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I was fortunate to grow up in a house full of books. My mother, a preschool teacher, amassed an impressive collection of picture books. My father, a military analyst, stocked the study with history books and hardcover comics anthologies. My older sister had the whole Judy Blume canon on the shelves in her bedroom. And my older brother, a heavy metal devotee, had a stack of rock ‘n’ roll photo books on his bedside table. In my house, a book was never further than an arm’s reach away.

It was natural for me to start a book collection of my own. Choose Your Own Adventure paperbacks, newspaper comic compendiums, and video game cheat code books reflected my interests as a young reader. But it was a gift that I received on my tenth birthday that opened my eyes to what a book could be.

The book was Gnomes, written by Dutch author Wil Huygen, illustrated by Rien Poortvliet, and published by Harry N. Abrams. The book was a fictional anthropology of gnomes and other woodland creatures, but I recognized it for what it really was—art.

I took in every detail on every lavishly illustrated page. Gnomes served as my introduction to fantasy and opened my eyes to how a book could be valued not just for its contents, but as an object to be treasured in its own right. When I turned the pages of Gnomes, I did so delicately, so as not to bend the pages. Every time I encountered the book it gave me a burst of dopamine. It still does.

Fast forward to my college years. By then, I’d decided my dream was to become a newspaper cartoonist. In order to position myself for success in the field, I studied the history of comics. I went to the library and checked out The Comics: Since 1945. Next up was Art Out of Time, a book about comic visionaries. That book led me to Krazy Kat: The Art of George Herriman, which I purchased at my local bookstore. All three were published by Harry N. Abrams. I was starting to connect the logo on the spine with quality books that held a special appeal for me.

Fast forward another decade and a half. By now, I’d tried and failed to become a newspaper cartoonist. I’d paused that dream to write a 1,300-page hybrid story—half cartoon, half text—about a middle-schooler named Greg Heffley. I’d published it online and had amassed twelve million readers. But to me, it wasn’t real yet, because it wasn’t a book.

I went to New York and printed out a dozen pages, bound them together at Kinko’s, and took the packet with me into Comic Con, where I was tasked by my employer with finding some new web comics for our site—and maybe a publisher for myself. Someone at the convention told me about an art-book publisher who had turned Brian Fies’s web comic Mom’s Cancer into a novel. Maybe I could talk to them?

I shouldn’t have been surprised that the publisher of Mom’s Cancer was Harry N. Abrams.

Luckily for me, the editor of Mom’s Cancer was working the booth that day. Charlie Kochman, in full salesman mode, pitched me on why Brian Fies’s work was so special, and he closed the deal. Money changed hands. Then it was time for me to make a pitch of my own.

Immediately after the encounter, I left the convention center and called my boss, Jess Brallier, a publishing veteran. What did he know about Abrams? Great reputation. Beautiful books. You’d be lucky to be published by them.

I walked a few blocks to a TGI Fridays and pored over my newest treasure, taking in every detail of Mom’s Cancer. The book was beautifully crafted, from the cover material to the end papers to sturdy, glossy paper. This wasn’t just a book, it was art. I tried not to get any barbecue sauce on the pages.

I was flooded with excitement. I can’t say why I felt this way, but I knew this was the start of something big. I felt like I was already looking back at the moment it all started.

Fast forward to present day. 290 million books in print in sixty-nine languages, with Navajo on deck. And with 300 million books well within sight.

Of course, Abrams is celebrating a huge milestone of its own. Seventy-five years of making wonderful, life-changing books. Books that changed my life and put me on a path to becoming an author.

Never could I have imagined that my work would become part of the fabric of Abrams’ own story. I’m so proud to have been able to have experienced so many firsts alongside Abrams. We’ve walked together in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We’ve spent 800 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list. We’ve been to the White House together. We’ve been to forty-two countries. And we made it snow in Miami.

Thanks for giving this unknown author a chance. Thanks for believing me, for supporting me, and for getting my stories out into the wider world.

And thanks for doing what you do best—making the most beautiful books in the world. The Art of Books, indeed.” —Jeff Kinney, creator of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series


In our experience, no other publisher is as sensitive to the nuances of reproducing photographic and other artworks. Abrams always cares about insuring a perfect outcome. Both Richard Avedon and The Richard Avedon Foundation have partnered with Abrams on many books, from In the American West to Avedon Advertising. It is always a pleasure and a privilege to publish with them.” —The Avedon Foundation


Of course, I love being published by Abrams, but I also love the books by other authors that Abrams has published. It’s amazing how many times I have pursued some interesting subject down the rabbit hole and landed on a beautiful book . . . and then spotted the Abrams logo on the spine. These are books for the curious and the curiouser! Books about Spanish landscapes and Midsummer Snowballs, mud pies and Fabergé eggs, astronauts and gnomes, shoes and ships, and cabbages and kings! Not sure if there’s been a book on sealing wax yet, but there’s always next season.” —Tom Angleberger, creator of the Origami Yoda series


I remember my very first visit to the Abrams offices. It was 2013 and Abrams was taking a chance on my first interiors book, The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes. I was staring at the wall of colorful hardbacks, and I envisioned my future title among the best. This moment prompted reflections of the long road I had taken to get there.

Securing a publisher who understood my vision was a painstaking process. Dozens of rejections and five revisions of the book proposal preceded the pivotal moment when an Abrams editor advocated for me. Instead of outright dismissing my proposal, as many other publishers had done, she encouraged me to broaden the concept’s scope, generating excitement among the publisher and directors. During a time when I felt disheartened and almost defeated, she provided guidance, dropping breadcrumbs that led me to Abrams. That book not only became a New York Times best seller but also served as the launching pad for my career.

Over the past decade, collaborating on three titles with Abrams has allowed me to cultivate relationships with editors, designers, and publishing professionals who have not only become friends but also mentors and guiding lights on my journey. I am grateful for the sense of community, camaraderie, and the quality of both the individuals at Abrams and the exquisite books they produce. Congratulations on 75 vibrant years. ” —Justina Blakeney, author of The New Bohemians


