G2 25th ANNIVERSARY POSTERS
A LIFE IN PUBLISHING
Geoffrey Giuliano began his publishing career in the autumn of 1984 with Methuen Carswell Ltd. in Toronto. His first editor, Tanya Long, took a cold call from the then unemployed father of two pitching an illustrated book on the Beatles. Long told him to hold on, and a few minutes later the firm’s managing director, William Hushion (later of Hushion House) came on the line and invited Geoffrey to their offices for a chat. He arrived an hour later with a huge suitcase filled with only some of his super rare collection of Beatles memorabilia Within another hour Giuliano had a firm offer for the international publication of his first book, ‘The Beatles / A Celebration’ for the then very respectable advance of $20,000. Geoffrey was sitting on top of a three country deal with the book published by Methuen in Canada, St. Martin’s Press in New York (under the canny eye of big time rock book impresario, Jim Fitzgerald) and Sidgewick & Jackson of London (led then by a young American publishing executive, Nigel Newton – later to go on to found Bloomsbury Publishing and personally publishing the Harry Potter series). Giuliano recalls the inception of his first book. “At the time I was serially unemployed in Canada on an expired work visa and fairly desperate. My first two kids, Sesa and Devin were very small and my wife Brenda and I were struggling to get by. I remember neighbors bringing groceries to the door; all very stressful and embarrassing. Anyway, one afternoon in complete desperation I looked in the Yellow Pages under ‘P’ for ’publisher’ and came across Methuen. I called them up and by early evening I had a three country deal. I remember a good friend, Thom Jack, asking if I was going to take the money and run or try and do the book. I thought a minute and told him that I was going to try and actually write the thing. The truth is I had absolutely no idea how to write a book but soldiered on, sometimes writing only a few words a day. Eventually, however, it all came together – was published, and the next thing I knew I woke up twenty something books later in a very large Victorian house in the country.”
To mark the publication of the work (designed by Brant Cowie - overseen by Steve Ebby) Geoffrey undertook an international book tour touching down first in New York and London as well as a long anticipated pilgrimage to Liverpool. Promoting the tour in the US was the Betsy Nolan Group with a young publicist, Donald Lehr overseeing the twelve city publicity blitz. Lehr would later become Giuliano’s literary agent, manager and confidant for the next decade.
‘Celebration’ quickly became a resounding hit (the Beatles themselves held the book in high esteem) denting best seller lists on both sides of the Atlantic propelling Geoffrey to an eventful, and at times, controversial career seeing the actor-turned-author publishing a phenomenal twenty four books over the next twenty five years.
A quarter century on Geoffrey and his two daughters, Avalon and Sesa founded Icon Editions to update, redesign and republish the extensive Giuliano backlist as well as market a handful of new books, innovative celebrity based audio/interview books and documentaries the driven author has produced over the ensuing years.
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