With all the recent publicity surrounding “To Kill a Mockingbird,” as a publisher I couldn’t help thinking– narrowly, for sure, but I couldn’t help thinking– now there’s a pretty fair backlist title. At Barricade, we have several titles that are year-in, year-out sellers, largely in the True Crime genre, such as “Confessions of a Second Story Man,” “Gangster City,” “Jews of Sing Sing” (yes, there were many), “The Mafia and the Machine,” and “Milwaukee Mafia,” among others.
A key figure in one of the True Crime books actually came to my apartment building. Although he was portrayed accurately, he took offense at his depiction. He was apparently impressed with the building lobby and commented, “Carole Stuart lives large.” Large enough, in his view, for him to sue me. I was a little sorry the building committee did such a good job in decorating the place.
One of our solid backlist titles is “ The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents,” originated by William A DeGregorio. We publish a new edition after every presidential election. I can’t wait to read the section that summarizes the 2016 election, which certainly resembles a Marx Brothers movie.
We have recently published as a trade paperback, “Mojave Incident,” about a couple who went camping out west and said they were abducted by aliens. The author, Ron Felber, has written a number of books for us, “Il Dottore,” a non-fiction title, and a fiction series, “A Man of Indeterminate Value,” “The Kafka Society,” and recently, “Dark Angel.”
Years ago, Lyle Stuart, Inc. had best selling books about flying saucers written by Frank Edwards, a delightful author whose “Flying Saucers, Serious Business,” and “Flying Saucers, Here and Now,” were New York Times best sellers.
Frank was a great promoter and Lyle loved to have fun with this business of publishing. To promote one of the titles, Lyle hired a family of what are now called “little people” and dressed them up in costumes that made them look like they were from outer space. They paraded past the United Nations building carrying signs, “UN Unfair to Aliens.” It was high spirited and helped make the book a success. Alas, in these more somber times, publishers don’t do that kind of thing any more.
Until next time,