Crown Publishing Group

Crown Hosts NYU Students for an Inside Look at the Making of a Book That Matters

A contingent of 28 students from the NYU School of Professional Studies, led by Andrea Chambers, Director of NYU’s Center for Publishing, visited the Crown Publishing Group offices at 1745 Broadway on Friday, April 6, to learn about and discuss a forthcoming Fall 2018 title, THIRST by Scott Harrison, to be published on October 2 by CPG imprint Currency. The book is an inspiring personal story of redemption, second chances, and the transformative power of change, from the founder and CEO of the successful nonprofit charity: water.

The Crown presentation featured Campbell Wharton, Associate Publisher, Currency; Group; Derek Reed, Editor, Convergent; Donna Passannante, Vice President, Executive Director, Marketing, Crown Publishing Group; Carisa Hays, Vice President, Executive Director of Publicity, Crown Publishing Group; and Megan Schumann, Manager, Publicity, Crown Publishing Group. They provided insights into the acquisition, editing and publishing processes as well as marketing and publicity campaigns for the book, and how it could help change the conversation about charities and our personal involvement in good works. The event concluded with a lively question & answer session. A few days later, NYU student Amanda Orozco wrote a wonderful blog post titled “Thirst for Change: Crown Publishing and Author Scott Harrison Team Up to Make a Difference.” Here is an excerpt: “What if… ?” This question is a leitmotif for Scott Harrison’s life and new book. What if a nightclub promoter wanted to do more with his time? What if he gave up the New York club scene to help people in developing African nations have clean water? What if he started a charity, charity: water, that put 100% of its donations into building wells in African nations with poor or polluted water supplies? What if his efforts helped 7.3 million people in Africa finally have clean drinking water and a reduction in disease? What if he could grow his charity from two people to over 70 in less than ten years? What if he could raise $3 million in less than 15 minutes? What if he could change the way charities are run forever… and change lives? “NYU M.S. in Publishing: Digital & Print Media students found out the answers to these and other questions when they were invited to be early readers of THIRST, Harrison’s forthcoming memoir. They were given special reading galleys in preparation for a recent visit to Harrison’s publisher, the Crown Publishing Group. During their visit, the students got to hear the story behind the story – the amazing publishing process of this book – from the members of the team that are bringing the book to life.” To read the complete NYU blog post, click here. Please note: author Scott Harrison will be featured at a Penguin Random House “Lunch & Learn” on Tuesday, June 5 at 1745 Broadway. Check back on Igloo for details in the coming days.

TRUE ROOTS: First Rodale Books NY Times Bestseller from Crown Publishing

The Crown Publishing Group is celebrating an historic milestone: its first New York Times bestseller since the venerable wellness publisher became an imprint within its division earlier this year. Rodale Books’ TRUE ROOTS by Kristin Cavallari debuts at #3 on the NYT April 22 Advice, How-to, and Miscellaneous list.

Cavallari is a popular television personality whose previous NYT bestseller, BALANCING IN HEELS, focused on sharing what she has learned from her personal journey. Her newest, subtitled “A Mindful Kitchen with More than 100 Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar,” presents her approach to enjoying a toxin-free, healthy diet. The book was published by Rodale on April 3, was the #1 overall Nielsen Bookscan nonfiction title in its first week on sale, and is #1 on the April 16 Publishers Weekly overall bestseller list. Rodale Books’ Adult nonfiction publishing program is part of Crown’s Illustrated and Lifestyle division, whose other imprints are Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Press, and Harmony Books. Aaron Wehner, who oversees the division as Publisher, described this occasion as “really thrilling,” adding that “special notice is due to several of our new colleagues--editor Dervla Kelly, originating publisher Gail Gonzales, and marketer Brianne Sperber—with a big assist from the Harmony team under Diana Baroni, Vice President, Associate Publisher, Editorial Director, who is also responsible for Rodale Books. TRUE ROOTS is a terrific book, published by a terrific team, and it should continue to roll.”

Hogarth’s Alexis Washam on How Jo Nesbø Transformed MACBETH

The newest novel in the Hogarth Shakespeare Series is Jo Nesbø’s MACBETH, published on April 10. Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, this gripping transformative take on one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest plays centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Creating an engrossing story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, Nesbø explores the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind.

