June 15-30, 2005 Edition

Zondervan/William Morrow

To Publish Inspirational

Story of Ashley Smith

NEW YORK, & GRAND RAPIDS, Mich./06/15/2005—The Zondervan and William Morrow divisions of HarperCollins Publishers have acquired world rights to publish the inspirational story of Ashley Smith, the Atlanta woman taken hostage by suspected Atlanta courthouse killer Brian Nichols. Smith’s memoir, Unlikely Angel: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Hostage Hero, will reveal a courageous and candid look at her life, and make public new details of her amazing story. The book will be co-published this fall.

“This past March millions of people were captivated by the grace and courage Ashley exemplified as she convinced Brian Nichols to surrender peacefully after reading to him from The Purpose-Driven Life,” notes Scott Bolinder, Executive VP & Publisher, Zondervan. “We are honored to partner with William Morrow to bring Ashley’s remarkable story of faith, redemption and hope to the public.”

“William Morrow Executive Editor, Maureen O’Brien, saw the huge potential in Ashley Smith’s story as the news was breaking, and spoke with our colleagues at Zondervan to see how we might work together,” says William Morrow SVP & Publisher Lisa Gallagher. “By co-publishing, we can leverage our combined strengths in the Christian and general marketplace, and together bring Ashley’s remarkable story to as many readers as possible.”

Smith will establish a memorial fund to honor the victims of the Atlanta courthouse shootings and will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book to the fund.

“Over the last two months, I have given a lot of thought about whether or not to tell my story,” said Smith.

“I’m uncomfortable becoming the focus of this event, which left so many families in tragedy. But after prayerful consideration, I believe that God is calling me to use this opportunity to not only turn my own life around but also to inspire others to do that, too. I am pleased to be in a position to honor the victims by donating a portion of book sales to their memory.”

About Zondervan:

Zondervan is the leading Christian communications company in the world. Zondervan (a division of HarperCollins Publishers) produces Bibles, books, new media products, gift products, and children’s products from its Zonderkidz group. The world’s leading Bible publisher, Zondervan publishes the New International Version of the Bible with more than 215 million copies distributed worldwide. Visit

About William Morrow:

William Morrow is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins is one of the leading English-language publishers in the world and is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NWS, NWSLV). Headquartered in New York, the company has publishing groups in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australasia. Its publishing groups include the HarperCollins General Books Group, HarperCollins Children’s Books Group, Zondervan, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand and HarperCollins India. You can visit HarperCollins Publishers on the Internet at