In this week's edition of Endnotes, we take a look at bestselling author Fawn Weaver's Love & Whiskey (Melcher Media, June), which reveals the story of Nearest Green, an enslaved Black man who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. In its starred review, PW called the book "a powerful portrayal of a largely hidden American history."

Here's how the book came together.

Jay Mandel, Head of Books, WME

“Beyond Fawn’s charisma, what drew me to her book was the hugely unusual integration of rich American history with entrepreneurial business success. The success of Uncle Nearest depended on Fawn grasping and researching that inspiring history. Her story is so much more than a logo or conventional branding strategy.”

Launi King, Founder and CEO, Creative Play

“The process began with discussions with Fawn to grasp the intended impact of the cover. After researching nonfiction and historical covers, I proposed five concepts. She was drawn to one, leading to the development of a cover that highlights the book’s strong characters and narrative through a compelling design aesthetic.”

Charles Melcher, Founder and CEO, Melcher Media

“This was an unconventional acquisition for us. We met Fawn days before she was due to appear on CBS to reveal the cover of her book, but she had recently parted ways with her publisher and was looking for a new one. As soon as we met Fawn and read the manuscript, we knew we wanted to publish Love & Whiskey. This is a powerful story told by an inspirational woman, and we are proud to help get this story into the world.”

Fawn Weaver, Author and CEO of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey

“The story of a divided America captured my interest like never before, spurred by a 2016 New York Times headline: ‘Jack Daniel’s Embraces a Secret Ingredient: Help from a Slave.’ Despite negative reactions, a photograph from around 1904 of Daniel with a Black man seated prominently beside him hinted at a different narrative. I believed this image was Daniel’s testament to ensuring his friend and mentor, an enslaved man named Nearest Green, would never be forgotten. My journey began with a trip to Lynchburg, Tenn., where interviews with descendants of Green and Daniel unfolded the story.