The founding editor of Hyperion Books, Robert S. Miller, is leaving for a new-model post at HarperCollins that promises authors more sales potency but no advance payment.
Disney-owned Hyperion separately announced Thursday the promotion of Ellen Archer to the prexy job Miller is vacating.
News Corp.’s HarperCollins said Miller will develop a yet-unnamed publishing “studio” that challenges the conventions of the largely hide-bound book trade. Beginning April 14, the start of the London Book Fair, he will report to Harper prexy and chief exec Jane Friedman.
As prexy and publisher of the entity, Miller will publish approximately 25 popular-priced books per year in multiple physical and digital formats including those as yet unspecified. The goal is to combine the best of trade publishing with the Web advantages for sales, marketing and distribution. Authors will be compensated via a profit-sharing model as opposed to a traditional royalty.
“Our goal will be to effectively publish books that might not otherwise emerge in an increasingly ‘big book’ environment, an environment in which established authors are under enormous pressure to top their previous successes, while new authors are finding it harder and harder to be published at all,” Miller said.
Miller spent 17 years at Hyperion, which has published such bestsellers as Richard Carlson’s “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” and Oprah Winfrey’s “Make the Connection.” The house also handled David Halberstam’s “The Coldest Winter,” Steve Martin’s “Shopgirl” and humor by George Carlin, Tim Allen and Chris Rock.
Archer, a 24-year publishing vet, starts in her new job immediately, reporting to Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and prexy of Disney-ABC Television Group. She joined Hyperion in 1999 as VP and associate publisher and in the years since has overseen bestsellers from Mitch Albom, Candace Bushnell and J.R. Moehringer.
In 2006, Archer created Voice, a new imprint targeting women in mid-life who love reading. Recent Voice bestsellers include “The Monsters of Templeton” by Lauren Groff and “The Middle Place” by Kelly Corrigan.
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