Robert Miller

Book publishing veteran Robert Miller is launching a new standalone non-fiction imprint at Macmillan.

Mr. Miller, 56 years old, was ousted in March from his senior management post at Workman Publishing Co. In his new role, he is returning to Manhattan’s Flatiron Building where he started his career as an editorial assistant at St. Martin’s Press in 1978.

Book Business spent last Sunday hunkered down at Workman Publishing in New York attending… camp. Specifically, Book^2 Camp ("book squared"), an annual pre-TOC "unconference" dedicated to discussing, well, just about anything related to book publishing, but with an eye toward sussing out the future of the industry.

A big task, for sure, but the campers were up to the task, compiling an agenda on the fly, gathering into intimate, round-table discussions—in conference rooms, offices, break rooms and really any otherwise unoccupied space at Workman—about profitbility, discoverability, readers, editors, the Internet, etc. and asking a lot of "what if" questions:

  • What if publishing started today?
  • If there was no money in publishing books, what would book publishing look like?
  • What if digital predated print?

In general, the conversations were focused on possibilities and opportunities, with a pinch of pragmatism thrown in to hold it all togther.

In the interest of trying new things, we're going to present our report using Storify, a platform for turning social media into narratives. It's not new to many of you, but we've never used it before. So here goes nothing. Tell us what you think/

Peter Workman, founder of Workman Publishing, announced today that Robert Miller will join the company as Group Publisher, effective May 3, 2010. In this new role, Miller will work with the current teams at the Workman, Algonquin, and Artisan imprints to make those successful programs even stronger in the ever-changing publishing landscape.

Peter Workman will continue as President and CEO of the company, collaborating
closely with Miller.

 Miller was most recently at HarperCollins, where he started HarperStudio, an imprint
that experiments with new models of author compensation, marketing, and distribution,
as well as new digital formats.

On Tues., Jan. 26, a panel of executives explored “Back-Loaded Book Deals: No (and Low) Advance Contracts, Profit-Sharing and Other Innovative Business Models,” during F+W Media's Digital Book World conference at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York City. The main philosophies driving the discussion: more mutually profitable arrangements for publishers and authors, true partnerships and transparency.

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