25 January 2010

Guest Post: A Letter from Amy Einhorn

When you add a book to your wish list or bookshelf, do you ever think about the editor or imprint? Some readers do, and that was the inspiration for the Amy Einhorn Books Perpetual Challenge (click for information and to join).

Some avid readers may not realize that imprints are created to showcase a particular type of book, genre, or viewpoint. An underlying philosophy or mission statement guides the editor as she decides which manuscripts will be printed under her name or logo.

One of the characteristics about Amy Einhorn Books (AEB) that intrigues me is that it is an eclectic collection of fiction and nonfiction, light-hearted and serious.

I am absolutely thrilled to post an open letter from Amy Einhorn in which she talks about some of her goals for the AEB imprint and what kinds of manuscripts get her attention.

A Letter from Amy Einhorn

Dear reader/bloggers:

I am incredibly flattered and honored that you’ve chosen Amy Einhorn Books as your challenge.

I started Amy Einhorn Books with the goal of hitting that sweet-spot between literary and commercial. Over my 20+ year publishing career, I’ve worked in very literary houses and very commercial houses—but what I found is that I enjoy a mix of both—smart, intelligent writing coupled with a page-turning story. And I think many others find this to be true as well. My first book I published at my new imprint was The Help by Kathryn Stockett and to me this epitomizes what I am aiming to do at AEB.

In terms of the types of books I publish, or how I pick what I publish, well I’m afraid it’s all rather unscientific. When I started the imprint, I realized that if I was going to put my name on these books, they had to be ones I loved. Basically, if a book speaks to me and I find myself responding to it, I follow that gut feeling and hope it will speak to others as well. As you’ll see from my the books I’m publishing, this means my list is rather broad in range—from literary/commercial women’s fiction (The Postmistress) to quirky (The House of Tomorrow—a fan of this said “this book is for anyone who loved the movie Juno,” and I think that’s a great description) to memoir/narrative nonfiction (This Is Not the Story You Think It Is by Laura Munson). What I like to think unites all of these books is that they are smart, not in a pretentious esoteric way but rather that they are all intelligent and well done.

I’ll be very curious to hear what you think of the list. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to hear from real readers so I’ll anxiously be awaiting your feedback!

With best wishes,
Amy Einhorn

Thank you so much, Amy, for telling us a bit about the imprint that bears your name. From my own experience and from the reviews I've read, you are batting 1.000.

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of guest posts and interviews from the authors of Amy Einhorn Books. These posts will appear here and on the blogs of the other participants in the challenge.

For a full list of AEB books and to join the challenge visit the announcement post or click on the "AE Challenge" tab at the top of this page.

Have you read any Amy Einhorn books? Do you ever think about the imprint? If so, do you have a favorite? Have you ever thought about reading through an imprint?


Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 1/25/10, 7:33 AM  

It's neat to read Amy Einhorn's vision for her imprint. "Intelligent and well done" is a very comfortable place to be.

Based on her letter, I've added THE HOUSE OF TOMORROW to the top of my list (it comes out in March ... that's not so far away :) )

Julie P. 1/25/10, 8:29 AM  

How wonderful that Ms. Einhorn was willing to write a letter to you giving us additional insight into her imprint. I am so excited about this challenge!

farmlanebooks 1/25/10, 8:49 AM  

A year ago I never thought to look at who published the book, but I am slowly realising that they all have their own personality and I'm beginning to find favourites.

The Help was a fantastic book. I'll be interested to see if you think the others are as good.

Jen - Devourer of Books 1/25/10, 9:01 AM  

I'm so glad that Amy Einhorn is excited about our challenge, and how gracious of her to be willing to come and share her vision with us! I've really enjoyed the books from her imprint I've read so far, and I am really looking forward to reading the rest of them.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 1/25/10, 9:16 AM  

How wonderful that Amy has taken a personal interest in our challenge. So far I love what her list looks like. The Help was wonderful and I will be reading The Postmistress shortly. Blogging has really introduced me to the different personalities of the publishing houses and their imprints so it is fascinating to hear such a personal voice on this aspect of publishing.

Lara Zielin 1/25/10, 9:34 AM  

I was lucky to score an ARC of THE LOST SUMMER OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT and it was divine. One of the best books I've read in a long time. THE HELP is on my list as well. Great insights into the imprint world. Can't wait for more.

S. Krishna 1/25/10, 10:00 AM  

I love, love, love Amy's goal with her imprint. I think too many people think genres like literary fiction are boring and inaccessible, but there are so many others who think that genres such as women's fiction have no intelligence. I love that Amy is proving people wrong by picking smart books with great plots across all genres. Love Amy Einhorn and I love this challenge!

Bonnie 1/25/10, 10:56 AM  

What a fabulous guest post. It has made me realize how connected an editor and imprint is to the books they publish. I have read The Help and it was one of my favorite books last year. I have a few others TBR and will be closely following more of Amy's books that she is publishing. I just may need to join this challenge!

bermudaonion 1/25/10, 11:16 AM  

I'm really excited about this challenge, even though I've only read one AEB so far. It sounds like we've got a lot of great books ahead of us!

Sandy Nawrot 1/25/10, 3:01 PM  

What a wonderful guest post! God love this lady. Wouldn't it be great if all of us on the challenge could get dibs on her ARCs? I can wear myself out on ARCs, but would never feel that way with hers. I'm so glad she decided to share her vision with us.

Margot at Joyfully Retired 1/25/10, 4:37 PM  

I enjoyed reading this letter from Ms. Einhorn. I'm glad to know that an editor has the ability and freedom to go with her instincts on books. She sure has been successful so far. I've already read The Postmistress and have The Help on reserve at the library. I'm going to think seriously about joining this challenge.

Amused 1/25/10, 6:43 PM  

I really enjoyed that letter from the publisher and found it valuable to hear her thoughts behind her inprint. Thanks so much for sharing!

Jenners 1/25/10, 7:55 PM  

How fascinating ... and does she have the coolest job in the world or what? My first AEB book will be "The Help." I never really noticed this type of stuff before ... but you can bet I'll be paying more attention to it now.

Kim 1/26/10, 1:06 AM  

Lovely post.I didn't even really know what an imprint was until now. I did join the challenge and am looking forward to reading all these books--it seems they are hits with those who have already finished them. My first book is going to be The Help and then I am thinking The Postmistress will be next. Thank for sharing your thoughts with us Ms.Einhorn!

The Bumbles 1/26/10, 11:03 PM  

I think Amy has fantastic instincts - The Help was my favorite read of 2009. I find her variety and approach very refreshing.

stacybuckeye 1/27/10, 12:45 AM  

I never really thought about the imprint until I saw this challenge!

Hazra 1/27/10, 8:20 AM  

This is a wonderful challenge, and I admire Any Einhorn's vision of publishing. I'm not familiar with any of the books she's published, and I would love to read them, considering the wonderful comments people have posted about them.

nat @ book, line, and sinker 1/28/10, 11:14 AM  

Great insight! I never really considered reading through an imprint but this challenge is pretty creative. You might just sway me on joining a reading challenge. :)

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