I Never Had a Best-seller: The Story of a Small Publisher
Twayne Publishers, Inc., was not a prototypical publishing house. A meager capital base, a "first" book intended for instant success that was perennially postponed and not to appear for ten years, a quality poetry program destined to chew up any profits, and a publisher with editorial but no business experience - and little exposure to the publishing industry. Was there ever a greater prescription for disaster?
How Twayne Publishers, Inc., survived its inauspicious beginnings in 1948 and established a well-respected imprint is the burden of the author's exciting account. Basic to the story of survival and success were the many editors and authors who helped the firm achieve its special niche in the world of books - John Ciardi, Thomas Hart Benton, Robert S. Elegant, Sylvia E. Bowman, who created the famous Twayne Authors Series, Harold U. Ribalow, to name a few.
Mr. Steinberg also tells of his many encounters with censorship both hidden and overt; his adventures in literary diplomacy behind the Iron Curtain; his brushes with disaster and creative conversion thereof - he calls it the creative conversion of tsurris - that enabled a bootstrap operation to attain more satisfactory solvent status.
Of general interest are his observations about author-publisher relations and his ideas for achieving recognition for new writers and artists.
Tom Beeler's Afterword carries the history of Twayne through mid-1991 and has something to say about the hostile environment for publishing created by giant corporations. He also explains why Twayne was purchased by ITT. It is now a Division of Macmillan.
For those who want an intimate and realistic account of what goes on behind the scenes in publishing, this book is highly recommended.
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I NEVER HAD A BEST-SELLER: The Story of a Small PublisherUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Bookish story of Twayne Publishers, Inc., and how the scholarly house stayed alive largely through sales to libraries and academics. Steinberg, Twayne's founder, sticks to business here: We get ... Read full review
The Early Years
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