Picador's 10th anniversary was approaching and its publisher, Frances Cody, was facing the usual publisher dilemma. "I'm obsessed with whether anyone really knows the name of the imprint," said Cody.
What to do? Doodles—Cody's idea. Sixteen charming little drawings by such authors as Michael Chabon, Siri Hustveldt and Philip Gourevitch. Since January, the doodles have run as repeating 10th-anniversary ads in the New Yorker and, mistakenly, some publishing folk believed the ads were initiated by Picador authors. "A sublime misunderstanding," said Cody.
"We wanted to explain what Picador is and to make a point about our backlist," Cody said. The resulting doodles—some allude to their books, others are just wacky—will also be used in a branding campaign for the paperback house. Look for Picador author doodles on the house's next catalogue, on bookmarks and on tote bags at BEA. There's even a doodle contest for booksellers. Picador will pick a winner ($500 prize) and turn the doodle into postcards.
"We had so much fun with this," said Picador publicity director Tanya Farrell, "that we decided to use it ad nauseum."