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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The world of book publishing and all of its adjunct business like book superstores, are an interesting yet hidden mystery. Read morePublished on Nov. 18 2003 by A. Reza Ruyan
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... Read morePublished on May 25 2003 by Charles S. Houser
Jason Epstein has worked with many of the best writers of the twentieth century. He has helped revolutionize the American book market by introducing the quality trade paperback,... Read morePublished on Nov. 6 2002 by AppleBrownBetty
In book publishing since 1950, Jason Epstein knows firsthand the problems the industry has faced over the years and how recent technological advances are about to bring a... Read morePublished on April 17 2002 by A reader
Jason Epstein started in publishing fresh out of college at a time when the concept of Quality Paperback was still revolutionary. Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2002 by Maarten van Emden
Similar in some ways to Diana Athill's "Stet" (in which Jason Epstein figures)lamenting the loss of good literature and little bookstores and gentlepersonly ways of doing... Read morePublished on Dec 26 2001 by D. P. Birkett
This book is by Jason Epstein who also did a series of lectures on this topic (this is from the introduction). Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2001 by Jeffrey Leeper
Like the hedgehog of legend, Jason Epstein in this book has one big idea: The Internet, he says, changes everything! Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2001 by Stuart W. Mirsky
Unfortunately it isn't a book that'll help us understand how to set up and run a business sucessfully. Read morePublished on June 26 2001 by "freddybilyk"