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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended October 27, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 26Oct00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

HarperCollins Nails Deal on 'Dad Was a Carpenter'

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH --- Alta Films &Press announced today that U.K.-based HarperCollins Publishers and filmmaker and author Kenny Kemp have finalized a reprint deal for Kemp's 1999 memoir, Dad Was A Carpenter: Blueprints For A Meaningful Life. HarperCollins is one of the world's largest and most prestigious publishers, with more than 50 books currently on the bestseller lists. Kemp's book will be published under the Harper San Francisco imprint, which specializes in inspirational and spiritual titles. The book will be included in the publisher's spring 2001 releases.

"This is a very short turn-around time," says Harper San Francisco editor Gideon Weil. "Most self-published books that come to us require a great deal of work to get into shape. But Kenny's book is so well-written and respectful of the reader, that our job was quite easy. And we have every confidence that Dad Was A Carpenter has the chops to become a national best-seller."

The book deal comes hard on the heels of Kemp's winning the National Self-Published Book Award, announced in August by Writer's Digest. Within days, Kenny was beseiged by literary agents who saw the potential in the book. "I went with Joseph Durepos, a former bookseller turned agent," says Kemp. "He is very persistent and caught the vision of the book instantly. I knew his insights and energy would be invaluable in obtaining a sale. And he's a straight shooter---I know, because he just scored a direct hit!"

"Kenny is that rare breed of author who understands both storytelling and marketing," says Joe Durepos, whom we reached by telephone in Chicago. "He's been very successful in selling this book for the last year, doing book signings and talking to readers and retailers. He has a good grasp on the book business and has been very helpful in getting this deal."

And how did they pitch it? Durepos says, "We told people it was Tuesdays With Morrie meets The Greatest Generation," to which Kemp adds, "With Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten thrown in."

Durepos would not specify the dollar amount of the deal, except to say that it was in the "six figure" range. "Ecstatic is too weak a word for how I'm feeling," says Kemp. "I've been working toward this for twenty years." He points out that although his projects and books have consistently received awards and accolades, "a real, serious payday has always been just out of reach, over the horizon. This now frees me up to do what I've always wanted to do."

And what's that? "Publish my next book!" he says, smiling. "I guess that proves I'm addicted. I get this incredible deal and all I can think about is how I don't have to max out my credit cards on my next book!"


HarperCollins Nails Deal on 'Dad Was a Carpenter'
Alta Films & Press News Release 26Oct00 A2
By Alan Smithee, Jr.
Kenny Kemp's Self-Published Memoir Will Now Go National


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See also:
Dad Was a Carpenter
More about "Dad Was a Carpenter: Blueprints for a Meaningful Life" at

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information