When Bob Miller launched the HarperStudio imprint two years ago, it seemed like a perfect moment to take a chance on an innovative publishing model. The imprint would publish two books per month and offer a 50“50 profit sharing arrangement with authors. In May 2009, editor Julia Cheiffetz was quoted in Fast Company sounding rhapsodic about the potential of the untried business model:
There’s this sense of doom and gloom in the publishing business, but this is an amazing moment. Ultimately, technology is going to not only enable people to read more but also enable new art forms. At HarperStudio, there’s an R&D element to what we’re doing. For instance, we gave all of our authors Flip cameras and asked them to start video blogging, opening up their writing process and cultivating an audience as soon as a book is acquired.
The exploration of new frontiers for HarperStudio came to a halt today with the announcement that the unconventional imprint is being closed. Last month, Miller left the imprint to become group publisher at Workman Publishing; Cheiffetz will move over to the Harper imprint.
The final titles to be published by HarperStudio will be the summer 2010 list. All fall titles and titles scheduled to be published thereafter will be published by other HarperCollins imprints. In a memo to employees, Michael Morrison, president and publisher of U.S. general books and Canada, said that Harper “will be contacting agents and authors to discuss the best editors and imprints for” its fall and other future titles. “All of our imprints are happy to discuss profit sharing scenarios on a book by book basis.”