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Book Business: Publishing Past, Present, and Future: Publishing, Past, Present and Future eBook Kindle


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Número de páginas: 208 páginas Dicas de vocabulário: Habilitado Configuração de fonte: Habilitado
Page Flip: Habilitado Idioma: Inglês

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As editor-publisher to some of the 20th-century's greatest writers (Edmund Wilson, Vladimir Nabokov, Jane Jacobs) as well as the virtual inventor of the trade paperback (meaning the "quality" type, as opposed to the drugstore mass-market), Jason Epstein is one of those rare publishing-world types who is as invested in the editorial creation of a good book as in its marketing and sales. It is that dual perspective that has guided his half-century-long publishing career and that makes this compact yet expansive professional memoir such a lively, illuminating read for anyone curious how current trade publishing--basically popular general-interest fiction and nonfiction--became obsessed with a narrow pool of quickie bestsellers to the neglect of the far greater mass of slow-burners (known in the biz as "midlist") or of the perennial sellers from years past ("backlist"). But, Epstein follows up with great enthusiasm, the time is not long before the book biz will morph into a new cyberversion of the quirky, intimate "cottage industry" that it was in its precorporate era.

It was in that era that Epstein came of age as a publisher, first at Doubleday in the 1950s, where he founded the successful Anchor Books, the first line of high-quality paperback reissues of classics. The four succeeding decades he spent at Random House, which in that time grew from a family-type shop into one of the largest and most profitable trade publishing houses in the U.S. (currently owned by the German media titan Bertelsmann). Epstein's chronicle of New York publishing jumps around nimbly in time--at one point, all the way back to the 19th century--but it is in recounting the heady, culturally efflorescent postwar years that he waxes most tender, regaling us with vignettes of Ralph Ellison, Mary McCarthy, John O'Hara, Frank O'Hara, W.H. Auden, Chester Kallman, and John Ashbery. Throughout, his entrepreneurial spirit in the service of good books is evident--first in the founding (along with, among others, his wife Barbara) of the still-extant New York Review of Books, then in the thorny 30-year process of publishing the classics imprint Library of America, and in the launching of The Reader's Catalog, a mail-order service from which customers could choose from what nearly every book on the planet in print--and which deservedly has been called the hard-copy precursor to the very site you're browsing right now.

Like The Business of Books, the recent memoir from former Pantheon Books head Andre Schiffrin (Epstein's longtime colleague within Random House), Epstein's book decries the extent to which superstores like Barnes & Noble have forced the high-stakes (and seldom fruitful) corporatization of book publishing. But Epstein prefers to look past the current situation to an imminent day when writers will sell directly to readers over the Internet, a format that will still demand the services of editors, publicists, and marketers but will cut out the costly middlemen of publishing companies, distributors, and superstores (though not small booksellers, he assures us, which nurture bonds among booklovers that even the Web can't sever). Yes, there's money to be made in trade books, Epstein asserts, but not necessarily overnight. And in this brisk, affable, and forward-looking volume, Epstein's own broad-ranging experience in the book biz seems to bear out his recurring theme: do it for love, not money, and the money (if not necessarily the millions) will eventually follow. --Timothy Murphy

Descrição do produto

"An irresistible book about Grub Street, authorship and the literary marketplace."—Washington Post Book World 

Jason Epstein has led arguably the most creative career in book publishing during the past half-century. He founded Anchor Books and launched the quality paperback revolution, cofounded the New York Review of Books, and created of the Library of America, the prestigious publisher of American classics, and The Reader's Catalog, the precursor of online bookselling. In this short book he discusses the severe crisis facing the book business today—a crisis that affects writers and readers as well as publishers—and looks ahead to the radically transformed industry that will revolutionize the idea of the book as profoundly as the introduction of movable type did five centuries ago.

Detalhes do produto

  • Formato: eBook Kindle
  • Tamanho do arquivo: 582 KB
  • Número de páginas: 208 páginas
  • Editora: W. W. Norton & Company; Edição: Reprint (7 de fevereiro de 2011)
  • Vendido por: Amazon Servicos de Varejo do Brasil Ltda
  • Idioma: Inglês
  • ASIN: B00CRVY86C
  • Leitura de texto: Habilitado
  • X-Ray:
  • Dicas de vocabulário: Habilitado
  • Leitor de tela: Compatível
  • Configuração de fonte: Habilitado
  • Avaliação média: Seja o primeiro a avaliar este item
  • Lista de mais vendidos da Amazon: #602,744 entre os mais vendidos na Loja Kindle (Conheça os 100 mais vendidos na Loja Kindle)

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Avaliações mais úteis de consumidores na Amazon.com (beta) (Pode incluir avaliações do Programa de Recompensas para Primeiros Avaliadores)

Amazon.com: 3.9 de 5 estrelas 29 avaliações
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 5 de 5 pessoa(s):
2.0 de 5 estrelas Decent memoir of a by-gone era, poor analysis of a paradigm shift 7 de abril de 2008
Por Greg Beesch - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa comum Compra verificada
Given that this was the compilation of 3 lectures given in 1999, that the Afterwards was from an article in 2001 and that the `Preface to the Paperback Edition' was written in 2002 this book is interesting as a historical footnote to the impact of various communication and information storage technologies on the publishing industry. As far as analysis, there is very little of that, and what there is is more like an `executive summary' type commentary. Nothing really trenchant or substantive. As a memoir of Epstein's work history and a general history of trends and structure in the U.S. publishing industry it is fairly interesting though not in any way comprehensive.

