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Adventure Press Coming from National Geographic
Jim Milliot -- 2/14/00

Looking to take advantage of the growing interest in adventure and exploration writing, National Geographic Books will launch Adventure Press this June. The new imprint will feature six titles on its debut list and plans to release up to eight titles in the fall and another five in spring 2001. "Adventure writing has become its own category, and National Geographic is synonymous with adventure," explained Nina Hoffman, senior v-p of publications for the society. Kevin Murphy, director of adult trade publishing, will serve as editor-in-chief of Adventure Press; Hoffman said the society is looking to hire a small number of new staff members.

Although the imprint will include some illustrated titles and all books will have photo inserts, Hoffman told PW Adventure Press titles "will place the emphasis on the word not the photo." She noted that the imprint will feature titles dealing with subjects such as individual triumph and man vs. nature. All the books on the spring list will be hardcovers, but the imprint will include trade paperbacks as well. The lead title for June is In the Footsteps of Eve: The Mystery of Human Origins by Lee Berger with Brett Hilton Barber. Also due out in June is Regions of the Heart: The Triumph and Tragedy of Alison Hargreaves by David Rose and Ed Douglas, while "A Hell of a Place to Lose a Cow": My American Hitchhiking Odyssey by Tim Brookes is set for a July release.

Simon & Schuster will handle all distribution for the imprint, and Hoffman is planning a number of events to help give the series a boost at BookExpo America. The revamping of the book section of National Geographic's Web site should be completed by late spring; Hoffman plans to use that as another channel to promote the imprint.

The launch of Adventure Press comes on the heels of a "fabulous year" for the National Geographic book group. Hoffman estimates that sales of adult trade books were up about 20% in 1999.
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