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A Publisher’s Missing Link

In early 2009, our bookstores received cryptic and tantalizing notices from publisher, Little, Brown, about a bomb that was about to be dropped on the book world.The greatest event in modern publishing. Our lives will never be the same. These grandiose statements were irresistible to the public and no one could figure out what was coming. Was it a new Oprah’s Book Club book? A tell all by a President? Maybe J.D. Salinger had finally decided to publish again? The possibilities were endless and even non bookworms were intrigued.

Little, Brown (now, Hachette), sent boxes to stores in May with strict instructions that no one was to open, touch, or breathe on them until the big reveal. Customers were coming in and asking for a copy to be held, without even knowing what it was about. I remember us keeping the boxes in the farthest corner of our receiving room and hovering around them and making bets.

Had someone found Jimmy Hoffa? Nazi gold?

Then the big day came. The nonfiction book was…The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor by Colin Tudge.

by Colin Tudge.

Wow. This looks…exciting.

by Colin Tudge.

It was about a newly discovered missing link in evolution named, Ida, an Eocene primate skeleton who no one outside of a museum gave a crap about. She had been purchased and studied for three years under Agent Orange secrecy by paleontologist, Jorn Huron, and if you want to know how super awesome Huron and his team are, and how a study of this skeleton went down, then you are in for a treat.

The publisher was given grief about the ridiculous hoopla and The Link was ripped apart by scientists.

Nicolina Torres
Nicolina Torres

Nikki worked for Barnes & Noble for 15 years, in seven stores. She is the author of This Red Fire, Young Nation, and Girls Who Wear Glasses. She prefers to live in the country and is a new aunt to a potential bookworm.

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