Why two stars? There were a couple of problems I could not get around. Epstein wants his book and to edit it too. He is neither a business analyst nor an academic, and it shows. Though he repeatedly cites the numerous structural and business process inefficiencies of the publishing industry he defends the necessity and role of the editor, that is to say, by turns he criticizes writers, agents, publicists, retailers, corporate owners of publishing houses, and readers (consumer trends) but he reiterates the necessity of professional editors and expresses the belief that book publishing does not well conform to conventional business models and practices.

Epstein displays a superficial understanding of basic business principles (his work with The Reader's Catalog and his commentary [...] as well as his consortium idea are just a laugh-riots, he should have taken some business courses at Columbia) and a lack of anything remotely approximating an academic, much less a high level business analysis of the industry, "Trade book publishing is by nature a cottage industry, decentralized, improvisational, personal; best performed by small groups of like minded people, devoted to their craft, jealous of their autonomy, sensitive to the needs of their writers and to the diverse interests of readers.", "During this time book publishing has deviated from its true nature by assuming, . . .the posture of a conventional business." First of all, his understanding of a cottage industry is flawed and romanticized. The penchants of a cottage industry are scarcity of resources, brutal efficiency, and filling a specific and exact need for a customer. Epstein admits to the inefficiency of the current methods that describe finding a manuscript (and writer) through editing/finishing a manuscript for publication but notes this as a necessary part of the process rather than one of the inherent flaws. If 80% of commercial fiction FAILS to make a profit isn't that as much of an indictment against the selection/editing process as a failure of distribution outlets??

Epstein completely dismisses the transformative aspects of communication technologies with respect to process and overemphasizes the impact on distribution methods. "It is highly improbable that from this clutter (literary web sites that offer publishing-on-demand) works of value will emerge. . . The filter that distinguishes value is a function of human nature, not of particular technologies." I think I can forgive this because at the time he was writing this, fan fiction, via message boards (most notable Harry Potter related) were just starting to emerge large scale and the peer review through specific social networking was probably way out of Epstein's realm of understanding. He fails to anticipate any sort author to reader selling through social networking. He does not mention blogging in any detail in the book. The power of various functionalities of advancing technology to narrow and in most cases eliminate the distinction between amateur and professional in the catagory of selecting/editing a book is nonexistent. **I would bet the if at the publication of this book Mr. Epstein had been given a one paragraph explanation of a free online dictionary edited by anyone (Wikipedia) he would have scoffed. In the same vein if you suggested to him now that groups of non-professional reviewers could edit a novel he would also scoff**

Here is the capper, "For readers who are accustomed to an orderly literary marketplace the much less disciplined digital future may seem as threatening as widespread literacy seemed to the priests of the 15th century." Ohhhhh Mr Epstein, if only you had gone to just a few business classes. The consumer of today is NOT frightened of expanded choice and they willing embrace anything that expands their choices, and they reward producers and companies who make it easy for them to choose among hundreds of choices [...].

Other than a memoir, a broad overview of the book industry, and a example of professional bias this book misses as any sort of substantive analysis of transformation in the publishing industry.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 4 de 4 pessoa(s):
4.0 de 5 estrelas A semi-optimistic perspective from a veteran bookmaker 25 de maio de 2003
Por Charles S. Houser - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa comum Compra verificada
Publishing is a notoriously conservative, unprofitable, non-linear line of business. The most fascinating parts of Epstein's book are his accounts of how he did something a little differently ("thought outside the box," to use a current cliche) and helped create something truly innovative and worthwhile--like quality paperbacks (Anchor Books) and the Library of America (uniform editions of carefully edited American classics on acid-free paper). While this book is essentially an extended essay on where publishing is going (as publishing houses become lesser components in larger media companies, and author advances for the turner-outers of blockbuster titles sap publishers of their resources and makes them unwilling to take risks on more significant literary voices), there are some interesting portraits of key figures from publishing's past, such as Horace Liveright, Bennett Cerf, and Donald Klopfer.
His key thesis, that the future of publishing lay in being able to obtain printed books on demand from ATM-like kiosks, is both hopeful and scary. It means that there will be no need for any title to ever go out of print, no matter how limited its audience. (Hopeful.) But will books produced in this manner be as satisfying to read, hold, and collect as any single title in the Library of America? (Scary.)
5.0 de 5 estrelas Look into the past to understand today, the future 15 de março de 2009
Por Richard - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa comum Compra verificada
Jason Epstein paints a picture of the transition of the book publishing and selling trade as it transitioned from independent book sellers and publishers to today's fully-optimized book trade. He also discusses the imminent eBooks revolution (from the early 2000 perspective) and sheds light on the reasons why Amazon was successful.

A quick, enjoyable read, and definitely one worth reading if you want to understand the recent history of the book business from the insider perspective.
Esta avaliação foi considerada útil por 2 de 2 pessoa(s):
4.0 de 5 estrelas Not comprehensive, but wise 15 de março de 2001
Por Debbie Lee Wesselmann - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa dura Compra verificada
People looking for a comprehensive history and analysis of the publishing industry should look elsewhere; however, those intrigued by glimpses inside will enjoy BOOK BUSINESS. Epstein's strength and weakness here are one: this is a personal book. He ruminates on his experience as an editor and how it reflects the business as a whole. The anecdotes he collects are filtered through his impassioned eye, and his predictions are heavily based on what he has seen and known, not on the advice of other experts.
The book's relatively loose structure is reminiscent of an intimate conversation. Is this bad? It depends on what you want. I found it refreshing and enjoyable, especially given the book's brevity. BOOK BUSINESS is a warm appraisal of a business close to the author's heart, and you won't find a more loving tribute to the art of book publishing.
5.0 de 5 estrelas Fast ship and great condition and price 28 de setembro de 2016
Por CAT - Publicada na Amazon.com
Formato: Capa comum Compra verificada
Great history of book publishing.
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