for the Month: July 2011

Navigating the Children’s Book Council (with Harry Potter in tow)

Taking the exciting leap into a storied publishing industry institution

Sales Assistant Matthew Dinda gives us an inside peek at the great work he and other ABRAMS staffers do for the Children’s Book Council and the Council’s Early Career Committee. Jason Wells, executive director of children’s marketing and publicity, and Susan Van Metre, publisher for Abrams Books for Young Readers, Amulet Books and Abrams Appleseed, are also involved.

posted on Friday, July 29th, 2011
in the category Children's Books

Five burning questions about The Smurfs

We ask the author of our new 'The World of the Smurfs' to break down a particular little blue world

As we near the pinnacle (nay, end) of NYC’s Smurfweek festivities (which celebrate tomorrow’s opening of The Smurfs), I turned to our resident Smurfologist Matt Murray, the author of the just-released The World of Smurfs. The World of Smurfs is an exhaustive compendium of all things smurfy. Much of the content has never before been published in English. There are fascinating sidebars on the Nazi occupation of Belgium, the origin of the word “schtroumpf”/smurf, and the voice behind Jokey, to name a few. Murray takes fans through the creation of the Smurfs, from the early days of their creator, Peyo, as a struggling cartoon artist, to the global phenomenon they became, and finally to the recent Smurf resurgence. For this piece, I polled my Abrams colleagues to find out what they’d always wondered about the Smurfs. Below are Murray’s answers; memorize these and you might be able to pass yourself off as a Smurfologist!

posted on Thursday, July 28th, 2011
in the category Pop Culture

10 Steps to Successfully Foiling an Office

In the spirit of love and friendship, an office is foiled (to celebrate an officemate's birthday)

Last week, Cecily Kaiser, publishing director for Abrams Appleseed, our newest imprint and the publisher of books for kids 0-5, set out to foil an unsuspecting coworker’s office along with Abrams Editorial Director Deb Aaronson. Here are the results.

posted on Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
in the category Around the Office

The changing world of the Columbia Publishing Course

Two ABRAMS employees shed light on why the publishing world institution matters

The Columbia Publishing Course is an industry institution, in which college graduates from far and wide come to New York City in hopes of pursuing their dreams of working in book publishing. Hot on the heels of a fascinating New York Times article last week, Jason Wells, the executive director of marketing & publicity for Abrams Books for Young Readers & Amulet Books, and Wesley Royce, assistant editor, reflect on their experiences with the CPC and the value of the six-week program in a constantly evolving publishing world.

posted on Monday, July 25th, 2011
in the category Who We Are

Cooking up a ‘Good Meat’ weekend feast

Diving into our IACP award winner for a summer recipe

Despite the hot summer weather, this time of the year is my favorite time to be in the kitchen. The abundance of fresh, flavorful, and local vegetables, herbs and fruit is so refreshing and makes cooking so much more fun! it’s the perfect time of year to try new things (like the green Purslane, which I recently discovered at the Farmer’s Market. It’s very high in Omega 3!) and to whip up a new recipe. This past weekend, I went to one of my most favorite cookbooks, Deborah Krasner’s Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat, recently published by our Stewart Tabori & Chang imprint, and found the perfect summer dish.

posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2011
in the category Cooking

My Five “Favorite Things” About Working on The Oprah Winfrey Show Book

Our editor reflects on the process of making our upcoming book

1. Having watched hours of the show while working on the book, I now feel I have learned the life skills required to deal with ill-fitting bras, postpartum psychosis, husbands who decide they are women, fistula (look it up, I had to), and Internet predators. And that’s just scratching the surface…

posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2011
in the category Lifestyle

Scenes of Summer

Appreciating the photography of Joseph Szabo

Jones Beach is pretty high up on the list of my favorite books that I’ve edited. It’s a beautiful black and white collection of photos taken during summers at the famed New York beach from the 1970s into the early years of this century. (That said, it’s not always easy to tell when each image was snapped; there seems to be a bit of a time warp on that particular stretch of sand.) The photographer, Joseph Szabo is most famous for his pictures of teenagers taken in the 1970s, but the same deft ability to capture the joy, intimacy, or humor in any given situation is clearly apparent in this particular series as well.

posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
in the category Photography

Living in a Digital World

Our savvy digital guru reflects on his gadgets in a company built on paper

Since I work in the area of Digital and Web Development at ABRAMS, I’m a huge proponent of using less paper whenever possible. I bought my first iPad the very first day it came out (now I have an iPad 2), and ever since then I’ve been in love with the idea of using digital documents on a tablet instead of printouts. It not only saves paper, which is great for the environment, it saves space on my desk! A minimalist at heart, a clean desk keeps me focused and happy.

posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011
in the category Around the Office

The simple pleasures of summer

Author Lisa Greenwald shares her favorite things about summer reading

Summer is my favorite season. No doubt about it. I went to sleep-away camp for a million years and it’s still my favorite place on earth. I’d go back to camp now but it would probably be a little creepy for the other girls.

For me summer means sunshine, flip-flops, hot dogs on the grill, swimming pools and the beach. But it also means reading. I know kids usually grumble about summer reading but that’s because they don’t realize the beauty of it! One of my favorite things to do is go to bookstores in late May or early June and peruse their summer reading displays. They’re full of beach reads—stories about beach houses and summer loves and all that good stuff. I can’t get enough of it!

posted on Friday, July 15th, 2011
in the category Young Adult Books

Delivering the art of chess to youngsters

Our 'Chess Masterpieces' book brings joy and raises spirits at a summer chess camp for at-risk youth

Last fall, I had the pleasure of working on the publicity campaign for Chess Masterpieces, a book chronicling the visual history of chess sets over the course of the last 1000 years. It was an interesting project and taught me a lot about a game and sport of which I knew very little. This was last October and I hadn’t been thinking too much about the book in the time since. That is until Lisa Suhay, the director of the Hip Hop Chess Federation, which promotes chess among disadvantaged youth in Virginia, contacted us about George Dean’s epic tome. She wanted to have Dr. Dean, a renowned chess enthusiast and chess set collector based in Michigan, to sign a copy of the book to give as a prize to the most improved chess student at their free summer camp chess program in Virginia…

posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
in the category Art