Secrets of a Publishing Addict

I like to tell this story, having told it many times before. Sitting at home, I receive a call from a friend asking if I had seen that week's copy of , for which she then worked.

"No, I haven't. Why?"

"Well, there's an interesting article about this guy who started a local book review, like the one you and I thought about doing years ago."

And, lo and behold, so it was. Where I no more than dreamt, another made happen. Thus was the born. Fortunately, for me, its was also a fellow member. So when he entered the lobby doors, child and stroller in hand, I approached him.

"I saw the article about the New Haven Review of Books. I'd like to help."

"Oh, that's great," he replied. "Do you write?"

Do I write? That was a tough one, actually. "Sure, I write a little, but I'd rather be your publisher"—if you'll have me—I thought parenthetically. I had served as the publisher of a Jewish literary journal in graduate school and I wanted to return to that more distinctly literary scene after years in .

"Our publisher? You mean like sales and marketing and stuff like that…"

"Yes, stuff like that."

"Great! No one else wants to do that!"

Thus was a partnership born, and I was joined at the literary hip to an editorial collective of individuals wiser and more talented than myself—and with infinitely better connections, too.

But this was all fine by me. I like the business of publishing, from handling the filthy lucre to freaking out over missing a print deadline. True that in this endeavor I would have less occasion for the give and take of reading and responding to the lucubrations of the published and hoping-to-be-published. But would it be all too sickening to admit that I like fiddling with our circulation database, hounding subscribers for renewals, holding out my greasy palm for potential contributions, even filling out the occasional nasty legal form? Probably, but what can I say? I love it.

Publishing, for me, is in the blood—all aspects of it, from correcting misplaced commas to panhandling in the street for new readers.

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