In this “Three Questions for an Editor” interview, Alexis Washam, Executive Editor, Crown Publishers and Hogarth, offers insights into the Hogarth Shakespeare Series, the process of working with Nesbø on this project, and how readers may embrace the remarkable novel that was created. Read on.

What was involved in the process of having Jo Nesbø retell MACBETH as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare Series? When we first conceived of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, my colleagues here and in the UK agreed that we wanted to give the participating authors as much latitude as possible on this project. When we approached Jo, we asked him which Shakespeare play he would be most excited about retelling, and when he came back with MACBETH, we were both thrilled and not entirely surprised. It is, after all, one of the Bard’s bloodiest. Once we matched the author with the play, there was very little directive – basically, “write a novel!” - and I’ve been amazed to see how each book has come back with its author’s own unique take on his or her play. Nesbø is no different – he took a timeless tale of ambition and madness and set it in a police department in an atmospheric port town, and the result is a page-turning thriller that stands up to the best of them.   How would you describe working with the author as his editor as this book came to be? [caption id="attachment_110713" align="alignright" width="197"] Alexis Washam[/caption] It’s been a true honor to work with all of the authors on our Hogarth Shakespeare list, and each of them has been incredibly open and gracious about the editorial process. All of the books in the series are published in collaboration with my colleagues at Hogarth UK, so in the case of MACBETH, Jo delivered his manuscript, fully finished and translated by Don Bartlett, to myself and the UK editor at the same time. We both read it at once (it was exciting to be one of the first to read a new Nesbø novel!), and then sent along our editorial notes to Jo and his agent. There was not very much that needed changing, as you can imagine. But he took our thoughts into consideration, and we did a small bit of work on the opening chapter in particular. Since the setting and the cast of characters would be new to Nesbø fans, we wanted to make sure we got the first pages exactly right, so they’d be instantly drawn in. We also had a conversation about the title: MACBETH is the only book in our series that shares its title with the play. At first, we weren’t sure about this exception, but after reading the manuscript it made sense. Since Jo had kept the names of the characters (he’s the only one who has done so, at least to this extent), we decided to stick with it. And it looks fantastic on a book cover! What elements of Nesbø’s MACBETH do you think will resonate with longtime fans of his Harry Hole novels as well as readers – particularly Shakespeare devotees – who may be coming to his fiction for the first time? Jo Nesbø’s novels are not just pulse-racing thrillers; his work has always explored the darkness and evil that is present in any seemingly functional society, and the chaos and infighting that serves as the backdrop to his MACBETH should be familiar to any fan of the play. Also, of course neither the play nor Nesbø’s work are strangers to violence – man’s worst impulses often result in murder and violent crime, and the Harry Hole novels and this new book make those acts of violence central to their plots. However, neither Nesbø nor Shakespeare was interested in bloodshed for its own sake; both in the original play and the novel, the character Macbeth’s deepest psychological demons and personal failings make for a compelling tale of a tragic fallen man.

4 of Our Books Shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award

The 10 finalists for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award have been announced, the shortlist including 4 authors and their books published in the U.S. by Penguin Random House imprints. Sponsored by the Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Libraries, the international competition receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the world and recognizes both writers and translators.

The Dublin Literary Award, now in its 23rd year, is one of the richest literary prizes in the world, worth €100,000 to the winner. If the book has been translated, the author receives €75,000 and the translator €25,000. A five-member international judging panel, chaired by Eugene R. Sullivan, will select one winner, which will be announced by Lord Mayor, Ardmhéara, Mícheál Mac Donncha, Patron of the Award, on June 13 in Dublin, Ireland. Our shortlisters: HUMAN ACTS by Han Kang; translated from Korean by Deborah Smith (Hogarth) THE LESSER BOHEMIANS by Eimear McBride (Hogarth) LADIVINE by Marie Ndiaye; translated from French by Jordan Stump (Alfred A. Knopf)   MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout (Random House) To view the complete list of 2018 International Dublin Literary Award finalists, click here. To read an Irish Times article by Hogarth author John Boyne about this year’s shortlist, click here.

