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Judith Appelbaum, Champion of Books and Their Authors, Dies at 78

Thursday, July 26, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brian O'Leary

Judith Appelbaum, whose book How to Get Happily Published helped authors do just that, died at her home in Bedford, NY on July 25, 2018. The book, originally published in 1998, went through five editions, sold well over 500,000 copies and was the genesis of her firm, Sensible Solutions, which she ran with her partner, Florence Janovic, and continued to lead after Janovic’s retirement.

 The target marketing they used for writers and publishers brought books to readers in innovative, direct, and commonsensical ways years before today’s everything-on-the-web world. “Publishers often complained that we were giving material   away," says Janovic. “It was not yet recognized that exposure online could sell sell sell. Even books.”

Judith, who won the Publishers Marketing Association (now the Independent Book Publishers Association) Lifetime Achievement Award  and the Book Industry Study Group Lifetime Service Award, wrote the New and Noteworthy column for the New York Times Book Review, was managing editor of Publishers Weekly, and served on the faculty of the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver. 

She served as an officer and on the Board of the Book Industry Study Group, chaired its Marketing Committee and co-chaired its Rights Committee. She was the editor of the IBPA Independent, managing editor of Publishers Weekly and an editor of Harper’s magazine and Harper’s Weekly.   Born and raised in New York, she was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar.

Her connection to the publishing world began immediately after her graduation from college at Harper’s magazine. Her commitment to the world of books included membership in the Authors Guild, PEN, Poets and Writers, and the Women’s Media Group. 

“Going to work every day with Judy meant you would be challenged, provoked and supported. There was never a petty, gossipy or cruel word. Her calm, clear-eyed vision of the world was nothing short of inspiring” said Florence.

Contact: Alan Appelbaum. 914-241-1746,


232 Madison Avenue, Suite 1400
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 646-336-7141 |