Book Business

Book BusinessBook Business: Publishing Past, Present, and Future by Jason Epstein. Published by W. W. Norton & Company, 2002. 204 pages.

Jason Epstein, the first recipient of the National Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, brings honor to that recognition with this insightful narrative of the book business. With a warm and inviting pen, Epstein leads the reader into a narrow field and provides a broad tour of its landscape. With obvious pride and love of book publishing, he guides the reader through the market’s evolution: from cottage industry to international conglomerates, from local bookstores to superstores and Internet resellers.

Epstein crafts a book with great personal sentiment while avoiding the trap of sappy nostalgia. Calling on his vast experience gathered from a lifetime in the industry, he draws reasonable conclusions in identifying the forces propelling the book business and in predicting its direction in the coming years.

Jason Epstein began his illustrious career with Doubleday before joining Random House in 1958. Beyond his association with those two renowned publishing houses, Epstein distinguished his career with notable achievements including founding Anchor Books, creating the Library of America, co-founding The New York Review of Books and creating The Reader’s Catalog.

– Joe Agner