for the Month: June 2011

Debuting our own ‘It Gets Better’ Project video

As Gay Pride Month draws to a close, we stand up and remind all that It Gets Better

As Gay Pride month draws to a close, we are excited to share with you this labor of love: ABRAMS’ own It Gets Better Project video. If you are unfamiliar with the project, here’s some information from their website:

In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.

Long days and many hours have been spent putting this production together. Along with the thousands of others that have lent their voices on the It Gets Better Project website and YouTube page, we wanted to send a special message to the countless gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people across the country and around the globe: Do not give up, do not give in, and never stop dreaming about what’s to come. There are so many people out there who love you, so many wonderful life experiences to be had, and so many stories to be told. We know, because we are here to tell you about it.

posted on Thursday, June 30th, 2011
in the category Who We Are

ABRAMS gets down, eats well in ‘The Big Easy’

New Orleans plays host once again to the American Library Association Conference

Six years ago, ABRAMS was among a vocal group of publishers who supported the American Library Association’s decision to keep the 2006 annual convention in New Orleans. It was to take place less than a year after Hurricane Katrina had devastated the city. But was the city’s renowned culinary and hospitality establishment ready for 30,000 librarians and publishers so soon after?

The answer was a resounding yes! Hotels rushed to make sure rooms were renovated in time, taxi drivers welcomed visitors to town, happy to drive you anywhere, and indeed, restaurants did everything to make you know your business was appreciated. To be sure, there were boarded up buildings and an eerie sense of quiet outside of the French Quarter. But the city’s enthusiasm for the ALA convention easily outweighed any fears some may have had.

posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
in the category Conferences

A photo shoot for our latest Custom Knits book

Making the trip to sunny LA for the latest in the popular craft series

What you see when you look at a knitting book is the finished product: patterns that have been exhaustively reviewed; graphic design that has been overhauled nine times until every detail—from fonts and palettes to captions and dingbats—is exactly right; and beautiful photography, which is one of the most challenging (and important) aspects of the book-making process. Photography makes the first impression and sets the tone for the whole presentation. And that, of course, is why photo shoots can be so stressful—for the author, for the photographer and stylist, for the editor, for everyone. Everything you’ve been working on has built up to this moment, when every participant must tap into his or her most creative and fashionable resources, work together as a team, and record the garments in a matter of just a few days. And if you don’t get it right? Well, you either decide you can live with it or you find the time and resources to shoot it again. But the underlying tone of every photo shoot is this: Get it right.

posted on Monday, June 27th, 2011
in the category Craft

Oh happy day! New printers end an era of darkness at ABRAMS

We rejoice in the glory of our new Konica machines

Wednesday was a big day here on the sixth floor. A day we had long anticipated. A day some of us dreamed about.

Yes, on Wednesday we got a shipment of new printers/copiers!

I cannot speak for everyone, but I know that I pestered Director of IT Chris Raymond about getting new copiers for at least a year. A whole year! Yes, they were that bad.

Over by my office, we had a special name for our big machine: Keyser Söze. You know, that horrible villian in The Usual Suspects?

posted on Friday, June 24th, 2011
in the category Around the Office

Inspired Crafternoons and a Bookmobile from ‘The Repurposed Library’

Taking inspiration from Lisa Occhipinti's incredible old book projects

I have long harbored dreams of becoming a master crafter. Unfortunately, my past attempts at realizing this dream have all ended in disappointment–I simply lack the skills and patience required to create crafts that look as though they were made by an adult and not an uncoordinated five-year-old. This changed when I picked up The Repurposed Library by Lisa Occhipinti. I was initially intrigued because I love books, especially old faded ones with character to spare. Naturally the project featured on the cover, the Bookmobile, caught my fancy. The question was, could I, a repeat bad-craft offender, actually make this project? I decided to challenge myself and give it a shot.

posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
in the category Craft

To Market, To Market: Paying a visit to the Greenmarket with Nikki McClure

The wonders of summer produce and a farmers market

One of my favorite things about life in New York City is the bounty of local farmer’s markets. Whether it’s the massive Greenmarket in Union Square or a neighborhood farmstand, buying local and fresh is the motto these days and the farmer’s markets that have popped up across the country serve as evidence.