Abrams took a chance on me that changed my life. My editor Anne Heltzel believed in Lightlark from the very beginning and has been a champion for this series ever since. I feel so lucky that she saw its potential. I’ll never forget getting on a zoom call with Anne and Andrew Smith—their passion for the story and belief in me blew me away. Kim Lauber is a marketing maven who didn’t shoot down my wild ideas, but instead dreamed even bigger and made them all happen. Hallie Patterson and Mary Marolla have created the book tours of my dreams, always keeping the reader front and center in their plans. My audience has always been extremely important to me and this series, and everyone at Abrams made sure that readers were included in every step of the process. Abrams even had two different book covers made, so that TikTok could vote on their favorite. The team has always gone above and beyond in every aspect of publishing a book. I remember emailing Kim and asking if it was possible to have page overlays as a preorder incentive, something I hadn’t seen done before. When announcing the incentive, I actually posted that each preorder would only get one page overlay, which I was extremely happy with. Instead, Kim corrected me, and said that every person who preordered would get six page overlays, which blew me away. I was so grateful to be able to give readers something so special as a thank you for believing in the book from the start. I’ll also never forget when the entire team FaceTimed me when Lightlark debuted #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. They watched me sob in public and didn’t make fun of me, which I am forever grateful for. I will forever remember the party Abrams threw to celebrate Lightlark hitting 52 straight weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list. It was such an honor to get to celebrate the milestone with the people that have made Lightlark’s success possible. I take every opportunity I can to visit the Abrams office, because the energy is infectious, and every team is truly amazing. I am always inspired by their talent and passion for getting stories out into the world. I’m also grateful to Lauren Moye for helping me film TikToks in the office! I am honored to be published by Abrams and so grateful to the team that has championed the Lightlark series.” —Alex Aster, author of the Lightlark series


Writing, editing, shooting, and designing Cook Beautiful and Live Beautiful was one of the most fulfilling creative endeavors of my life. But I couldn’t have authored a James Beard Award-winning cookbook and best-selling design book without my publisher, Holly Dolce, and the entire Abrams team—many of whom I consider to be family at this point! They truly gave me the creative freedom, guidance, and support I needed every step of the way. At Abrams, crafting books is an art form. Like me, they believe that beauty isn’t just pleasant to look at; it improves the quality of our lives. This is unmistakably apparent in the beautiful books we have created together. Their bookmaking, print quality, and attention to detail are unparalleled. Happy anniversary!” —Athena Calderone, author of Live Beautiful


Abrams gambled on me with Hazardous Tales. When those books came out, there wasn’t a call for kids’ history comics. Not only did they roll the dice with a history series, they let it play out—even after the first three books didn’t exactly sell well.

Maggie has been a perfect editor; the art direction, set in place by Chad Beckerman, has been fantastic; and the publicity crew (which was mostly just Jason when I started) has been amazing at getting me to great events and school visits. The team has been wonderful—it’s changed a lot since we started, but everyone is still doing stellar work.

What a super publisher! Abrams is the best!” —Nathan Hale, creator of the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series


—Grant Snider, creator of Art of Living

I want to thank the teams I’ve gotten to work with at Abrams for all their work and support. In particular, my editor, Eric Himmel, who worked most closely with me while writing The New Plant Parent and The New Plant Collector. His suggestions, editing, and encouragement helped me throughout the writing process. Congratulations to Abrams for reaching this wonderful milestone! —Darryl Cheng, author The New Plant Parent


When Animalia was first published in 1987, I recall being understandably excited but also just a little anxious. Abrams was known as a fine art publisher; they didn’t have a children’s list and their small band of inhouse book reps mostly frequented museum and gallery bookstores. A niche publisher, perhaps?

I need not have worried. A fortuitous last-minute slot on Good Morning America kickstarted a wild ride that continued for the next twenty years with regular book tours across 40 of the 50 states of USA and a string of titles hitting best sellers lists across the country.

Decades have passed and any doubts about Abrams’ ability to reach beyond museums and galleries are long gone, but the extraordinary kindness shown to me and my wife Robyn by so many memorable people on those long and sometimes challenging trips has remained. They were our first and abiding introduction to America and for this we will always be grateful.

I wish all at Abrams a fruitful and peaceful anniversary year and look forward to the continuation of a cherished partnership long into the future.” —Graeme Base, author of Animalia


Having the opportunity to contribute to Abrams’ legacy has been a dream come true for me. Abrams has not only redefined the concept of “The Art of Books” over the years but has also allowed authors like me to shine and drive creativity in unparalleled ways within the industry. The commitment to fostering creativity and innovation is what sets Abrams apart.

Being a part of the Abrams family has been more than just a publishing experience; it has been a journey filled with memorable moments and experiences that have left an indelible mark on my career. The collaborative spirit, dedication to quality, and unwavering support from the Abrams team (who has become like family) have made this publishing journey truly special.

The ethos of Abrams is exemplified by its ability to recognize and amplify the unique voices of its creators. The company’s dedication to celebrating diversity and fostering creativity has created an environment where authors can truly flourish. The collaborative and supportive atmosphere at Abrams is not just a part of its legacy; it’s a living testament to the enduring values that have defined the company for three-quarters of a century.

I am endlessly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Abrams’ family. My heartfelt congratulations on these significant anniversaries. As an author, I am honored to contribute to the celebration and look forward to many more years of creative collaboration with Abrams.” —Gaby Dalkin, author of What’s Gaby Cooking


As a natural history photographer, my titles explore issues such as our connection with the natural world. At a time in which humanity is shaping our planet, what begins as a beautifully produced book becomes a portal to museums, academia, and many other areas of public engagement around the world.” —Tim Flach, author of Dogs


As a writer, I spend most of my working days in the Adverb Mines, aka, my basement office. I conjure characters and worlds that don’t exist to anyone but me. At some point, I send my words through the ether to my editor. That’s when the magic starts.

An unbelievably talented, creative, and hardworking team at Abrams Books for Young Readers forges those words into something real. Something physical. Something utterly and objectively beautiful. They do it with so much heart and so much joy. And they do it for every single book they make.

No matter what it’s about. They make each book the very best version of itself that it can be.

Nobody makes more beautiful books than Abrams. Every detail from the first edits to the last touch of varnish on the cover is the best quality possible. And that quality is echoed in everything. From editorial to design to production to marketing to sales to support to distribution to management to the sturdy boxes used to ship finished copies to . . . EVERYTHING!

A few years ago, I got to spend an afternoon at the Abrams’ office. We had a signing party and I got to talk with everyone who worked there. I knew that everyone there was hardworking and talented. But I was not prepared for the personal connection and pride of ownership that EVERY SINGLE PERSON had for every single book. It was humbling. And it was wonderful. It takes a family to work that kind of magic.

Abrams Books for Young Readers is the best publishing family a writer could ever hope for. Cheers! Here’s to 75 more years!” —Andrea Beaty, author The Questioneers series


I was very fortunate that the idea for my first book went to auction. I was able to select from the best and I chose Abrams because I had the feeling they would support me creatively––and I was right. It was unusual at the time for an author to want to write, illustrate, style, photograph, and design their own book, and Abrams has given me an amazing amount of creative control from the beginning. This kind of freedom, paired with expert editing and feedback, has allowed me to grow artistically in a way I’m not sure I would have been able to elsewhere. As we now work on our sixth book together, I am incredibly grateful.

