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Hot Deals: Big Deals for Small Publisher
John F. Baker -- 9/7/98
Everything is relative, and what may look like small potat s for a big publisher can be a feast for a small one. Hence, the excitement of Martin &Judith Shepard about the fuss over what they call "the biggest-selling book in our 21-year history" at tiny Permanent Press in Sag Harbor, N.Y. The award-winning pair (they took this year's LMP Award for editorial skills) are talking about Joanna Higgins's first novel, A Soldier's Book, a tale about a Civil War prison camp that got a raft of early reviews (including one in People) not unlike those for Cold Mountain last year. Before publication last month they had made their first sale, to BOMC, and had an auction for paperback rights, won by Harcourt Brace (for a healthy five-figure sum). A fourth printing is on order, and if this still only brings the total to 10,000 copies -- well, everything is relative. For Permanent, that's huge.

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