HarperCollins Publishers and U.S. Postal Service Announce Joint Publishing Venture

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HarperCollins Publishers, New York, and the U.S. Postal Service said they will publish new and updated editions of the U.S. Postal Service Commemorative Stamp Yearbook and The Postal Service Guide To U.S. Stamps in October this year.

For more than 20 years, these books -- the only philatelic guides officially endorsed by the U.S. Postal Service -- were published inhouse by the USPS. Previously, they were available only through the U.S. Postal Service catalogs, Web site and post offices. With the help of HarperCollins, they now will be available in bookstores as well.

As part of the program, HarperCollins also will publish An American Postal Portrait in October. This illustrated history of the U.S. Postal Service will be divided into six sections representing important historical eras and will offer a perspective on America's cultural and political history since the mid-19th century.

All of these books will look similar to the way they have looked for years -- they just will be more widely available.

"As the overseer of our country's stamp program, the U.S. Postal Service is committed to increasing the availability of and access to many current and upcoming philatelic books produced for the enjoyment and education of all Americans," said James Tolbert, executive director of stamp services at the USPS. "In addition, the program will be expanded over the next several years to include a series of children's titles and other books for serious and casual philatelists."

Jane Friedman, president/CEO of HarperCollins, added: "We are thrilled to be working with the [USPS] to introduce this information to a broader audience through a creative, imaginative and exciting publishing program."

Dom Smeraldi, a spokesman for the USPS, said that while the agency currently has no plans to launch direct mail programs to consumers or bookstores to promote these books, "overall we may be doing some direct mail in the future."

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