One of my favorite moments as an author was an early Wednesday morning phone call from my editor. When I answered, I was surprised with the entire Abrams team on speaker cheering “Congratulations!! You made the New York Times Best Seller List!!” It was a magical life moment and I’ll never forget it.” —Erin Gleeson, author of Forest Feast


Abrams is the only publisher that has made me cry. And I mean that not only with gratitude but also as a compliment. Learning on a surprise Zoom call that my book The People’s Painter, masterfully edited by Emma Ledbetter, had won the Sibert Medal dissolved me to tears. The Sibert had been in my sights for a decade. To achieve it with an Abrams book is a highlight of my career.

Beyond that, I treasure my relationship with Emma and the rest of the team at Abrams. You all are a joy.” —Cynthia Levinson, author of The People’s Painter


MAXWELL KING / THE GOOD NEIGHBOR

Abrams editor Jamison Stoltz thought of Fred Rogers as a serious person—an educator and philosopher who had a powerful impact on American culture. So Stoltz responded immediately to The Good Neighbor, the account of the life and the impact of the television educator known as “Mister Rogers.” Jamison encouraged me in my work on the book, and he made numerous helpful suggestions. Then he worked with Abrams staff to produce a beautiful, colorful, and highly readable account of Rogers’s life. Thanks to Abrams’ fine work, the book made the New York Times Best Sellers List as both hardback and paperback. And it won awards as a print and audio book. I feel indebted to Stoltz and Abrams for the care that was put into publishing and marketing my work.” —Maxwell King, author The Good Neighbor


CECE BELL / EL DEAFO

Abrams published El Deafo, which still remains my most successful book. The amazing folks at Abrams made it happen! I worked very closely with my editor, Susan Van Metre, and along the way she became one of my closest friends. (As Susan’s assistant, a very young Erica Finkel helped with the editing, too.) Charlie Kochman was a huge supporter of the book from the get-go, and his enthusiasm for the material got me through a lot of self-doubt. Chad Beckerman oversaw the design of the book and helped make it beautiful. Jason Wells promoted the book, and I think that his policy of letting every author have an opportunity at various conferences made all the difference for a lot of us. And Laura Mihalick worked with Jason to get me to all the right places at all the right times—she even flew to Texas with me, knowing that I was afraid to fly by myself.

When the book won a Newbery Honor in 2015, I flipped out, and I think the folks at Abrams did, too. For the pre-awards party at ALA that summer, Susan ordered a cake that looked just like El Deafo. My older son, who was 12 at the time, had his own flip-out when we cut into the cake, as it looked like someone was cutting off his mother’s head. Maybe not funny for the kid, but funny for the rest of us!

Thank you, Abrams, for all the amazing opportunities and for being one of the most supportive publishers out there!

XOXOXO” —CeCe Bell, creator of El Deafo


I’m honored to have had the opportunity to have written four best-selling home design/lifestyle books with Abrams. Over ten years ago, when I was trying to figure out which publisher I would work with on my very first book, I decided to pull out all of my favorite, most artful coffee table books from my home library and stack them in piles according to publisher. The most overwhelmingly high stack (at almost two feet!) was the Abrams stack. I was shocked to realize that even some of my favorite vintage books were Abrams’ books! At that moment, I knew Abrams was the one for me and I’m thankful they felt the same way, as a day later we had a book deal!

In the creation of my books at Abrams, I have been completely free to write what I truly feel while also being pushed to be better, to share more deeply. I’ll be forever grateful for how my editor and the Abrams team have encouraged me to open up more in each of my books, connecting with readers on a deeper level.” —Lauren Liess, author of Feels Like Home


My first book with Abrams was Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman, published in 1986. Back then, Abrams was known as the premier fine arts book publisher. Krazy Kat was their first monograph on a comic strip artist and, at the time, they felt it was a big gamble. Years later, with their ComicArts line, Abrams also became the premier comics art publisher. I’m honored to be part of their history with my own work as well: Mutts: The Comic Art of Patrick McDonnell, Mutts: The Art of Nothing and The Super Hero’s Journey. I feel blessed to be working with everyone at Abrams, especially Charles Kochman, the greatest editor and a good friend. Abrams makes artists’ dreams come true. They believe in their creators, and trust and support them throughout the entire process. That’s one of their secrets in making the most authentic and original books. It’s their art. Congratulations!” —Patrick McDonnell, creator of Mutts: The Art of Nothing


When I published my first book, Beaches, I became a New York Times bestselling author. The fact that I was able to achieve this accolade really helped me in my career—and I am grateful to Abrams for believing in my vision when I was a young artist.

Publishing is a long process and building a trusting relationship with your editors and internal contributors is one of the most rewarding parts of being a great author at Abrams. I am truly grateful for the team I have worked with over the past eight years, and it is apparent to me that the milestone the company has reached is indeed reflective of the relationship of not just authors but also the people who work at the company.

There is a trust level and mutual respect that I deeply admire. I feel like with Abrams I can spread my wings as an artist and know that there is a jet stream below me.” —Gray Malin, creator of Coastal


Many, many, many years ago when I was a budding writer, crafting short pieces for newspapers and magazines, I received a copy of Angela Fisher’s Africa Adorned. This wondrous, gorgeous, enlightening book, published by Abrams, stole my heart. I dreamed of one day having a book published by Abrams.

Tell All the Children Our Story: Memories and Mementos of Being Young and Black in America . . . . Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl . . . Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer—these are just a few of my books published by Abrams since 2001.

Do I feel blessed to be a member of the Abrams family? The answer to that is a resounding Yes! I will forever cherish the camaraderie, the author care, and that ever-important laser focus on “The Art of Books.”

And, yes, I still have—and treasure—my copy of Africa Adorned.

Happy anniversaries, Abrams!” —Tonya Bolden, author of Maritcha


Gift Books? During the winter of 2003, I was working with my just-found agent, Stephanie Rostan, to polish a proposal I’d written tentatively titled Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die. A few months later, once America’s mission in Iraq had been “accomplished,” she began shopping the project. There were several strong bites, including Stewart, Tabori & Chang/Abrams. Though another slightly larger publisher had offered a comparable advance, Stephanie recommended that I opt for Abrams. “They do a great job with gift books,” was the summation of her advice.

Gift books. Gift books? I must admit that I’d never heard the term. But it certainly didn’t sound like the li-tra-chur I’d studied and aspired toward in college.

It sounded more like a Pet Rock.

But I trusted my agent’s judgment (and hope that she doesn’t read this, as it may embolden her to ask for extra points). And she was right. Fifty Places to Fly Fish, which I thought would be a one-off that would send me back to corporate copywriting upon its publication (leaving me with a curio—my book—to share with any future grandchildren), took on a life of its own. The Abrams’ team envisioned an attractive format—what I like to call a coffee table book that’s small enough that people will pick it up to read—and packed it with production values (quality images, luxurious paper stock, and a distinctive design) that dwarfed the book’s $24.95 retail price. Perhaps most critically, they recognized the potential for a series (or what I’ve come to call a brand). As I write this appreciation, the 19th book in the series (the last three co-authored with a fine young writer named D.C. Helmuth) is going to press.

