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Obscure in the Shade of Giants
Obscure in the Shade of Giants

Obscure in the Shade of Giants


520 Pages, 6.5 x 9.5

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $25.95 (US $25.95) (CA $35.00)

Publication Date: January 2010

ISBN 9780930773618

Rights: WOR

Black Heron Press (Jan 2010)

Available from local and national retailers throughout the US.


Obscure in the Shade of the Giants follows the path of a hypothetical book, through interviews, from its author to its availability to readers. In this, Volume II of Publishing Lives, writers, publishers, distributors and booksellers talk about their or profession and what keeps them at it. Among the issues raised are author-publisher relations, the advantages and disadvantages of running a nonprofit press, the impact of superstores and dot.coms on the industry, the balance ( or lack of it) between commerce and art, and the varieties of distribution.


"Readers dismayed at the increasing corporatization of the publishing world, lamented by Andr‚ Schiffrin in The Business of Books (LJ 8/00) and Jason Epstein in Book Business (Norton, 2001), will be somewhat heartened by this collection of interviews with 35 figures involved with independent presses. Gold (Publishing Lives) has interviewed 26 publishers, three book distributors, a sales representative, a wholesaler, two bookstore owners, a novelist, and a poet, granting them free rein to discuss visions as varied as his subjects themselves. Barney Rosset, who ran Grove Press, relates his legal battles against the censors to publish Henry Miller; Milkweed Editions' Emilie Buchwald complains of the distributors who are "taking the money that should go to authors and publishing companies"; C.W. Truesdale, of nonprofit New Rivers Press, and Pearl Kilbride, of for-profit Ruminator Books, weigh the pros and cons of seeking outside funding; while Consortium Book Sales' Randall Beek bemoans the decreasing shelf lives of books in chain stores. What emerges through the gloom is their deep commitment a commitment Schiffrin and Epstein would instantly recognize. A worthy follow-up to Volume 1: Interviews With Independent Book Publisher in the Pacific Northwest; recommended for academic, literary, and large business libraries." — Richard Koss, Library Journal

"These are people with a passion for books, reading and literature. They know full well what they're up against but have an upbeat spirit. They're cultured and literate the way the marketing slugs at the conglomerates can never understand." — ZYX

Author Biography

Jerome Gold is the author of thirteen books, including the fiction collection, The Moral Life of Soldiers, and Paranoia & Heartbreak, a memoir of the years he spent as a rehabilitation counselor in a prison for children. He lives in Seattle, Washington.