The Flip Side

In a previous article, I compared the findings of two major studies – one national, the other international – that seemed to confirm that reading in the U.S. and other Western countries is in a dismal state. Time spent reading has declined precipitously, test scores have gone down, and many companies are reporting that writing […]


While in a downtown Manhattan Barnes & Noble bookstore one day, I noticed that an entire book case was devoted to poker. Pretty good for a game that was — until somewhat recently — thought of as the pastime of middle-aged men desperate for a couple of hours away from their wives, where they could […]

Logging On

Using Websites to Connect with a Platform of Millions Part 1 of 2 Working Harder It’s 1987 and your publishing house has just signed an emerging author with real potential. He has a unique message, a dynamic personality, and he understands the importance of building a sizable marketing platform. But what he doesn’t have is […]

The Lost Generation?

The day before the sixty-sixth anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pear Harbor, I came across the following tidbit in Cindy Adams’ gossip column in the New York Post: “The History Channel has nixed future WWII programming. They claim: Doesn’t fit our demographics. The History Channel!?” I was knocked for a loop by this. There […]

And the Winner IS . . .

“And the Winner Is…”–You (maybe) Those four words have become part of the American lexicon. Regardless of where you hear them, you immediately think of the Oscars, or the Emmys, or any game show you’ve ever watched. The sound of those four words creates an excitement that’s hard to beat. Whenever you hear, “And the […]

Current Events

The publication and sale of current events and political commentary books tend to spike during presidential election years. The new millenium saw a longer trend line for such books because of the disputed election of 2000, the terror attacks of 9/11, the run-up to the Iraq War, and the contentious election of 2004. The resulting […]

Adult Trade Publishing

Accounting for only a quarter of total book industry revenues, the adult trade segment has nonetheless been the measure of the industry’s health and future prospects. While observers agonize over annual growth rates and what is assumed to be a shrinking piece of the personal entertainment pie, it is easy to lose sight of the […]

El-Hi Publishing

Elementary & High School publishing is a black box. In the world of higher education, the formula is pretty simple: textbooks and other course materials are selected by college and university faculty. It’s not so easy for the nation’s primary and secondary schools. They must buy textbooks selected by shadowy state adoption committees. Because adoptions […]


Since the settlement of Virginia in the 17th century, cooking has been one of the most active and successful categories in book publishing (cookbooks, food, and wine). Initially, cookbooks were written by chefs for chefs. Later on, cookbooks were written for and used by wealthy women to read to their illiterate kitchen help. In the […]