Harper Wave Books: Unexpected Perspectives on Mind, Body, and Soul

Meet the Team: Harper Wave

Who We Are

Harper Wave publishes a broad-based nonfiction list across categories including health & wellness, lifestyle, inspirational, and literary works from leading writers, journalists, doctors, scientists, innovators, and practitioners in their fields. From digital partnerships to brand extension, content integration to innovative marketing partnerships, Harper Wave seeks to expand the outlets available to traditional book publishing and cultivate a community of experts who engage in the greater dialogue about living well today.

Karen Rinaldi SVP/Publisher

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Karen previously led two publishing companies to success. She joined Bloomsbury USA at its inception in 1999 and quickly grew it to five divisions publishing more than 300 titles per year. She published many bestselling authors there—including Anthony Bourdain, Ben Schott, Susanna Clark, Chelsea Handler, Alan Hollinghurst, Shannon Hale, and others—and served on the Bloomsbury PLC Group Operating Board from 2004 to 2008. From 2008 to 2011 Karen was publisher and general manager of Rodale Books and also served on the Rodale Executive Management Committee. She came to HarperCollins in 2012 to create Harper Wave.

Julie Will VP/Editorial Director

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Julie began her career at Random House in 2002, working at Harmony and Bantam Dell. In 2007 she moved to Rodale to develop branded books and acquire for the trade list, editing such bestsellers as David Kessler’s The End of Overeating. She then left books briefly to collaborate with with influencers in food and wellness as executive talent producer, healthy living at Opensky.com. In 2012 she joined Karen Rinaldi to launch Harper Wave, where she has published Steven Gundry, Dave Asprey, Cameron Diaz, Jessica Bennett, and Celeste Headlee, among others. Julie’s editorial focus is on wellness, food, lifestyle, psychology, self-improvement, and issue-driven narrative. She is drawn to voices with strong points of view and is particularly interested in books that explore ideas related to women’s mental, physical, and reproductive health.

Yelena Gitlin Nesbit Senior Director, Publicity

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Yelena has worked in book publishing for over 20 years, beginning her career at Viking Penguin in 2000. Yelena spent eight years at Bloomsbury, where she worked with New York Times bestselling authors such as Chelsea Handler, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Roz Chast. In 2008 she joined Rodale Books and created successful campaigns for such New York Times bestselling authors as Vice President Al Gore, Alicia Silverstone, Former FDA Commissioner Dr. David A. Kessler, among others. At Harper Wave, Yelena works with the imprint's senior leadership team to help shape the list and develop publishing strategy. Her campaigns at Harper Wave include cookbooks by Carla Hall (Carla Hall's Soul Food) and The Pollans (New York Times bestselling Mostly Plants); issue-oriented narrative nonfiction by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy (New York Times bestselling Together) and award-winning journalist Angela Garbes (Like a Mother); and wellness titles from country legend Tim McGraw (New York Times bestselling Grit & Grace) and HBFIT founder Hannah Bronfman (Do What Feels Good), among others.

Penny Makras Associate Director, Marketing

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Penny began her career working with fiction, in publicity at St. Martin's Press. She then moved to the business, health, and self-help domains at AMACOM Books. In 2009 she became a marketing manager at Wiley, where she further honed a focus on business, food, and lifestyle and worked with a catalog of digital products. She brought her specialist experience in nonfiction marketing to Harper Wave in 2014.

Emma Kupor Editorial Assistant

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Emma began her publishing career at Agate, an independent publisher in Chicago. She fled the Windy City for slightly milder climates in 2019 to work with Julie Will at Harper Wave. Emma studied political science at Northwestern University with a focus on gender studies and ethical civic engagement. Her editorial interests include narrative nonfiction and memoir with a feminist bent, and she is particularly drawn to explorations of gender and sexuality.

Sophia Lauriello Associate Publicist

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Sophia is fulfilling a lifelong dream of living in the library from Beauty and the Beast as the publicity assistant for Harper Wave. She comes to the team from the internship program at W. W. Norton & Company. Previously she was a graduate student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Her interests include food, popular psychology, and women's issues.

Kirby Sandmeyer Assistant Editor

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After graduating from Hofstra University with a degree in Publishing Studies and Literature and a minor in Women's Studies, Kirby began her publishing career at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where she edited professional publications for K-12 educators. Kirby comes to HarperCollins with a love of nonfiction titles, author collaboration, and the process of transforming ideas into books. She is particularly drawn to narrative and prescriptive nonfiction titles that focus on issues of gender, race, and the environment.

Laura Cole Marketing Coordinator

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After graduating from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in English and Professional Writing, Laura followed her lifelong love of books to New York City instead of returning to her native Colorado. She joined Harper Wave as an intern in 2018—and stayed! She loves the way the written word can connect, transport, and inspire readers and is particularly interested in health and fitness, women's issues, and travel.