Kimberly Burns worked at several San Francisco bookstores, including a stint running the author events series at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, before moving to Los Angeles to work at Alfred A. Knopf’s West Coast publicity office. At Knopf she was charged with arranging media for authors on book tour to the West Coast, which she did with aplomb. The books she handled for Knopf include Evening by Susan Minot, For the Relief of Unbearable Urges by Nathan Englander, and Birds of America by Lorrie Moore. She also worked with James Ellroy, Germaine Greer, Amy Bloom, Bret Easton Ellis, and Joan Didion, amongst many others.
In 1999 Kimberly moved to New York to work as Publicity Manager at Random House. The publicity campaigns she led at Random House, and with which she is ridiculously proud to be associated, include those for White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, and Austerlitz by WG Sebald. After a few years at Random House, she returned to the Knopf group as Associate Publicity Director at Pantheon Books, where she worked on Geoff Dyer’s genius collection of essays, Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It, and Julia Glass’s National Book Award winning novel Three Junes.
In 2003 former publisher of Random House Ann Godoff started The Penguin Press and invited Kimberly and Scott Moyers, a highly esteemed senior editor, to launch the new imprint. The first list included Steve Coll’s Pulitzer Prize winning Ghost Wars, Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, all of which were national bestsellers.
After the initial launch of The Penguin Press Kimberly found a shingle and hung it up outside her Manhattan apartment. As an independent literary publicist she has led campaigns for The New Yorker Festival, the PEN World Voices Festival, Salman Rushdie, Ann Beattie, A.M. Homes, Natalie Merchant, Molly Ringwald, Jon Ronson, Marisa Silver, and Bernard Cooper’s Lambda award winning memoir The Bill from My Father. To name just a few. She is proud to serve on the board of directors of the Happy Ending Music & Reading Series and the Housing Works Bookstore Café, and as a consultant for Creative Capital’s Literary Grantees.