Hodder & Stoughton publicity director Karen Geary will be retiring at the end of this year, after more than two decades with the publisher.
Following early positions at Hamish Hamilton and Michael Joseph, she moved to Hodder in 1995, where she was the driving force behind many of the publisher’s biggest bestsellers in recent years, including books by Alex Ferguson. She has also been the long-term publicist for authors including John le Carré, Melvyn Bragg, Sophie Hannah and Michael Caine.
As the head of the publicity department until 2016, when she went part-time, Geary hired, trained and mentored a long line of Hodder publicists past and present.
Eleni Lawrence, communications director at Hodder, said: “Karen is a true legend of the publishing industry and has created countless bestsellers with unparalleled ambition and flair. As well as the big ‘event’ books, she also has an incredible knack of transforming the fortunes of less obvious titles, and turning them into unexpected hits. Her ability to sniff out every possible angle is second to none, and in the days when almost every communication seems to happen on email, she never stopped picking up the phone and pitching to journalists with the kind of passion and tenacity that is impossible to turn down. The collaboration and creativity displayed by the Hodder publicity team on a daily basis is a testament to all that Karen put in place, and we will miss her enormously.”
Jamie Hodder-Williams, chief executive officer of Hodder & Stoughton, said: “Karen set the standard for passionate, ambitious publicity campaigns – I can’t imagine how many number ones she has had but more important is the way she created the successes and shared her ambition and vision for a book with all her colleagues. Karen worked with the biggest names in the industry but also loved to champion a new writer, and many of her authors have built long-term careers from the starts she gave them.”
Geary said: “Hodder has been a wonderful, fulfilling experience. Over the (many!) years I’ve been lucky enough to work on an extraordinary range of books and with authors who have always made the job rewarding, sometimes challenging, but never dull. I’ve also been lucky to work with what I believe to be is the best publicity team in the business – hard-working, endlessly creative, always supportive of each other and huge fun to be around. I will miss all of it but look forward to staying in touch and reading many more Hodder books – now with the luxury of time.”