Twelve, Betting on a Dozen Books Each Year

Publishers in the U.S. released more than 291,000 separate titles in 2006. But one imprint that got its start just last year has already had a string of hits with a philosophy of "less is more."

"Nobody has any idea what's going to hit. I think that publishing is basically a corporate form of legalized gambling," says Jonathan Karp, publisher and editor in chief of Twelve, which only releases one book a month — 12 each year.

Karp had already ushered a string of books onto best-seller lists before starting Twelve; he began his career in 1989 as an editorial assistant at Random House and worked his way up to editor in chief. Among the hit books he worked on were Seabiscuit and The Orchid Thief

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