Pub Rants

Leap To Hardcover

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STATUS: All this week I’ve been thinking I was being a weenie about my bad head cold. Finally went to the doc and I have a sinus infection and a double ear infection. I had a good reason to feel miserable!

What’s playing on the iPod right now? AFRICA by Toto

Earlier this year I sold an anthology conceived and edited by my fabulous author Jennifer O’Connell to be an original trade paperback and we got the fabulous news this week that Simon & Schuster is going to take it out in Hardcover.

And look as this marvelous cover. I love it so much I have a color copy taped to the wall right next to my computer screen so I can catch fun glimpses of it during the day.

I have to say Judy Blume was hugely instrumental in my own girlhood development. Goodness, I don’t think young girls were allowed entrance into womanhood without reading ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME MARGARET. Not to mention the thousand giggling conversations in the bathroom around the “naughty” FOREVER. I even had to hold a copy for some girlfriends so their mothers wouldn’t discover them with it (For the record, my own Mother never censored my reading material but I had many an embarrassing conversation where she insisted on going through every detail. So embarrassing then but thanks Mom!)

What your Mom wouldn’t or couldn’t tell you, Judy Blume had no problem sharing.

And the authors included in this collection want to honor her. Judy herself enjoyed every one of the essays included (of course we sent her a copy very early on).

But the purpose of this blog isn’t necessarily to highlight how fabulous this book is (wink) but to talk about why a publisher decides to take a book that was originally slotted to be a trade paperback into hardcover.

The answer is very simple. Overwhelming enthusiasm. In-house, at sales conference from sales reps, from conversations reps had with booksellers, and from the accounts when it was time to schedule the buy-ins.

Overwhelming enthusiasm.

The move to hardcover to break it out bigger!

33 Responses

  1. LadyBronco said:

    I love the cover. Kristen, for the most part, your writers have gotten very lucky with their covers. I don’t think I’ve seen one that I didn’t like. and who doesn’t love Judy Blume? I am soooo glad my mom let me read her books growing up. Bravo, ladies…I can’t wait to read it!

  2. Kimber An said:

    Love that cover! I’ve seen so many aweful ones from the American publishers lately that this one is just a delight. Incidently, I never read Judy Bloom. Boooooring! I was too busy climbing trees and reading ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ and such instead. I turned out all right as a woman! 😉

  3. Jana DeLeon said:

    lol kimber – I was such a huge tomboy, too (still am, actually). I remember reading ARE YOU THERE GOD IT’S ME MARGARET and thinking “why in the world are these girls competing to see who wears a bra first. Who the heck wants to wear a bra?”

    I can’t wait to read the book. Congrats to all the ladeis who contributed!

  4. sallymannder said:

    Congrats on the success of the book, Kristin. As a teacher,I read, ARE YOU THERE GOD IT’S ME MARGARET with my English class of pregnant teenagers, who obviously were past this point. They were enthralled. I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery. Feel better

  5. Diana Peterfreund said:

    As a contributor to the collection, I want to thank you again for all the hard work!

    Jana, Are You There… was not one of my favorites. I preferred the “young woman on an adventure” stories, like Starring Sally J Freedman and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great.

  6. Debby G said:

    Looks like an awesome book! I love Judy Blume too!

    Just curious: Is it always a good thing to come out in hardback? Aren’t some books better suited for paperback? And are there big sellers that come out in paperback only? Does a book originally meant for hardback ever come out just in paperback instead?

    In May, I have a hardback YA coming out with Putnam and an original paperback YA coming out with Berkley. So I’m really interested in paperback vs. hardback reasoning.

  7. Kimber An said:

    Is it any wonder I won’t touch Chick Lit or anything from the Romance genre with a ten-foot pole? Like I always tell my Crunchy Critters, “If it doesn’t have Ringwraiths or warp drive, I’m just not interested.”

  8. Jennifer O'Connell said:

    Just had to chime in here. When I read the 23 essays the authors contributed to this anthology I laughed out loud, cringed, said “aww” and smiled to myself. The great thing about them was that they weren’t all periods and boobs and boys. They were just about growing up, the things you leave behind and the memories you carry with you. Stephanie Lessing’s essay is even about how she always felt so perfectly abnormal reading Judy Blume because she was nothing like the girls in the books.

    I’m probably a tab bit biased here, but the women who contributed essays completely surpassed any expectations I had for this collection. And they were all willing to use childhood photos for their author pictures, which is pretty damn cool, too.

    Jennifer O’Connell (who didn’t read FOREVER until she was 38 years old)

  9. The Unpretentious Writer said:

    That’s the coolest title (I’d be concerned about the characters if the title was ‘Everything I Know I Learned from Paul Zindel’ ^_^).

    Hardcover is great, but I think I speak for all the booksellers when I say, this is all I’m going to hear:

    Customer: “Oh, this is the new book that just came out today?!? I’m so excited! Does it come in paperback?”

    Me: “Not yet, probably in a few months if it sells well.”

