Q&A with Jamie Raab, the Publisher Behind Warner Books’ New Name
Warner Books announced earlier this week that the New York-based publishing company is changing its name to Grand Central Publishing. The name change was agreed to in the acquisition last year by the French company Hachette Livre. The new title notably drops the word “books” to embrace publishing in the broader sense of content delivery. Book Business Extra spoke with Senior Vice President and Publisher Jamie Raab, the creator of the new name, to gain insight on the process of rebranding a well-known publishing company.
Book Business Extra: Warner Books hired paid consultants and solicited Warner authors for ideas for a new company name. However, the name you came up with, Grand Central Publishing, was chosen in the end. What do you feel this new name represents in terms of brand image?
Raab: It’s true, we were presented with a lot of names before we hit on Grand Central Publishing. Obviously, the new location of our corporate headquarters at 46th and Park, near Grand Central Terminal, played a part in the choice, but the real reason was because I liked every word in the new name, and what it represented. When I deconstructed it, ‘Grand’ suggested all we strive to be as a publisher: big, impressive, even magnificent at times. ‘Central’ spoke to our mission to publish books that speak to the large and diverse readership between New York City and the West Coast. And, finally, it was important, given the rapid changes in the way content is becoming available, that we drop ‘Books’ in our name and embrace ‘Publishing’ in a fuller sense.
Book Business Extra: What do you feel Grand Central Publishing will mean to future generations of readers?
Raab: Another reason I like the name is that it sounds so solid and seems to promise that we not only exist now, but will continue to publish well into the future. I don’t know that readers are as concerned with a publishing entity as much as they are with particular books and authors. And what we intend to do is what we’ve always done: bring readers wonderful books and authors across the broadest range of tastes.