Hogarth Author Anthony Marra Wins the Simpson Family Literary Prize

Hogarth author Anthony Marra has won the Simpson Family Literary Prize, which honors mid-career authors who have earned a distinguished reputation with a $50,000 cash award to encourage and support forthcoming work. Now in its second year, the Simpson Prize is administered by the University of California, Berkeley English Department and the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation. As the prize winner, Marra will give a public reading, make a limited number of Bay Area public appearances, and be in brief residence at the Lafayette Library and UC Berkeley.

Author Joyce Carol Oates, who is on the project committee, and presented the prize, said: “Anthony Marra is a warmly inspired storyteller and a brilliant stylist. He is at once a chronicler of savage history and of the most tenderly intimate of emotions. Both his highly acclaimed works of fiction — A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA and THE TSAR OF LOVE AND TECHNO — astonish with their capacity for illuminating the secrets of the human heart and will endure as unique contributions to American literature of the early 21st century.” [caption id="attachment_110465" align="alignright" width="200"] Anthony Marra, credit Smeeta Mahanti[/caption] Marra responded: "I am deeply honored and grateful to receive the 2nd annual Simpson Family Literary Prize. I will use the time this opportunity affords to finish my current project, a historical novel about the community of European refugees and exiles in 1940s Hollywood. “This is my first work set in America, and though mid-century Los Angeles (‘Sunny Siberia,’ as exiles called it) is new terrain, this novel is preoccupied with the same concerns as my previous books: political coercion, historical amnesia, and falsified realities. At a time when these themes dominate American political life, this novel and the questions it raises feel all the more urgent to me. I look forward to discussing this and more in engagements with the Berkeley English Department and the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. “My current novel, like THE TSAR OF LOVE AND TECHNO and A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA, is structured as a tapestry of interwoven narratives and voices. It’s an architecture I’m drawn to because it suggests that storytelling is communal. And so it gives me tremendous pride to think that the little thread of my life has been woven into the larger story of the Simpson Family Literary Project.”
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Crown Author Lauren Markham Wins the 2018 Ridenhour Book Prize for THE FAR AWAY BROTHERS

Lauren Markham, author of THE FAR AWAY BROTHERS: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life (Crown), has won the 2018 Ridenhour Book Prize, among the awards given annually for the past 15 years to extraordinary individuals “who persevere in the act of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice, or illuminate a more just vision of society,” by the Nation Institute, Fertel Foundation, and Stewart R. Mott Foundation.  

These prizes memorialize the spirit of fearless truth-telling that whistleblower and investigative journalist Ron Ridenhour reflected throughout his extraordinary life and career. Ridenhour exposed the horrific My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War to the public, and today, the Ridenhour Prizes continue to honor his important legacy of speaking truth to power. In THE FAR AWAY BROTHERS, Markham tells the story of identical twin brothers, Ernesto and Raúl Flores, who grew up in rural El Salvador in the aftermath of its civil war. In Markham’s look at contemporary immigration and the migrant experience, she provides a nuanced portrait of Central America’s child exodus, and critiques American immigration policy. To view a complete list of 2018 Ridenhour Prize winners, click here. This year’s Ridenhour awards ceremony will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 18, and hosted by Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).  

WaterBrook’s Andrew Stoddard Opens Windows Into Brian Houston’s New Book

“I’m certain that THERE IS MORE is going to be one of those books I remember working on for the rest of my career,” said Andrew Stoddard, Lead Acquisitions Editor for WaterBrook, in this Three Questions for an Editor interview.   Mr. Stoddard takes us inside the formative phases, the creative process, and why WaterBrook was the best home for this new book by Brian Houston – the founder and Global Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church, considered by many to be a leading voice in the shaping of contemporary leadership values and church culture.  Pastor Houston shows how it is possible for anyone to live life with greater expectancy.  “Creative.  Collaborative.  Conscious of ­­­­­­­­­­­­how the world is, but fiercely focused on the future – and a brighter future at that … it was encouraging to work with such a talented and overwhelming positive voice,” is how Mr. Stoddard described the author/editor process.   For the complete Three Questions interview, read on.