The Fifty Places series has had a number of editors over the years, including Jennifer Levesque, who helped with its conception; Samantha Weiner; Ashley Albert; and Juliet Dore. But you wouldn’t know it; transitions have been seamless, with other members of the Abrams’ team ever ready to jump in to keep things moving forward. Team is an apt word—over 20 years, I’ve worked closely with employees in every department, and always felt that I was treated like an individual, not a number.

Yes, I’ve visited furniture stores where my books are being used as props on coffee tables. But my “low” (or at least “middle”) brow Fifty Places books have allowed me to make a living as a book writer and provided a platform for me to publish a number of other books.” —Chris Santella, creator of the Fifty Places series


VANITY FAIR

I’ve had the honor—and luxury—of working on four Vanity Fair titles with Abrams Books. I continue to marvel at the taste, talent, ingenuity, and level of excellence that inform every conversation I’ve had with our Abrams partners. I believe the highest compliment to our joint efforts was paid by the late David Carr, who observed in a review of Vanity Fair 100 Years for the NYTBR: ‘Each page is like a church, a temple to celebrity with its own framing, ornamentation and marginalia.’ Amen, Mr. Carr.”
—David Friend, Vanity Fair editor of creative development


—Christoph Niemann, creator of Sunday Sketching

Twenty-five years! That’s a big deal, especially when you consider Abrams Books for Young Readers’ humble beginnings. I was one of only a few authors signed as part of this bold experiment—children’s books! From Abrams? Back then they called it Amulet and my agent, Alison Fargis, urged me to take their offer. She said they had a reputation for making beautiful books, and she was right. The first Sisters Grimm editions were gold embossed with fabric covers, beveled edges, and gorgeous illustrations—they were works of art. The amount of jealousy I have received from other authors about those books continues to rear its ugly face. That’s fine. I’m glad they’re envious. If they only knew how worried I was about what would be inside the books! I was a new, untrained writer whose only real claim to fame was scrawling my own jokes on napkins as a struggling stand-up comic. The Sisters Grimm was my first effort, and it could have blown up in my face. Luckily, I was in good hands with the three people I’ve come to refer to as the Holy Trinity: Susan Van Metre, Chad Beckerman, and Jason Wells.

Susan Van Metre was kind, patient, funny, and encouraging. She steered me toward better storytelling, vibrant, memorable characters, and putting my sense of humor in every sentence. She had a gentle hand when guiding me through plot and finding ways to bring out the emotion and power of small moments. She was not just my editor, she was a cheerleader, a therapist, and my advocate, going to bat for me many times with other departments. She became a vital support system and friend to me. I have always known that she took a huge chance on Michael Buckley, professional nobody, but I never saw her sweating, even when I was.

The books designs had many masters, but Chad Beckerman had his hand in all of them, and eventually, to my benefit, he snatched them away for his own amusement. He took over Grimm in midstream, but his real masterpiece is the NERDS series, which is so heavily designed on every page, I’m not allowed to make any changes to it. Chad mastered the “glassy-eyed” look that could make you feel like you were speaking in another language, but it kept me on my toes, and he always understood what I was trying to describe. Chad’s vision was big and bright, with a childlike innocent, and it’s no wonder he now shepherds the careers of children’s illustrators. He is a major reason why NERDS was a hit. He deserves a great deal of credit for its staying power.

Like I mentioned, there were only a small handful of children’s authors at Books for Young Readers at the time. Jeff Kinney and his Wimpy Kid were right around the corner, as was Tom Angleberger, but at the time, we were mostly unknowns. I owe a great deal of success to a lot of people for changing that, but the person who steered the ship was Jason Wells. Jason was an original thinker, funny, smart, and maybe the hardest working person I have ever met. When no one knew what we were doing at Abrams, he put me in a car with a Garmin Mapfinder and had me drive to nearly every bookstore in the country—literally. I went to almost every state, including Hawaii, meeting book buyers, teachers, librarians, and kids. He was a tireless promoter, who would take my calls even in the middle of the night. I’ve never met anyone so dedicated. In this age of digital marketing, Jason was old school, and to this day, I believe word of mouth, face-to-face meetings, and bringing fresh cookies to the book sellers at your signing (one of Jason’s ideas) are the most successful ways to become a star. He also had a few fun tricks up his sleeve, including the invisible ink spy pens we gave away to promote NERDS and the magic mirrors to commemorate the last Sisters Grimm book. My tours were always very rock and roll, down and dirty, with more than a few shady hotels, but that’s how Jason and I wanted it. We spent less to get the most impact and I’m eternally grateful for his vision, patience, humor, friendship, and his incredible staff.

There were many others who came and went while I was there, but the people who supported me most were Michael Jacobs, Maggie Lehrman, Chris Blank, Mary Wowk, Charlie Kochman, Lauren Mihalik, Andrea Colvin, and Steve Tager. I rarely got to interact with the sales team, but I know they were my champions. If time has stolen a few names, their faces, smiles, and support remain with me to this day.

I’m deeply honored to be part of the 25th anniversary of Abrams Books for Young Readers, who put me center stage to tens of thousands of kids. I was lucky enough to have a team to lean on, a team that made me a better writer, a better presenter, and ultimately a better person. They were there to celebrate successes and to weather my anxieties about things outside my control. They were even there to take me aside and give me a good shake when I needed it. In other words, they were my family. I’ve been with a few other publishers since those days, and all of them tell me that we’re in this together, but Abrams actually was, and I will always consider it my home.

Happy Birthday Books for Young Readers. Imagine how many smiles you’ve created, how many rainy days you made tolerable, how many imaginations you sparked. The work you’ve done has changed the world, in both big and small ways. They say you make books, but I think you’re more in the miracle business. Here’s to many more happy anniversaries.” author of The Sisters Grim and NERDS series


Over the years, Abrams has been the most stimulating collaborator in helping me to fulfill my dream of producing six books. Without their team, their expertise, and their encouragement, these books would never have come to fruition.” —Bunny Williams, creator of On Garden Style


Happy 25th Anniversary Abrams Children’s Books!!

My name is Tonya Engel, and I am proud to say I am the illustrator of Your Legacy.

On the second week of January in 2020—right before the world was about to alter our realities with Covid—I was contacted by my agent, Gail Gaynin of Morgan Gaynin LLC, who was thrilled to share a manuscript written by Schele Williams.

Schele Williams’s book was powerful, poignant, and timely. I was blown away and immediately inspired! I knew this project was going to be the most important and career-altering book to date! I was especially thrilled that Abrams handpicked me—ME, a not-so-well-known and not-as-experienced illustrator from Texas. Beside me every step of the way I found I had the kindest, most adept and vision-filled team I could have dreamt of.

