As the daughter of Louis Borders, who cofounded Borders Books with his brother Tom in Ann Arbor, Mich., Christine Borders Bronstein always knew she had books in her blood. Even though she was a teen when her father and uncle sold the company that became one of the biggest bookstore chains in the country, Christine—who worked summers—says, “I always thought of it as a small operation” where every single employee loved books.
What Bronstein says she learned from the family business was its emphasis on quality. She earned an M.B.A. from Columbia University, became the CEO of a fitness company, and started a children’s welfare foundation before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area. She met Phil Bronstein, an award-winning journalist and former San Francisco Chronicle editor, through a divorce attorney (they were both divorcing other people), and they not only wound up married but happily having and raising children together. “I’m all about how you never know who you are going to connect with,” she says. And she is drawn to other women’s stories that tell of their unexpected experiences.
In 2009, Bronstein started a private social network called A Band of Women, which is devoted to establishing a new kind of supportive sisterhood and now has more than 7,000 members. A few years later, when she shopped the idea of an anthology of women’s essays that grew directly out of the social network—and which brought together writers like Eve Ensler and Kelly Corrigan alongside of unpublished women writers—she says many of the New York publishers either “unintentionally diminished” the worth of women’s voices or were just going to be too slow in bringing the book to market.
In 2012—just one year after collecting the essays for the anthology, and with the power of print-on-demand technology through Ingram’s Lightning Source—Bronstein published Nothing but the Truth So Help Me God: 51 Women Reveal the Power of Female Connection, compiled by A Band of Women and produced on a shoestring by her San Francisco–based company, Nothing But the Truth.
This will be the first BookExpo for Bronstein and her company. Its booth (1512) features the company’s follow-up anthology, Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God: 75 Women on Life’s Transitions, and its first memoir, Good Cop, Bad Daughter by Karen Lynch, who grew up in the counterculture Haight-Ashbury and became one of the first women on San Francisco’s court-mandated integrated police force.
Bronstein expects to publish a handful of books every year, and Nothing But the Truth already has a book on leadership and its first children’s book in the works.