m sure she’ll do a good imprint,” said David Rosenthal, publisher of Simon & Schuster. But, he added, “I’m always wary of ghettoization.” And so Voice has recruited an advisory panel to help focus on what women in the 30something-and-up age bracket really want. “When I go to a bookstore I’m looking at a million books, and I’m not quite sure where to go unless I get a recommendation of a friend,” said Andrea Wong, an executive vice president in charge of alternative programming at ABC Entertainment and a member of the advisory panel. “But I can look at all of the books that are published by Voice and see it as somewhat of a guide for women.”