Collecting Images: Researching and compiling images of great civil rights leaders, their accomplishments throughout history—a personally enriching part of the process.

Sketches: During this phase, I try to be as free as possible while implementing little details that set the mood and theme and create cohesive flow in the imagery.

Changes: Much of the work at the beginning ends up on the cutting room floor. You try not to become too attached, of course!

Throughout the entire experience, guidance and aid from the brilliant Abrams team, led by Emma Ledbetter, was instrumental in making things go quite smoothly.

Fairly new at illustrating, I found myself getting EXTREMELY meticulous about details. I’m sure at times the editors were ready to pull their hair out!!
Is it ready, already?!
I would go to bed with a completed page and wake up inspired to change something completely!

Truly, for me, the opportunity to create this important book with Abrams not only graced me with the most educational and most fulfilling work to date, it introduced me to a powerful team of individuals and publishing company that is, without a doubt, in a class all by themselves!

I am truly thankful to have had the opportunity.” —Tonya Engel, illustrator of Your Legacy


SCHELE WILLIAMS / YOUR LEGACY

I never imagined that I would ever write a book. But then a story got a hold of my heart and I couldn’t shake it. When I finally got the courage to say out loud that I wanted to write a children’s book, not only was I heard, I was embraced, supported, encouraged, and challenged. Abrams Books turned my dream into an award-winning reality. I could not be more proud of what we have made together or the impact Your Legacy has had in classrooms. And as a mom I am grateful to Abrams for making beautiful books, little pieces of art, that families can cherish again and again. Happy anniversary, Abrams Books, and here’s to many, many more years to growing our hearts, minds, and imaginations!” —Schele Williams, author of Your Legacy


WINSOME BINGHAM / SOUL FOOD SUNDAY, THE WALK


I’d hesitated answering your initial call for a testimonial because I didn’t think that I had some remarkable anecdote about Abrams to relate. But I realize that perhaps the extraordinary thing about Abrams is just how very much the company is committed to the written word.

I’ve had the opportunity to visit the offices of any number of New York publishers over the last decades. In far too many, you’d have no idea what trade the enterprise was practicing: There isn’t a book on a shelf or a relevant poster on a wall. One major publisher had an elaborate lobby display with an extensive collection of books behind glass—but once you entered the actual premises, you encountered a book-free zone.

There’s something different about Abrams. You enter the lobby and the receptionist (would that I could recall her name) would inevitably ask you about whatever book you happened to be reading or would welcome queries about what she was reading. But she was only a harbinger of the activity occurring inside. This love of books permeated the entire company and was incredibly reassuring to an author. It’s hardly that Abrams is the only publisher committed to books, but it’s the absolutely full-throated and enthusiastic embrace of the company’s love of books and reading that is deeply compelling and infectious. For that I am deeply grateful.” —Christopher Franceschelli, creator of the Block Book series


It’s hard for me to think of Abrams without thinking very specifically about my editor Erica Finkel. Our careers at Abrams have grown alongside each other and I will forever be grateful to Erica for understanding my humor, heart, and process and for always trusting me in the beginning (with very little proof!) that I will finish the book. So thank you Abrams for employing Erica—without her I might make books but they wouldn’t be as good . . . and they would probably be stapled together in my apartment.” —Thyra Heder, creator of Alfie


My relationship with Abrams began when my editor, Howard Reeves, came to the publishing house with the desire to make great and meaningful work. In my career I’ve created nearly fifty books for children, and a solid majority of my career highlights have come from my partnership with Howard and with Abrams. Howard gave me the opportunity to experiment with style and content, he gave me the chance to try my hand at writing illustrated novels as well as the picture books I was known for. He helped me write series based on characters that have become beloved by readers worldwide. My success has always depended on the work the Abrams team put into making my books the absolute best they could be.
I remember attending an ALA author luncheon in Washington, D.C. As I sat with the Abrams team and a room full of librarians and bookstore folk, authors and illustrators stood up to talk about their work. Without projection screens, microphones, or sketchpads, each of us simply stood up, our latest Abrams book in hand, and talked about what we hoped our books could accomplish in encouraging readers, inspiring dreamers, and feeding the appetites of those who love beautifully crafted books. Listening to the other creators speak from their hearts about what books meant to them, I was struck by how much care and attention was brought to make sure Abrams books were exquisite to look at, as well as to tell a great story
I’ve worked with many publishers over the years, but at Abrams I always knew that my artwork would be treated with respect and highlighted with the best design and printing. The team I worked with could always be counted on to deliver the very best work of my peers, as well, and there have been so many great artists and storytellers who found a place for their work at Abrams. This has always been a very special publishing house to me, and I feel very honored and grateful to have been a part of this family!” —Daniel Kirk, creator of the Library Mouse picture books


Keep pushing the boundaries!! Keep challenging the status quo. Keep being your brilliant selves!!
What a brilliant group of book creators. I love working with these exceptional people. They are more like family, sharing the same vision of getting great books out into the world. Their passion and drive for bringing top quality books to young people is one of the many reasons I love working with Abrams. Here’s to many more years expanding the definition of The Art of Books.” —Carole Lindstrom, author of My Powerful Hair


What a blessing to have my first book be published with Abrams Kids! Everyone that I worked with, from art direction to signing books at conventions, was passionate and so generous with their time, knowledge, and energy.

As an artist, my time with Abrams has set a high standard for the people I collaborate with in the future. Your team is truly world-class, and I am genuinely proud to be associated with Abrams Books.” —Steph Littlebird, illustrator of My Powerful Hair


EUNICE & SABRINA MOYLE / HELLO!LUCKY


Congratulations to Abrams on a venerable 75 years, including 25 years of publishing brilliant books for young readers. I have many memories of my fourteen-plus years with Abrams, the most memorable and splashiest of which is the Newbery Honor announcement and awards.

The call came while I was on a winter ski vacation in a little cabin in the mountains. I was not even aware there was cell service there when I was awakened from a tranquil sleep (this was pre-social media, at least for me, so if there’d been buzz I was unaware of it), with the news that Heart of a Samurai had been awarded a Newbery Honor.

This was my first novel! I’d certainly never been to ALA before! As far as I knew, Newbery Awards were bestowed on Mt. Olympus by Zeus to the gods and goddesses of children’s book writing. Abrams was relatively new to publishing children’s books (although already a big hitter with Diary of a Wimpy Kid and others) and I think maybe it was their first crack at the Newbery Awards (but not their last!).

