Paperback Talk

Ray Walters, Author, Betty Ballantine, Introduction by, Ian Ballantine, Introduction by Academy Chicago Publishers $19.95 (350p) ISBN 978-0-89733-108-1
An editor of the New York Times Book Review from 1958 until his retirement last year, and author of the weekly ""Paperback Talk'' column that appeared in the '70s and early '80s, Walters provides here an entertaining, attractive history of the Paperback Revolution. His rarely repetitive, topically organized selections, gathered primarily from his column, introduce the reader to the people in softcover publishing, coherently explain industry business practices and offer a commentary on changing American book tastes. His stories about the writers who have left their impress on this branch of publishing are inspiring: from Frank Herbert, who worked on the first book of his bestselling Dune series ``in installments, with long intervals in between to support himself by teaching and quickie writing jobs,'' to Jacqueline Susann's pioneering efforts at promotion``breakfasting with distributors' deliverymen . . . and pleading with them to see that her books got into the best pockets in the racks.'' Perhaps Walters's greatest contribution is in conveying Publishers Row as a lively, volatile community that has room for both sharp businesspeople and literary dreamers. November
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Paperback - 339 pages - 978-0-89733-109-8
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