Making Books

Making Books

The Business of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read
by Andre Schiffrin
Verso Books, 2000, 181 pp., $23

Book Business: Publishing Past Present and Future
by Jason EpsteinĀ 
Norton, 20001, 188 pp., $21.95

 

The book business has never occupied the American imagination the way the more glamorous entertainment industries have. But thanks in part to the publication of two memoirs by leading editor-publishers, publishing is getting another shot at describing that particular breach between the ideal and the possible in which all those who profit off ideas must operate.

Andre Schiffrin, former managing director of Pantheon Books and now publisher of the New Press, and Jason Epstein, founder of Anchor Books and longtime editor in chief of Random House, are successors to the golden age of...