So we were all pretty green at the ALA convention in New Orleans in June of 2011. Jason Wells arranged a church basement-y luncheon (that is, informal) for the Newbery Committee and I befuddled everyone by performing a skit based on a Bob Dylan song. Fortunately, the day was saved by Lauren Myracle’s riveting talk about her experience with Shine, Tom Angleberger’s rapid-fire hilarity, and Matthew Cordell being his endearing self.

The banquet was a mind-blowing experience that I can only liken to seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. People may have told you how amazing it is; maybe you’ve seen pictures, but nothing can prepare you for the utter grandness of it. So many children’s book-loving librarians! The warmth generated in that room could have contributed to the melting of the polar ice cap. (I’m sure it didn’t, really—don’t worry, librarians!)

Since that luncheon, the Abrams dinners have gotten much more elegant. One dinner I attended—for the record, also arranged by Jason Wells—was at such a fancy, no-jeans-allowed place that Howard had to go buy a pair of khaki pants (which, I have heard, have since been framed).

Thanks to Abrams I have been introduced to the pantheon of heroes and demi-gods who are the librarians, teachers, booksellers, writers, artists, and publishing people who champion children’s books. I have also been given the opportunity to meet and write about some incredibly inspiring mortal beings.

Everyone I have ever worked with at Abrams has been kind and gracious. From Jason Wells, who shepherded me along the first few years, sending me on some jam-packed tours, and even lending me his apartment, to Jenny Choy, Gaby Paez, and everyone else along the way, thanks for the help, patience, and professionalism.

Above all, it has been my deepest pleasure to work with the oracle Howard Reeves on six, going on, er, some more books. With his quiet genius, he has shaped my haphazard scribbles into actual, readable stories. With every new project, it seems there is a moment when his suggestion (or directive) miraculously causes the heavens to open and the glory of the light to shine upon the pages. Epiphany! I suddenly understand what is happening in my own story.

Some version of this happens every bloomin’ time. Praise Zeus for Howard. May he never retire. As for Abrams Books, and in particular Amulet Books for Young Readers, long may it thrive.” —Margi Preus, author of Heart of a Samurai


“As I embark upon writing and illustrating my sixth book with Abrams, I think about what a joy it is to work with my editor, art director, and the many behind-the-scenes people who create such gorgeous books.

One of my favorite memories was the day I pitched the idea for Manhattan to my then-editor, Tamar Brazis, in a coffee shop, on the actual island of Manhattan. The excitement was real! To think that I would work on a book about my favorite city in the world with a publishing team that had such an esteemed history in that city—and the world of books—was a dream come true.

I’m honored to have my stories be a part of the Abrams legacy!” —Jennifer Thermes, creator of Manhattan


I came up with my illustration style my senior year at Parsons School of Design in New York. A professor at my university named Julia Gorton liked my work and showed it to Howard Reeves, an editor at Abrams Books for Young Readers who she had worked with and was friends with.

I met Howard at his office. He liked my artwork and said that if he received a manuscript for a picture book that paired well with my illustrations he would give me a call. I told him that maybe I could write the book. I was taking some writing classes at my university also.

He told me some basic things about picture books, like that they are usually thirty-two pages long and that they should have a title page and a copyright page. “I suggest that you make your protagonist a kid, or an animal; someone that young readers can relate to,” he said and gave me his contact information.

Some weeks later, while I was still finishing my semester, I had an idea for a book about two cousins: one that lived in a rural community in Mexico and one that lived in a city in the United States and they send letters to each other about their everyday lives. “I should make the story rhyme, like Dr. Seuss,” I thought to myself.

I sent Howard my manuscript. He responded some days later. He liked the concept of the book. But he did not think the rhymes were any good. And the truth is they weren’t. I rewrote the manuscript, without any rhymes, and sent it back to him. We emailed back and forth. Howard edited and I revised. Eventually I got a contract, and in 2010, my first book Dear Primo: A Letter To My Cousin, which I wrote and illustrated, was published.

I have worked with Abrams on fourteen books now. Almost all of them have been edited by Howard. I am super grateful that he saw the potential in my work and that he gave me a chance. Howard and the whole Abrams team—editorial, design, production, marketing, sales—have always been supportive of me and have allowed me to pursue my vision.

The books I have made with Abrams have focused on Mexican and Mexican American culture. On occasions they have taken on challenging topics like immigration and segregation. The company has never shied away from these themes. They have always been true professionals and have pushed me to search for artistic excellence. Several people in the company, like Howard, have become dear friends. I have two new books coming out in 2024 with the Abrams’s Appleseed imprint and hopefully many, many more in the future.” —Duncan Tonatiuh, creator of Dear Primo and Separate Is Never Equal


Abrams Books changed my life. The past 12 years, since My Friend Dahmer landed on Charlie Kochman’s desk, have been the most fruitful and amazing years of my life . . . and my life was pretty good before Abrams! I look over at my studio bookcase and smile at my Abrams shelf, stuffed with the three books of mine you’ve published, copies of the many foreign editions, a dozen awards I could once only fantasize of someday winning and—oh crap, a moldy coffee cup. How did that get there? But I digress.

A favorite story? There are so many. Here’s an early memorable one.

When My Friend Dahmer launched, I came to New York for interviews and signings. My very first signing as a newly minted graphic novel star was at a legendary comics shop in Manhattan. Charlie thought I’d get a kick out of having a signing there, and he was right, I was thrilled.

It was a mean night, cold and wet. We walked into the shop . . . and it’s barren. Not a single customer! The shop owner apologized and griped about his $#@! customers who were scared off by a little $#@! rain.

Now, I’m a grizzled veteran of the comics biz, so it didn’t phase me.

I’ve had more than a few terrible signings over the years. No big deal. Charlie and I sat at the signing table and chatted to while away the scheduled hour. In the background, the owner continued his grumbling about his weather-shy clientele.

Two teenage girls entered the shop. One of them approached and asked me to sign the copy she brought. This doesn’t help the shop, but I was happy to do it.

“It’s for her,” she said and pointed behind her to the other girl, who was backed up to the far wall, hands to her face, coat sleeves pulled over her hands, and was gigging nervously. “She loves your book . . . but she’s too scared to talk to you.”

Charlie and I cracked up. I tried to coax her over. She inched toward the table—then burst into tears! I drew her a sketch on the title page and asked her name. She was unable to answer. Her friend provided it, shaking her head. I handed my fan her book and she clutched it to her chest, still giggling and crying. I took her photo for posterity. She left happy.

A delightfully strange start to my Abrams career. I’ve done hundreds of signings since, some with lines that stretch out the door and down the street. But I’ll never forget the one with the solitary fan who wept!

My Friend Dahmer scared off a lot of publishers. Not Abrams. I’m proud to be part of a company that courageously publishes books which evoke THAT kind of reaction from readers.” —Derf Backderf, creator of My Friend Dahmer


I have been honored to be an Abrams ComicArts author since my first graphic novel, Mom’s Cancer, was published in 2006, followed by Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? (2009), A Fire Story (2019), The Last Mechanical Monster (2022), and, I hope, more to come. Mom’s Cancer was Charles Kochman’s first acquisition for Abrams, and he has edited all my books in a nearly 20-year creative partnership and friendship that continues.