Luckily, even when it’s cold and rainy, I’ve found some indoor markets to visit here in the city, which makes my commitment to local produce that much easier to stick to. But it’s the summertime that really gets my culinary juices flowing: the color and smell of the fresh cilantro, tomatoes, basil, peaches and berries is overwhelming. As a foodie and dabbling cook, what I find most fun is making up my dinner menu as I shop and nowhere is that easier than the city’s Greenmarkets in the middle of summer. I buy items from local fish and meat to fruits, vegetables and flowers! I know what I am eating is fresh and is as close as farm to table as one can get in NYC.

posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
in the category Children's Books, Cooking

Talking lesbian pride with ‘L Life’ author Erin McHugh

Editorial Director Jennifer Levesque chats up our author in honor of Gay & Lesbian Pride month

In honor of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, Editorial Director Jennifer Levesque interviewed our fantastic author Erin McHugh about her new book The L Life, for which Jennifer also served as editor. Read on for the spirited Q&A!

posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
in the category Lifestyle

Wimbledon 2011: A tennis fanatic tells all

The history of the tournament and handicapping this year's line up

For tennis fans like myself there is something special about this time of year. A lot of people think of professional tennis as only being the four grand slams (Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open), but there’s actually tennis played all year long; there’s virtually no off season. For those of us who watch tennis year-round this can be both exhilarating (it never ends!) and exhausting (it never ends!). But now, a few weeks removed from Roland Garros and on this first day of Wimbledon, I like to think there’s a special buzz in the tennis air.

As you may know, tennis used to be played mostly on grass, but in the last 30 to 40 years it’s moved away from grass to mostly being played on hard courts and clay courts. This means the only time fans can watch tennis being played on the green stuff is the fortnight in June at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

To honor this hallowed tennis tradition, STC just published Wimbledon: 101 Reasons to Love the Greatest Tournament in Tennis. The book covers everything about Wimbledon, and whether you’re carefully monitoring the tennis world each week so you can dominate your fantasy tennis league (didn’t know those existed, did you?) or a tennis newbie, we can all learn some useful facts about Wimbledon.

posted on Monday, June 20th, 2011
in the category Sports

What does your Dad think you do?

Surveying ABRAMS colleagues on their doting dads just in time for Father's Day

Many of us who work in publishing have jobs that somehow elude those outside the publishing fray, including our admiring yet often mystified parents. This Father’s Day, I thought I’d take a look at our own ABRAMS dads to see just what it is they think we’re up to…

Job: ABRAMS Publicist

Conversation with Dad:
Dad: “So you’re an agent?!”
Me: “No, dad, I’m not an agent. I get authors publicity and set up events.”
Dad: “Isn’t that what agents do? So you’re like an assistant to the agent?”
He looks at my mom who shrugs her shoulders.
Me: “No, agents get a commission based on what the author sells. I don’t get a commission, I get a salary.”
He and my mom whisper. Then my mom nods.
Dad: “You’re mom just told me how much you make. Can you be an agent instead?”

posted on Friday, June 17th, 2011
in the category Who We Are

On weddings: Elope for the sake of friendship

Or how I learned that attending weddings ain't all bad thanks to Matthew Robbins

When you think June, you think Flag Day. You don’t? Okay, you’re right; you think weddings. And this might not prove the most popular thing I’ve ever said, but I hate weddings. Why? Basically, it’s a hostage situation. You’ve probably taken a cab to a bus to a train to plane to a ferry to get to a romantic spot that the couple used to only trouble themselves to get to. Sadly, it’s probably only two states away. (Why not get married in the city where most of your friends live? Or get married somewhere far enough away that you can either politely decline or get excited about having an excuse to go to?) And most likely, at that two-states-away destination, you’ll end up at third tier lodging that you’ll pay high-season rates for. Once you’ve made it to the reception, you’ll be forced to dance between courses while the caterers reheat everything in microwaves, and when you are allowed to eat, you’ll have to make small talk with someone’s cousin you’ve never met and will probably never see again. The joyous celebration is probably going to last for about eight hours…

posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011
in the category Lifestyle