Heartfelt Giving: Sew and Quilt for Family and Friends by Marie Osmond, actress, singer, and member of the famous showbiz family, comes out November 8. It is the latest in a long line of craft and hobby books from Bothell, Wash., publisher Martingale & Company. And although the publisher has had many successful books over the course of its 35-year history, publishing a book by Osmond marks the first time it is publishing a celebrity author. "In the quilting world, many of our authors are celebrities," said sales manager Shelley Santa. "But this is probably the first celebrity author we've published."
It's a big deal for Martingale, and the house is supporting the book with a 35,000-copy first printing, "which for us is huge," Santa said. Osmond is of course known as a solo country music artist and as the cohost, with her brother Donny Osmond, of the TV variety show Donny & Marie. But she has also had considerable success designing dolls, home decor products, and fashion. She has her own line of sewing machines and her own fabric line.
Although Osmond has written two memoirs, this is her first how-to book, and signing her to a deal was simple enough: Martingale's acquisitions editor contacted Osmond about writing a book about two years ago, and the star was game. The resulting $26.99 hardcover with a hidden wire binding (no e-book is planned yet) has instructions for making pillows, aprons, baby blankets, children's dresses, and more—with a fair amount of Osmond family lore added. Martingale sent press kits to more than 10,000 media outlets, and "the response has been phenomenal," said Santa. USAToday.com and some celebrity Web sites and blogs have run items, and Osmond's PR firm is currently reviewing interview requests. Martingale is placing ads in the major quilting magazines and working with Baker & Taylor and Ingram to publicize the title among bookstores.
Osmond will not go on an official book tour because of her commitments to the Donny & Marie Live Show, which is currently in Las Vegas and will come to New York for three weeks in December. But she will be appearing and signing books at the gift shops at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in November and at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan in December. She will also do an event at a Jo-Ann craft store in Las Vegas.
Osmond will sell the book on QVC, where she has had success selling her dolls as well as items from her jewelry line. "The celebrity world is new to us and the opportunities are exciting," Santa said. "We see some eyes opening to craft books because of Marie's involvement and her passion for quilting and sewing."
Martingale publishes between 55 and 60 books a year, and Santa said the company has "been holding steady and [is] seeing an upturn now." Recent bestsellers include The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques, which sold about 200,000 copies, and Sensational Knitted Socks, which sold about 80,000 copies. The company has 42 employees, and in 2007, it became 100% employee owned.