In addition, I’ve enjoyed working with some of the best publishers, copy editors, designers, and production people in the business—which I especially appreciate after hearing my peers’ stories about working with some of the less-than-best! I’ve been lucky.

My favorite publishing story of all time involves my book, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? One of the book’s conceits is that it includes four fake comic books, which I wrote and drew to look like comics the characters would have read in the 1930s, 1950s, and so on. To that end, Charlie and I wanted to print them on different paper than the rest of the book (at appropriate signature breaks) to really capture the look and feel of old pulp comics.

The way I tell the story—which by now may only slightly resemble what actually happened—is that the Abrams production people, who were accustomed to working on the usual high-quality art books Abrams publishes, kept bringing Charlie paper samples for the fake comics that were too good. Too thick, too white, too glossy. Finally, Charlie brought in an old comic book from his personal collection to show them the thin, rough, dull, yellowing pulp paper we were talking about.

“Oh!” they exclaimed, their eyes lighting up. “You want BAD paper!”

“Yes, we want actual bad paper! Can you get that for us?”

“Well, I suppose . . .”

And that’s how I got probably the worst-quality paper Abrams has ever printed anything on inside the pages of my graphic novel. It was perfect.

Fake comic book printed on bad paper on the left, contrasted with the facing page printed on thick glossy white paper. Note editor Charles Kochman being eaten by a giant radioactive prairie dog in panel two.

There’s a poignant postscript to that story. In October 2017, historic wildfires burned down 6,000 houses in California, including mine, which became the subject of my book, A Fire Story. Weeks after the fire, as my family and I raked through the remains of our home, I came across a little pile of ashes curiously layered like a sandwich: white, tan, white, tan. I realized it was all that remained of a stack of my World of Tomorrow books. The different types of paper had burned into different colors of ash, delicately preserved until a hand or a breeze came along to sweep them away.

I can’t explain why, but finding that recognizable fragment of my literary career left me enormously, unexpectedly grateful that Abrams and I had gone to the trouble to print those fake comic book inserts on crummy pulp paper. Here they were! Not exactly survivors, but a rebuke to the disaster that had tried to destroy them and me. Marvelous.

I love Abrams books, even ones I didn’t write. An Abrams book doesn’t just read well, it looks and feels and even smells just right. In my experience, the company culture focuses on what’s best for the book. Abrams ComicArts helps my books—and by extension, me—be the best they can be. I have been the happy beneficiary of that ethos since 2006.” —Brian Fies, creator of Mom’s Cancer


In the four years I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Abrams, I’ve witnessed a profound dedication to quality, design, and innovation—values that have been at the core of the company since it was established. What stands out is the collective passion and commitment of the team, whose collaborative spirit and unwavering belief in the books they publish is exceptional.

“The significance of Abrams reaching this remarkable milestone symbolizes an enduring commitment to artistic expression and creativity that has left an indelible impact on colleagues, customers, and readers worldwide.

“Numerous instances embody the ethos of Abrams, but for me, it’s the joy found in small, shared moments with colleagues that truly defines the experience—from the launch of a new list, the shared excitement for successes across both companies, through to Thursday photos and the jokes and enthusiasm shared in the conference chat. Not to mention the delightful chaos that ensues when the sales bell rings with the news of a book hitting the bestseller charts.

“Here’s to Abrams and the exciting next chapter of this incredible journey.” —Inez Munsch, Managing Director, Abrams & Chronicle Books


1993 was the official start date for when the Canadian Manda Group began to work with Harry N Abrams as their sales and marketing agents in Canada. It has been a partnership marked by continued growth, transparency, and collaboration, and in that timeframe, we have traveled with Abrams as they moved from being not only the finest art, photography and architecture publisher but also becoming one of the best and most respected children’s and graphic arts publishers. As Abrams embarks on their 75th year, that pedigree continues to grow to include adult fiction and nonfiction. Throughout our 30+-year relationship, it has been an incredible journey made richer by working alongside such talented publishing professionals.

“When Manda began with Abrams, sales conferences were 3-4 days, and they were essentially art history lessons with a range of memorable professors, notably, Paul Gottleib, Larry Adomo, Edward Booth Clibborn, Eric Himmel, Mark Magowan, and Marti Malovany.

“As Abrams evolved and grew under the leadership of Michael Jacobs, sales meetings offered a graduate degree in the excellence of publishing, editorial integrity, book design, and marketing. Jonathan Stolper, Steve Tager, Mary Wowk, Marty McGrath, and Elisa Gonzalez led the charge in directing our efforts and always celebrating our successes with boozy dinners. Sales conference always included a visit to Joan Fusco’s office, where all she really cared about was seeing updated photos of my children. Sales conference included amazing guest authors, as well as Steve Tager dressing up as Princess Leia and Marti Malovany somehow managing to rein in some of the more interesting art publishers from around the world. There have been some amazing imprints in the journey: Abradale, Noterie, STC, and Abrams Image, to name a few. And of course, there remains the transformational Wimpy Kid series of books. I remember that as people at Abrams and Manda read the first book, the level of excitement about its potential was palpable. Fast forward to the present day and being part of the success of the Wimpy Kid series and having Jeff Kinney visit Canadian cities as far and wide as Vancouver, Toronto, and Winnipeg has been career defining for me.

“With the support and encouragement from Abrams, Manda launched an in-house publicist as well as a full-time commitment to social media. Abrams has taken chances on publishing Canadian authors, and we have shared some incredible successes, most notably, Matty Matheson. He toured the country flouting all the norms of touring authors (to the great dismay of not only Indigo managers across Canada, but also the president of Indigo), and we proceeded to sell tens of thousands of books. None of that would have worked without our trusted partnership.

“Above all, it always begins and ends with the people who make it all happen. The passion, energy, and commitment to the books and the creators and the shared goals of success. The commitment to dialogue, fierce independence, and a diversity of opinions. The commitment to create books of the highest quality and value, always respecting the inherent promise to booksellers to create books that matter and books that define the best in class in each category.

“Seventy-five years is an incredible legacy. Congratulations, and we will look forward to celebrating 100 years in no time at all!!” —Carey Low, President, Canadian Manda Group


On behalf of all of us at T&H Australia, I’d like to extend my congratulations to you and everyone at Abrams on passing the significant milestone of 75 years publishing. Thames & Hudson in Australia are proud to be the distribution partner for Abrams across ANZ, and I’ve been thrilled to work with the Abrams team and the Abrams list for the last decade.