What sparked the idea for the creation of THERE IS MORE? As a global leader, Brian pays careful attention to national and international trends and movements. As a pastor, Brian works closely and intentionally with individuals from all walks of life. Through encountering such a wide array of experiences and life stories, he noticed a consistent, nearly universal human longing for something greater, transcendent, and beyond. He believes that that longing is fulfilled not through more stuff, more power, or more money, but through more of God’s dream for your life. Ephesians 3:20 is the epicenter of this message: “[God] is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…” It’s not that we ask too much of God, it’s that we ask too little. For Brian, this does not guarantee a life built around comfort, rather it launches us into a life characterized by adventure and God’s immeasurable purpose. How would you describe the editor/author process and what it was like working with Brian Houston on this book? [caption id="attachment_10289" align="alignright" width="300"] Andrew Stoddard[/caption] Creative.  Collaborative. Conscious of ­­­­­­­­­­­­how the world is, but fiercely focused on the future – and a brighter future at that. I am deeply impressed by the creative energy, excitement, and precision in craft that comes from Brian and the entire Hillsong team. He is dedicated to carefully understanding his audience and simultaneously passionate about an unflinching delivery of his core message. It was encouraging to work with such a talented and overwhelming positive voice. I’m certain that THERE IS MORE is going to be one of those books I remember working on for the rest of my career. Why is WaterBrook the best home for THERE IS MORE and which of Brian’s messages do you think will resonate most strongly with readers? WaterBrook provides a unique, individualized experience for authors like Brian Houston. We are fortunate to have similar passions and convictions as our authors, a precise understanding of the market place and our readers, and the reach established by the cutting edge best-practices of Penguin Random House. We are uniquely positioned to help serve authors that have global audiences and carefully staffed to serve the specific messaging and communications needs of our faith-based voices. Each chapter of this book draws on a specific need in different areas of life; ultimately pointing to God’s more for the reader in those spheres. In particular though, I believe chapter 6, “Appointment and Disappointment,” will resonate deeply with a vast array of readers. Houston shows through some of his own life experiences and through Scripture how God can transform each of our deepest disappointments into appointments (or opportunities).  What’s brilliant about his approach is that he moves well beyond the realm of aphorisms and into the nitty-gritty of life. Much more than a formula, or positivistic wishfulness, Houston acknowledges the hard parts and painful moments of human existence, but then helps the reader encounter a greater reality – most impactfully, he addresses disappointments that have resulted from our poor decisions, and then he reminds us whole-heartedly that nothing we do can disqualify us from God’s calling on our lives. That’s something that I hope sticks with everyone that picks up this book.  

Our Finalists for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards

The James Beard Foundation has announced the finalists for its 2018 Cookbook,  Journalism, Broadcast Media, and Restaurant & Chef Awards. Among the finalists are a fleet of our authors and books published by Penguin Random House imprints Clarkson Potter, Ten Speed Pressand Pam Krauss Books, as well as Taste  The winners of the Cookbook and Media awards will be announced in New York on April 27, and the Chef awards will be announced in Chicago on May 7.  Click here to view the complete list of nominees.


  Our Cookbook Finalists:



THE LOST KITCHEN  by Erin French (Clarkson Potter)

 Baking and Desserts

SWEET  by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh (Ten Speed Press)

THE SWEET SPOT: Dialing Back Sugar and Amping Up Flavor by Bill Yosses and Peter Kaminsky (Pam Krauss Books)


3-INGREDIENT COCKTAILS  by Robert Simonson (Ten Speed Press)

MEEHAN'S BARTENDER MANUAL by Jim Meehan (Ten Speed Press)


DINNER  by Melissa Clark (Clarkson Potter)


NOPALITO  by Gonzalo Guzman and Stacy Adimando (Ten Speed Press)


SWEET by Peden + Munk (Ten Speed Press)

Reference, History, and Scholarship

CHAMPAGNE by Peter Liem (Ten Speed Press)

PEPPERS OF THE AMERICAS  by Maricel E. Presilla (Lorena Jones Books)

Restaurant and Professional

STATE BIRD PROVISIONS by Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski (Ten Speed Press)

Single Subject

THE PHO COOKBOOK  by Andrea Nguyen (Ten Speed Press)

OFFAL GOOD  by Chris Cosentino (Clarkson Potter)

Vegetable-Focused Cooking

THE BOOK OF GREENS  by Jenn Louis (Ten Speed Press)

IN MY KITCHEN by Deborah Madison (Ten Speed Press)


