Monthly Archives: May 2024


Not an easy task, especially when it’s one about classical music. Even if it contains stories drawn from face-to-face meetings with over twenty world class musical figures. I had high hopes submitting the manuscript to several major publishers and agents. Some were very admiring, but none said yes. All said the economics were unfavorable. What to do? The title I had chosen for the book is “Intimate Conversations: Face to Face with Matchless Musicians.” Who ever heard of a person with no musical training writing a book about music? I did have a passion for music, classical especially, had attended hundreds of concerts, and read extensively about the lives of its artists here and departed.

I never lost faith that the book had appeal, both academically and to the public at large. Having time on my hands, I decided to privately publish the book to friends, family, and those many folks, including its subjects, in an edition that would be produced at a level concordant with its text, to include many illustrations, a complete index, informative front matter, and front and back covers which would draw attention. Over many months and at considerable personal expense, this was done. If the reaction of those to whom I sent it is any indication of its ultimate reception, happy will I be! In short, the book is fait accompli. If any publisher accepted the book, it would be exactly the privately published edition, with only minor changes.

Then I was introduced to the relatively new world of hybrid publishing. What is that? t sounds like something done at an arboretum. In the book world it means that the author and publisher combine to produce the book, each sharing in the expense, each sharing in decisions, the author mainly contributing his writing skills, the publisher sharing knowledge of production and marketing required to get the book out to the world. With no agent required, communication is direct, royalties far higher than in the trade publishing world. Sure, both are taking a chance, but each brings their passion for the book to bear. I went in the hybrid direction, thought I had the right one, but they soon proved they were more interested in a sure profit than taking a chance.

Then serendipity came along when a major musician I had met along the way who had read and loved my book advocated on my behalf to a “family” oriented publisher, if you will, who loved it too! I was introduced to my “go to,” with whom I quickly formed a simpatico relationship on both a professional and personal level by a very long LD conversation, and a long e-mail exchange. Soon a contract was signed, now work has commenced, and publication is set for Spring, 2024. How refreshing to work with folks for whom money is only one consideration, not the ONLY consideration. Essentially my reason for writing books is to have them read now and, in the future, believing I have something t say.

Let us not forget my friend Jordan Rich who has recently published his own memoir. He did it on the basis of Amazon’s books on demand plan. So as you listen you will hear about that popular approach. I will tell of my experiences starting with vanity publishing, publishing with a major academic publisher, the University of Nebraska Press, then to hybrid publishing. In fact, we range over many facets of publishing, starting with Jordan telling why it’s like bringing a child into the world, and the connections one makes with people who have read your book. I will tell you about how I became the hero of a young recently immigrated woman whom to this day I’ve never met, who found my book “American Jews and America’s Game” in the NYPL, and used it to learn English and about America.

The most amazing part is how I came to know about it. For that you have to listen to this podcast, which I ended by calling myself a “podcastee,” a word apparently not known in the English language.

People, always People.