“Abrams publishing resonates so well with Australian readers, with some real notable successes, particularly within the children’s list. Jo Witek’s In My Heart has now sold over 367,000 copies since it was first published in 2014. The Block Book series have now sold over 150,000 copies. Andrea Beaty’s books have now sold over 100,000 copies in Australia. Currently, we’re thrilled to be part of the Alex Aster story as this superstar of YA fiction is exploding in popularity in this country.

“On the adult list some of your great visual publications have made local best sellers. Slim Aarons’s photography books have sales of over 50,000 copies. Matty Matheson’s cookbooks have sold over 25,000 copies. Architectural Digest at 100 has sold around 8,000 copies at $180 per book.

“Above all we’ve relished the relationships with the many great people at Abrams. For many years, the immutable Mary Wowk was our point person, and more recently we’re enjoying a wonderful relationship with the delightful Kathleen Spinelli. Larry Goldberg, for many years the operational backbone, always made sure we got the books we needed on time. Michael Jacobs fulfilled a vision and provided inspiring leadership and we look forward to working with Mary McAveney as she takes the company on its next stage of evolution. Then you, Steve, we’ll always relish your tour of Australia and taking in the Australian Open together.

“Abrams has helped T&H Australia on our own journey within Australia too. Abrams has produced many of the very best sellers we’ve had to distribute in Australia. On the day I write this note, T&H Australia has moved to new offices for the first time in over 30 years. The attached photo is of the Melbourne team on our very last day in our old offices which you were able to visit when you last came to Australia.

“From all of us at T&H Australia, we wish you a happy 75th birthday.” —Daniel Watts, Regional Managing Director, Thames & Hudson Australia


I think I’m right in saying Abrams is our longest standing distribution partner which says a lot! Whether publishing in the case of Alexander McQueen, Hollywood Costume, or Christian Dior’s Little Dictionary of Fashion, or distributing David Bowie Is, Christian Dior or Gabrielle Chanel, we really feel part of the Abrams family. The personal touch is so important and through getting to know the team at Abrams over the years I know it is not just about sales figures (although they help)—we are genuinely here for the love of illustrated books. I look forward to celebrating the 100th Anniversary in what will feel like no time at all!” —Susannah Priede, Commercial Lead, V&A Publishing


It’s been nearly five decades since Harry Abrams sold Harry N. Abrams, Inc., to Times-Mirror, Inc. Few remember the transaction details and even fewer remember—or knew—Harry personally or as a publishing dynamo. But through a happy coincidence engineered by my future in-laws, I met Harry at his legendary apartment on East 70th Street in March 1979. A long, shelf-lined hallway teemed with Abrams books dating back to 1949 and the first volumes of the vast Library of Great Painters series. The walls were hung salon-style, with School of Paris oils jostling against de Koonings, Johnses, Boteros, and Picassos; an adjacent “Pop” room (formerly his son Michael’s bedroom) housed a collection of Warhols, Lichtensteins, Wesselmann nudes, drawings, and ephemera. From the kitchen wafted the heimish aroma of fried chicken, an Abrams family favorite. And in the living room, ensconced in a comfortable armchair with a Scotch, a white-haired Harry presided over a gathering of authors, artists, and critics disputing books, politics, and Parisian restaurants in a mélange of English, French, German, Spanish, Greek, and Hebrew. At some point during the evening, I heard myself agreeing to work for Harry at Abbeville Press, his new publishing venture, which he had recently founded with his son Bob. Life with Harry seemed far more exciting than Columbia Business School, my other prospect.

Being Harry’s young associate meant that I was semi-permanently assigned to his round glass conference table, strewn with marked proofs, book proposals, notes, and an endless supply of green Pentel pens (green being the color of money). His office at 505 Park Avenue was divided into two zones: the conference table, where Harry could eavesdrop on calls made by the production department staff and interject his will into every stage of book production, from printer negotiations to layout, proofs, and advance copies. A curved window wall looking north toward the Regency—where Harry enjoyed his lunchtime gimlet—and south to 110 East 59th Street, the current Abrams, Inc. office, united the conference-table zone to an inner sanctum hung with two monumental paintings: David Hockney’s Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott and a horizontal, sixteen-foot-long Morris Louis stripe painting. A clutch of Arman Lucite sculptures, a sleek, moss-green Italian sofa, and a shabby, red corduroy couch where Harry took his post-Regency nap completed the decor. Arising from a brief slumber, still wearing his rumpled gray tie, Harry turned to a myriad of tasks: approval of trade ads for PW, negotiating terms with Nat Wartels for a series of books packaged for Crown Books, or meeting with H. W Janson, the author of Abrams’ seminal History of Art. Looking over his shoulder, Harry would dictate brief letters to publishers, authors, academics, and popular writers suggesting various illustrated books as a possible next subject. In his audacity, Harry was a link to a more buccaneering era, when author contracts were a mere two or three pages long and alliances with like-minded European and British publishers produced a steady stream of high-quality art and illustrated books for the American market. From my perch I observed Harry cultivate these relationships, calling London to ask Walter Neurath at Thames & Hudson about British authors, or Fritz Landshoff, the eminent editor and publisher, about forthcoming European museum exhibitions.

As Harry was so busy keeping his young enterprise afloat, and as Bob was dealing with operations, management, and finances, Harry dispatched me as his emissary to resolve problems and acquire new authors and projects. He would benignly revise my artless letters with his green pen until he was satisfied with the balance of cajoling, flattery, and promise. He was shrewd about the character and abilities of others—and forgiving of faults. He knew that at its heart publishing was—and remains—a business of people, where the talent leaves at the end of the day. Harry’s financial resources may have been limited, but his gift for bringing out the best qualities in others was boundless.

This month marks the forty-fifth year that I have been affiliated with Abrams in various capacities, commencing with my apprenticeship under Harry and continuing years later with Paul Gottlieb, Alan Rutsky, Michael Jacobs, and numerous talented editors, designers, and marketers. In 2004, Vendome switched its distribution to Abrams. To this day, Beatrice Vincenzini, my partner, and I rely upon Abrams for distribution, practical advice, and market savvy. Thanks to our partnership with Abrams, Vendome has expanded its program, sales volume, distribution reach, and financial results. Though Harry is long gone, it pleases me to imagine that his benevolent shade continues to bless our efforts.” —Mark McGowan, Publisher, Vendome


Abrams has been a valued distribution and publishing partner for Tate Publishing for over 20 years. Together we have sold titles featuring some of the biggest names in the history of Art including David Hockney, Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama to name but a few. Their sales team have also championed Tate’s children’s books throughout North America ensuring titles like A Lion in Paris and Miffy the Artist found a place in bookshops, libraries and museums alike. Thank you to everyone at Abrams for your continued support and huge congratulations on your 75th Anniversary!” —Maxx Lundie, Head of Sales, Tate Publishing