Our Journalism Award Finalists



Scott Hocker, “The Eton Mess Is Beautiful”; “Hot Night, Cold Soup”; and “Bread Soup from the Lost Years,” Taste

Food Section

Paolo Lucchesi and the San Francisco Chronicle Food and Wine Team

(A Burger to Believe In, Ten Speed Press)

Innovative Storytelling

Melissa Clark, “The New Essentials of French Cooking,” The New York Times

(Dinner, Clarkson Potter)


Mayukh Sen, “She Was a Soul Food Sensation,” Food52

(Food52 Any Night Grilling, Ten Speed Press)

Rebecca Flint Marx, “The Untold Story of the Lady from Louisville,” Taste

MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award

Shane Mitchell, “Who Owns Uncle Ben?,” The Bitter Southerner

(Far Afield, Ten Speed Press)


Our Broadcast Media Awards Finalists


Outstanding Personality Host

"Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro," Ina Garten, Food Network

(Cooking with Jeffrey, Clarkson Potter)


Television Program, in Studio or Fixed Location

"Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro," Ina Garten, Food Network

(Cooking with Jeffrey, Clarkson Potter)


"The Bobby and Damaris Show," Bobby Flay, Food Network

(Bobby Flay Fit, Clarkson Potter)


Video Webcast, on Location

Working 24 Hours at. . . , Andrew Knowlton, You Tube and Bon Appetit Video

(Dinner at the Long Table, Ten Speed Press)



Our Restaurant & Chef Awards Finalists


Best New Restaurant

Christopher Kostow, The Charter Oak (A New Napa Cuisine, Ten Speed Press)

Alex Stupak, Empellon Midtown (Tacos, Clarkson Potter)


Outstanding Baker

Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana (Soframiz, Ten Speed Press)

Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread (Cheers to the Publican, Lorena Jones Books)


Outstanding Bar Program

Bar Agricole (By the Smoke and the Smell by Thaddeus Vogler, Ten Speed Press)

Clyde Common (Drinking Distilled by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Ten Speed Press)


Outstanding Chef

Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner (Poole’s, Ten Speed Press)

David Kinch, Manresa, (Manresa, Ten Speed Press)

Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood (A New Napa Cuisine, Ten Speed Press)

Donald Link, Herbsaint (Down South, Clarkson Potter)


Outstanding Pastry Chef

Margarita Manzke, Republique (forthcoming Baking at Republique, Lorena Jones Books)


Outstanding Restaurant

Frasca Food and Wine (forthcoming Frasca, Ten Speed Press)

Balthazar (The Balthazar Cookbook by Keith McNally, Clarkson Potter)


Best Chef: New York City

Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy (Dirt Candy, Clarkson Potter)

Alex Stupak, Empellon Midtown (Tacos, Clarkson Potter)


Best Chef: Great Lakes

Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice (The Adventures of Fat Rice, Ten Speed Press)


Best Chef: South

Slade Rushing, Brennan’s (Southern Comfort, Ten Speed Press)

Watch New Trailer for READY PLAYER ONE Movie

The countdown continues to March 29, when the Steven Spielberg-directed film adaptation of Ernest Cline’s #1 bestselling book READY PLAYER ONE (Broadway) will open in theaters nationwide. The world premiere was at this week’s South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, where Mr. Cline was a featured speaker.  Janet Pierson, director of film at SXSW, commented, “The film brings to the screen a story that has captivated millions of readers around the globe, written by Austin’s very own Ernest Cline.”  To help further ratchet up fan enthusiasm, Warner Bros. Pictures has debuted a new READY PLAYER ONE “Dreamer” trailer: “Save the Oasis. Save the world.”

Watch the new trailer:

Our Publishing Triangle Awards Finalists

Finalists for the 30th annual Publishing Triangle Awards have been announced, honoring the best LGBTQ fiction, nonfiction and poetry published in 2017, as well as the year’s best trans and gender-variant literature.  Winners will be celebrated April 26 at a ceremony in New York City. 

Here are our Triangle Finalists: THE HEART’S INVISIBLE FURIES by John Boyne (Hogarth) for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction MARRIAGE OF A THOUSAND LIES  by SJ Sindu (Soho Press, a Penguin Random House Publishing Services client publisher) for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction View the complete list of Publishing Triangle finalists here. Award winners each will receive a prize of $1,000.