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A Visit from Our Friends at Egmont USA

January 27, 2011

This post was written by our friend Elizabeth Law, the Vice President and Publisher at Egmont USA publishing company. We sell Egmont books to our accounts, and are proud to do so- their books are carefully selected gems, and are always beautifully written and original.

We’re so happy to be  invited to contribute some entries to Random House’s children’s blog, and it gives me a chance to do two of my favorite things—talk about Egmont, and tell people about some of our favorite books.

First, while I know you have heard of Random House, you may never  have heard of Egmont USA.   That’s because we’re quite a new publisher in the US, though internationally we’re a large media conglomerate and have been around for more than 100 years. Corporate headquarters are in Denmark, the company gets its name from its founder, Egmont Pederson, and all of our profits go to children’s charities in Scandinavia. 

That’s right, we are a large international company that specializes in children’s media, and all of the profits we earn go to charities for children.  This is one of our favorite things to tell people about Egmont.

And what about Egmont USA? What are we all about?

Egmont USA opened our doors in January 2008 with just two employees.  The first was Doug Pocock, our executive director. Doug is a cheery Brit whose prankster nature covers a true publishing acumen and  managerial expertise.  It’s been fun teaching him about the ways of the United States—for our first 18 months, I had him convinced that there were 14 annual national holidays.  The second employee hired was me, the publisher, and the third, in February ‘08, was our executive editor Regina Griffin.

At this point, I imagine you might be thinking “Sheesh, I hope she is not going to tell us the history of every employee and when they were hired….zzzz….” and no, I’m not.  There are nine of us on staff, and here is a picture of 8 of us

Standing: Nico Medina, managing editor; Regina Griffin, executive editor; Doug Pocock, executive director; Mary Albi, director of sales and marketing; Alison Weiss, assistant editor; Greg Ferguson, editor Seated: Elizabeth Law, publisher; Rob Guzman, marketing associate

  

Since we took that picture, Katie Halata, our director of school and library marketing, has joined us, and here she is.

 

So what about our publishing mission? And our books? At Egmont, we like to say we turn writers into authors and children into lifelong readers.  Every one of us loves books, and for our first years as an American publisher, we have decided to concentrate on fiction for ages 8 Up.  We believe we may even be getting a reputation as a publisher with a good eye for distinctive commercial fiction.

To illustrate that, let me tell you about a few of our favorite books that are just out. 

Will Work for Prom Dress, by Aimee Ferris, is a book that will really surprise you.  You expect it to be funny and fluffy, and then the story of the two girls working a string of crazy jobs to make money for truly great prom outfits (and meeting a couple of interesting guys in the process) has a lot of richness you might not be expecting.  It’s certainly one of our most buzzed about titles, and the website, featuring YA authors in their own prom photos, is getting a lot of press, too.   You’ve got to check it out, at www.willworkforpromdress.com.

The False Princess, by Eilis ONeal, is as an engaging fantasy as you’ll find.  Nalia is princess and heir to the kingdom of Thorvaldor, but on her 16th birthday her parents inform her that, actually, there was a prophecy that the princess would be murdered before she turned 16.  So…Nalia is just a decoy, raised as princess while their real daughter has been hidden out of sight.  Now that they are both 16 and nothing bad has happened, Nalia can go back to a life she has never known—niece of a village weaver.  As Regina likes to say, “And don’t let the carriage door hit you on the way out!”  But Nalia (whose real name is Sinda) is a fighter, and she can’t forget the court or the people she was raised with.  This is a book filled with surprises, magic, and a bit of my favorite ingredient…romance.

And finally, our most anticipated novel of early 2011 is Pam Bachorz’s Drought.  It’s not an easy novel to sum up in short space because it is completely original, shocking and brilliant—and I don’t want to give too much away!  Pam’s debut novel, Candor, was a sensation and so we were all longing to see what Pam would write next.    Drought is the story of a congregation that lives secluded from the rest of the world, dominated by cruel overseers who want the life-sustaining water that only the Congregation  can gather.  But it is Ruby, 16-year-old daughter of the congregation’s founder, who has the blood that is the secret of the congregation’s miraculous water. Ruby falls for one of the young overseers, and decides to escape to the world outside, but the congregation won’t be able to live for long without the drops from her blood that sustain them.  (Ok, I’ve only covered the first part of the book, but I refuse to tell you any more.  It’s just too good—and shocking– when you read it for yourself.)

 So thanks, everyone, for listening to a little about Egmont USA. I hope this tantalizing taste of our titles has left you eager to pick one up yourself.  I know you are in for a treat!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. N-Money permalink
    January 27, 2011 11:17 am

    Funny that Egmont is the subject of today’s blog–I was JUST looking at some galleys last night from Egmont and thinking….Egmont…Egmont…I’m not sure I know who they are. So, now I do, and I am eager to read up and sell the heck out of them!!

  2. January 27, 2011 2:20 pm

    We love Egmont here at Lemuria! Thanks Doug and Mary for everything you do for us and for publishing great books!

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  1. Pocock, Doug | Writing for Children and Teens

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