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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Monday, March 26, 2007 10:47 am
An Sober Work
Posted by: Keir Graff

Warner Books is changing its name to Grand Central Publishing. From Publishers Weekly (“Warner Gets New Moniker,” by Rachel Deahl):

Referring to the new name, senior v-p and publisher Jamie Raab said it more accurately describes what the imprint is and aims to be. Dissecting the name, Raab said: “We are ‘grand’ because we are big, impressive, even magnificent at times. And the word ‘central’ reflects the fact that we recognize the huge audience of readers between New York City and the West Coast who are looking for books across a wide range of tastes." 

I love how Raab spins this: yes, it’s named for a very specific place in New York City, but really, we named it after you, oh vast-unnamed-area-that-I-fly-over-sometimes! The fact that he doesn’t actually identify any locations between New York City and the West Coast is, I’m sure, reassuring to the folks in Tulsa.

Still, while the name “Grand Central” may possibly represent the multitudes that Raab feels Warner Books contains, it feels a bit bland and predictable. If anything, they should have consulted some scruffy young advertising people, who might have told them that the new name should “skew edgy.” Using an anagram generator, I came up with these alternates, should anyone have second thoughts:

  • Bar Worsen OK
  • Snake Borrow
  • Earn Sob Work
  • Koran Browse
  • An Sober Work
  • Arson Be Work

I know what you’re saying: why on earth would a huge publishing concern change its name to “An Sober Work”? Well, it wouldn’t. But it would sure be more memorable than “Grand Central.”

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