    Customer: “What? That’s crazy, nevermind, I’ll read it later.”

  10. Tawna Fenske said:

    Hardcover, paperback, makes no difference to me. I just want to get my hands on it NOW! I haven’t looked forward to a book this much for a long time.


  11. Sallymannder said:

    Why are some names in blue and underlined on this comment board, and others are in black? Is this discrimination? (wink)

  12. The Unpretentious Writer said:


    The blue underlines are folks who are Blogger users and are logged in. Click on my name and it will take you to my profile and blog, click on other’s names, and you can view their profile and blog.

  13. ~Nancy said:

    Wow, Kristin, I overhead a couple of women here at work yesterday and two of them had sinus problems; another one is stuck at home having deal with hers.

    Ick! Hope I’m not next on that bandwagon.

    Judy Blume…well, since others have admitted it, I have to say that although I did read the ubiquitous “Margaret,” it didn’t enthrall me either. (BTW, didn’t every teenage girl have to read Judy Blume?) I was a tomboy, too (still am, to some extent; just ask my hubby whenever I get into football games on Sundays ;-)).

    Looks like a really nice cover, though.


  14. Sallymannder said:

    Thank you, Unpretentious. Much to learn, so little time. Reading blogs instead of writing is my downfall, but I learn so much from them. I like your blog. Can I ever relate to your discussions! At mail time each day, I sort through for any SASE. I haven’t figured out if it’s a relief to hear from them, even if it is a rejection, or more of a relief not to hear anything.

  15. Shelly said:

    Judy Blume had a tendency to use lots of ellipses. It always bugged me. Nice cover, though.

    P. S. Kristen: Snow! We’re getting buried here in the Springs (1.3 ft in our backyard– our puppy’s having a blast).

  16. Manic Mom said:

    I was the girl who got in trouble for having Judy Blume books. WHen my mom asked me about Deenie, and her special spot she would rub, my reply to her was, “For all I know, she’s rubbing her elbow!”

    Blubber was the FIRST real actual book I ever read, and I was probably in second or third grade. I freaked OUT because the word DAMN was in it, and I confessed to my mother that there was a swear in my book. She then explained to me poetic licensing and swears in books were OK.

    To this day, I am utterly CONVINCED my grandmother (who is alive and kicking at 94 years old) took my ARE YOU THERE GOD book and threw it in the trash. She thought I read SUCH smut!

    Finally, regarding Forever–anyone remember RALPH?!?!!?!?

    I hope, hope, hope that along with a foreward from Jennifer in the book, that Ms. Blume has written a note to her fans as well! THAT would be awesome!

    Regardless, this book is MINE the day it goes on sale!

    Kristin, and Jen, thanks for bringing such beautiful, wonderful books into our lives!

  17. Anonymous said:

    Awesome!!! Congratulations! I can’t wait to share Judy Bloom with my daughter… I’m just waiting a little bit longer!

  18. Lisa McMann said:

    Dave Kuzminski, OMG, that website…I assume you have already alerted the ‘presses’ about that.

    My favorite part was the ‘coming soon — recent sales’. jeez. Thanks for the heads up.

  19. nessili said:

    Never read any of Judy Blume’s teen-girl books. Too realistic. I wanted escape from the teen years, not realism.

    Still, y’all’s book sounds like lots of fun.

    Personally, I’m waiting for someone to write “Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned from Trixie Belden.” 🙂

    Or perhaps I should…

  20. shelby said:

    Oh. Wow.

    I’ll be pre-ordering this one. And one for all of my friends too.

    My favorite book was Sally J. Freedman as well, not Margaret. My mom was very open with me (I was also the girl who was the custodian of Forever). The only thing I had to ask about was the part when there were belts to hold your sanitary pads. Couldn’t figure that one out. Ah, the privilege of the 80s.

  21. Katie. said:

    Yay! I’m yet another PubRants reader who will be pre-ordering this book. (Even though I try to limit myself to only buying hardcovers from certain favorite authors because they’re so expensive, I will definitely make an exception for this one.)

    As a voracious reader and someone who has enjoyed the comments thread here because the Judy Blume love makes me feel warm and fuzzy. (Has anyone else read her adult novels? I’d always noticed them when I worked at B. Daltons but it took me ages to actually pick one up and I only did because, well, it’s Judy Blume. I actually fell completely in love with them and am wondering if any other Blume fans have done the same?)

    I’m also wondering if you all have any ideas for me about hosting a launch party. I’ve mentioned this book to some friends of mine and we’re all uber-excited, which gave me the idea of having a party to celebrate the release of the book. I’ve got a few ideas–mostly basic ones, such as; we all bring our favorite Judy Blume book and have a passage marked to read aloud, we use our own words to write a short statement about what we’ve personally learned from Judy Blume… but beyond that I’m getting a bit lost. My friends and I are thrilled to have an excuse to get together to talk about Judy Blume (something we did a whole lot when we were younger–we were always, always, always talking about her books) and I’ve love to make this a fun event for all of us. Any suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.