Today I forwarded this back-jacket copy (below) to our book-designer. Wednesday we’re going to start the printing process.

Doing a book with a small SMALL press ( is pretty hands on for an author! (At least, for this author.)

Rebel Bookseller aims to spark a grassroots revival of community bookselling! The fruit of several decades’ hard lessons, this handbook for retail revolution includes:
* Behind-the-scenes history of the book industry
* Humorous anecdotes and sharp-tongued jibes
* Three Rough Rules of Rebel Bookselling.
Rebel Bookseller challenges aspiring entrepreneurs to improvise the wildly imaginative indie stores of tomorrow.

“Everything you always wanted to know about the book business but were afraid to ask. Even I, after 40 years writing, found this an eye-opener. Publishing, bookselling, ‘should I open my own bookstore’ it’s all in this entertaining, biting book.”
—Eric Carle, author, The Very Hungry Caterpillar

“A legendary…bookseller, pioneer of bookstore as community resource.”
—Inc. Magazine

Business & Economics/Current Events
Vox Pop

Andrew Laties co-founded The Children’s Bookstore, Children’s Bookfair Company, Children’s Museum Store,, and The Eric Carle Museum Bookshop. He shared the 1987 Lucile Micheels Pannell award for bringing children and books together. For ten years an American Booksellers Association teacher, Laties created the film Art of Selling Children’s Books. His innovations were adapted by Barnes & Noble, Zany Brainy and scores of independent stores.

Now — this is it: This is what the book will shout on its back jacket. Because this is what the book does, inside.

And — of course this whole project has had me worrying: WHO will shout WHAT back at me??

There’s certainly a reason that no-one has ever written a book like this before! It’s because people who were there, and who know the truth, are terrified of being sued for telling what has been happening behind the scenes in the book industry.

If I hadn’t essentially lost everything already, I’d be scared! But now, what kind of settlement could anyone get out of me??

Besides, if I get sued, it’ll help publicize the book.

So — this is the moment to write this book. At such a time, in anyone’s life, either the book gets written, or not. In my life, somehow, miraculously, I’ve managed to pull it off. I really can’t believe it. Three years of work.

Will the book do what it says it will do? Draw many people into the field of indie bookselling?

I wrote it for myself, at age 20. I just tried to keep in mind, “what did I need to know, back when I had my first bookstore job”.

So — maybe — while people my own age and older (45+) will simply be amused or intrigued or irritated, people a generation younger really WILL learn that they have so so so much more power than they could ever guess.

It’s EASY to open an indie store. Books are not the same as any other product or commodity — small stores are a BETTER way to sell them and make a profit than large stores are. You simply have to wedge yourself deeply enough into the fabric of your community and you can make a great life out of the business. It’s true that no-one will tell you this. It’s true that there’s a blackout on career info on the subject of opening your own store. LEARN FROM THIS FACT. There’s a REASON no one teaches you how to open an indie bookstore. It’s because the people who now own bookstores don’t want you to compete with them!

But 20 years ago, the indie booksellers figured out that by aggressively working to attract new players to the table, they could collectively swamp the market and kill the chains — Dalton, Walden and Crown. Working together, sharing our knowledge, innovating, we DID WHAT WE SET OUT TO. We ruined the chains financially.

I tell the whole story, and its sordid aftermath, in my book.

Well — maybe I’ll get lucky, and someone WILL sue me, and I’ll get all the attendant publicity, and tons of people will hear about the book — and then — begin to think about opening their own indie stores — and…



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