BUILDING THE BUSINESS – Publishing Plus Distribution Fuels Success for John F. Blair

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April 2011
by Linda Carlson

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Publishing Plus Distribution Fuels Success for John F. Blair

by Linda Carlson

John F. Blair, Publisher, is no slouch when it comes to issuing well-respected regional titles and developing excellent relationships with booksellers and movie script scouts alike, but what’s kept the staff of nine hopping the last several months is distribution for other publishers.

Established in 1954, Blair began handling smaller presses’ books in 1998 with Down Home Press, a publisher for which it now distributes more than 50 titles. Today the distribution business means that Blair can routinely offer 25 new titles a year. One, which it distributes for Lookout Books, hit the front page of the New York Times Book Review this January with an overwhelmingly positive review. And another—the NewSouth Publishers edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—generated news in all sorts of media.

As soon as Publishers Weekly came out with its story about NewSouth eliminating the words nigger and injun from Mark Twain’s classic, “the barrage” hit, Blair president Carolyn Sakowski exclaims. It was continuing weeks later when she and I spoke, and after that, an op-ed in the New York Times, “Send Huck…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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