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Brian Murray, President and CEO, HarperCollins
Though he may not be as recognizable as Brad Pitt, George Clooney or A-Rod, I think he’s more deserving of his fame. Is he famous, or is that only my skewed, publishing-obsessed view?
Now off to class to see other amazing speakers, hope this teaser holds you over until I can get back and give you a review of Murray’s “What’s A Book: The Digital Transformation of Publishing” speech!
You know those days that surprise you, that appear out of no where (or, in this case, a rare 60 degree day with sunshine) that just make you appreciate where you are and just happy? I’ve been lucky enough to have one of those days today.
It started with my first-time visit to this amazing coffee shop… For those of you in my neighborhood, I urge you to try the ING Cafe at Chestnut and Wabash (Gold Coast), where coffee, tea, bottled water and even muffins are available for only $1! Then I had time to peruse the internet and get a little productivity in before my pilates class, at which there was a wonderful new instructor who, while laughing at my lack of coordination really was encouraging and helpful.
Had I already mentioned the 60 degree weather? So I donned my sunglasses and headed downtown to take a look at the relatively new Chicago Publishers Gallery, located in the Cultural Center (77 E. Randolph St.).
An impressive place (even just the Cultural Center itself was worth the trip), I was thrilled with the offerings, took out my nerdy little notebook and started taking notes on publishers and books to research further. The Gallery consists of two cozy areas on either side of a grand staircase, with comfy leather chairs and soft lighting, making a very inviting area.
For me, the experience was doubly important as I was impressed by the tangible displays of the publishing industry in Chicago. True, there were no Random House or HarperCollins imprints, but the quantity and quality of books available was a welcoming sight to see.
After making note of the books I couldn’t wait to read, I headed straight for my favorite new and used book store, After-Words (23 E. Illinois St.). Amazingly enough, they had both books I wanted (and used, so cheap!) – I was able to pick up a collection of Mike Royko’s columns and “Alpana Pours” for just over $20. I am already looking forward to reviewing both of these Chicago-published books, so keep coming back!
Now, on for what will hopefully continue to be a wonderful Friday. Happy Weeked, everyone!
It’s official, the recession has hit the publishing industry. Announced yesterday in a multitude of news sources, HarperCollins has undergone “ferocious” lay-offs and closed the Collins division (home to books such as “The Dangerous Book for Boys” and the “Deceptively Delicious” cookbook). Owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, HC is one of the last major publishing houses to announce lay-offs. The full NYT article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/11/books/11harp.html?hp
I guess my dream of breaking in to the publishing industry may have to be put on hold for a little while… 😦