whO we ARE
Herter Studio LLC was founded by Caroline Herter, past publishing director of Chronicle Books in San Francisco. As publishers of the best-selling Beatles Anthology, Worst-Case-Scenario Handbook, Griffin and Sabine, and Under the Tuscan Sun, Chronicle is known for the innovation and design quality of its list and for the effectiveness of its distribution into non-traditional market channels, publishing more than 200 books and gift and stationery products a year for both adults and children.
Herter joined Chronicle Books in 1991, and was instrumental in shaping the company’s rapid growth and increasingly innovative profile during her seven-year tenure – a period in which the house published numerous new authors and creators, including: David Carson, Jay Otto Siebold, Margo Chase, Lynn Gordon, William Wegman, Joel Sternfeld, Sally Gall, Andrea Modica, Ruth Bernhard, Howard Finster, Crown Point Press, Beatrice Wood, Allen Ginsburg, James Hillman, David Hockney, Lois Greenfield, Frans Lanting, William Claxton, Steve Heller, Louise Fili, Jeffrey Fisher, Abbott Miller, and David Byrne as well as licensors such as Lucas Films, D.C. Comics, Harley-Davidson, Universal, Hasbro, Gerber, Aeroblue, Doodlezoo, Muffy, the ASPCA and numerous museums including the Smithsonian, LACMA, SFMOMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Exploratorium, the International Center of Photography, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for whom the press has developed unusual high-end projects and/or multi-format programs.
In addition to setting and overseeing the strategic direction of the publishing program as a whole, Herter personally acquired many of Chronicle’s best-selling books and in 1994, founded the company’s gift division, which has become a market leader in both the book and gift and stationery industries. She also launched the company’s custom publishing program, which creates proprietary book and gift and stationery product for corporate clients and retailers.
Prior to her work at Chronicle Books, Herter was vice-president, director of illustrated book publishing at Simon & Schuster, where she managed a department devoted to the acquisition and publication of more than sixty visual books a year, including the New York Times bestseller, Rolling Stone: The Photographs. At Simon & Schuster, she also held positions as marketing manager for hardcover books and associate publisher of the Linden Press.
As vice-president, director of national accounts for Scribners/Atheneum, and as a trade sales representative for Harper Collins, Herter sold books to Barnes & Noble, Walden, national wholesalers, and independent book retailers. She began her career in 1976 as one of the original staff members (and later, buyers) at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Colorado, and was part of the first graduating class of the University of Denver Publishing Institute, where she also worked as coordinator.
Herter lectures widely at professional photographic and publishing conferences and as an academic director of the Stanford Professional Publishing Course. Most recently, she led two “non-industry” panels for publishing executives on consumer trends and innovative branding strategies.
Throughout her career, Herter has successfully advocated for non-profit publishing ventures to benefit breast cancer, aids, homelessness, volunteerism, and substance abuse. She was on the founding board of Girlsource, a San Francisco non-profit that provides paid media-based opportunities to low-income young women between the ages of 14-18. The young women's first book project, It’s About Time! A Book By and For Young Women About Our Relationships, Rights, Futures, Bodies, Minds, and Souls, was self-published to excellent reviews in Fall 2000. An accompanying website, www.girlsource.org, launched in September 2001.
With more than twenty-five years in the business, Herter brings unusually broad-based publishing experience, a first-rate industry reputation, high-level cross-media contacts, an imaginative and strategically oriented mind, good taste, marketing savvy, and an abiding respect for the bottom line to the work she does at Herter Studio, where she functions essentially as a “publisher-at-large” for publishing and non-publishing clients alike.
Debbie studied art history at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago, but she never finished her master’s thesis. Instead, she got a job answering phones at Pace Gallery in New York, where she quickly rose to the position of researcher and assistant to the director. In 1994, on a weekend trip to California, she realized that she was wasting her life in suburban New Jersey, and promptly moved to San Francisco. From 1994 to 1999 she worked at Fraenkel Gallery, the finest fine art photography gallery in town. She joined Herter Studio in 1999 as an associate editor, taught herself Quark, and began designing books.
The studio works with a team of high-level licensing, entertainment, and branding contacts to help shape strategy and co-represent the project/program in specialized areas . Included in this group are the former principal of one of the most innovative branding agencies in New York, the former creative director of licensing at Paramount, the former director of licensing at Lucas Films, Ltd., the former head of communities at Excite, and the former head of technology at Credit Suisse/First Boston --- all of whom now operate independently and are part of the core network of the studio.