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After Adams's death, series production was overseen by Nancy Axelrad (who also wrote several volumes).The rights to the character were sold in 1984, along with the Stratemeyer Syndicate itself, to Simon & Schuster.Nancy Drew is featured in five films, two television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold around the world.A cultural icon, Nancy Drew is cited as a formative influence by a number of women, from Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor Nancy Drew is a fictional amateur sleuth.She was a skilled driver who at sixteen 'flashed into the garage with a skill born of long practice.' The prodigy was a sure shot, an excellent swimmer, skillful oarsman, expert seamstress, gourmet cook, and a fine bridge player.Nancy brilliantly played tennis and golf, and rode like a cowboy.Nancy danced like Ginger Rogers and could administer first aid like the Mayo brothers.
In 1980, Harriet Adams switched publishers to Simon & Schuster, dissatisfied with the lack of creative control at Grosset & Dunlap and the lack of publicity for the Hardy Boys' 50th anniversary in 1977.
Exact sales figures are not available for the years prior to 1979, but an indication of the books' popularity can be seen in a letter that Laura Harris, a Grosset and Dunlap editor, wrote to the Syndicate in 1931: "can you let us have the manuscript as soon as possible, and no later than July 10?
There will only be three or four titles brought out then and the Nancy Drew is one of the most important." In 1934 Fortune magazine featured the Syndicate in a cover story and singled Nancy Drew out for particular attention: "Nancy is the greatest phenomenon among all the fifty-centers. How she crashed a Valhalla that had been rigidly restricted to the male of her species is a mystery even to her publishers." In accordance with the customs of Stratemeyer Syndicate series production, ghostwriters for the Syndicate signed contracts that have sometimes been interpreted as requiring authors to sign away all rights to authorship or future royalties.
While Stratemeyer believed that a woman's place was in the home, Stratemeyer initially pitched the new series to Hardy Boys publishers Grosset & Dunlap as the "Stella Strong Stories", adding that "they might also be called 'Diana Drew Stories', 'Diana Dare Stories', 'Nan Nelson Stories', 'Nan Drew Stories', or 'Helen Hale Stories'." Subsequent titles have been written by a number of different ghostwriters, all under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene.
The first four titles were published in 1930 and were an immediate success.
All royalties went to the Syndicate, and all correspondence with the publisher was handled through a Syndicate office.