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tv   10th Anniversary of Liveright Publishing  CSPAN  July 4, 2021 7:30pm-7:46pm EDT

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places. it was in the lab where you are actually talking about their biological rather than their historical features so i felt that was something someone needed to deal with those questions and issues and that is what became later a book that is an epidemic in society that started with my students. >> watch the rest online on booktv.org. use the search box at the top of the page where the title of the book epidemics in society. celebrating the tenth anniversary and a second, bob while tell us about live write books. >> first of all it's great to be here. i feel like life is getting back to normal speaking to you.
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it's one of the publishing houses begun in 1917. the list became more in the 1970s and they decided to launch it as a nonfiction print in 2011 in june and ten years later here we are. a. >> who are some of the authors that you have published? >> you would know many of them. infection patricia hite smith, we are coming out with diaries this fall. and also many others of
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different sorts. we have the book on the revolution coming this fall with the malcolm x biography, annette gordon reed. we had our best seller and another book with "the new york times" america on fire, the book on the golf. it goes all over. >> some others include transportation secretary, edward wilson the naturalist and paul mccartney. what was it like to purchase paul mccartney? >> i can't answer that because i published them in 2001. but his life's work as we see it
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is coming in november. i've known paul for 20 years. this will be in lieu of an autobiography with two volumes. it deals with 154 and commentary how they came about. there's over 700 images. we think it will be one of the biggest books of the fall. so much collaboration. a sweet man but he liked to be creative and energetic. he does not lay back and just [inaudible] >> you were quoted a couple of years ago saying, quote, being an editor is like being in show business. what does that mean? >> being in the show business is because you never know.
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you could spend ten years on a book, it could be tremendous and then bombs in the first week and there is no audience. we did a book for years ago and went out with 700 copies and it's now sold over half a million copies. you just cannot predict what will ever happen to a book in the public. >> how long have you been in the book business? >> i am very proud to reveal my tenure. i began in october 1978. this will be 43 years. i feel i've been blessed to have such a great career and i feel i've been given a talk that if i have to give back for everything that i've been given, i have to work to improve our culture and
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our society, make people feel the joy of reading and in the process, view some good books. >> and the pandemic we've noted that book sales have been very steady and have in fact increased. >> sometimes i feel survivor's guilt because so many people have had terrible times including many of my colleagues parents died or grandparents died and yet a book on our end that has been strong. we've had to adapt in huge ways. and so anyways the books have gone digital. we have been doing books about civil rights and inequality.
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i've been doing them for 30 years and suddenly there was a lot suddenly perked up and look at what we are doing. we published in 2016. >> how do you connect in such a saturated market especially when it comes to social media and online the availability of everything online? >> you have to distinguish a book. i always tell my colleagues imagine your book is going to be around in 20 years. it will not just disappear.
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why is it important to have an in brand like live right? why don't you just publish under norton? >> i can't fully answer that because i didn't start it. to expand we also start in the last few years.
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it is a different area to help critics, readers, everyone focus a little bit better on the book. >> so 378 books in the past ten years that is about 37 years. is that a pretty heavy lift? >> my shoulders feel as if they are sagging to be honest. we have a high productivity rate. i have wonderful colleagues. there's a lot of other editors.
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>> i know you publish news. what do you think of some of the books that have been canceled or dropped by publishers? >> i have not been involved in a book that has been dropped. what i've learned i learned at the same time as you have often in the new york time. i am not the best person to question why a book has been dropped or not dropped. then you have ever been before and it makes it that much more
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difficult. you have to edit a book completely aware. >> e-books have plateaued as a percentage about 25% of all book sales. >> probably a bit fewer for us because people want to books of permanence and they don't want to buy an e-book. it's about culture and upbringing and people want to hold the book. i'm delighted with how well it is doing. we publish you may remember this we had men, women and power before everything and we really work to make books people want
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to hold in their hand. i know you are outside of the city right now. what has it been like to be an editor-in-chief during the pandemic? >> it had been very difficult because there's no separation between going home and doing something on the side. i found honestly that i'm working 12, 14 hours a day. somehow, it just piled up. i have three or four manuscripts waiting for me that i feel guilty and the pandemic there
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just are certain things you cannot delegate. when you are working in a remote environment, it can be very tough. i feel blessed because my health has been very good but so many people have not. i felt a lot of pressure at first it felt the world was collapsing in the publishing would collapse. i felt that pressure that our books had to do well and contribute to the good of norton and the larger world. >> do you ever get the chance to read for pleasure and if so, what are you reading? >> i read rarely for pleasure. newspapers and magazines. what i do for pleasure to be honest, i watch movies every night. i've become an authority on the
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1940s and even got into the understanding of creating a consciousness. i take certain actors or actresses and then i will watch movies. i got an idea and -- do you mean a submission? >> there's a whole bunch of variables that come into play. is it something you are interested in, i may not be interested. it would be ridiculous to send
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me a cookbook. i think after all these years if someone is a great writer i don't care if they've never published before, i found a 33-year-old no one has heard of. you can tell very quickly. you can't read everything. you look at it and people have feelings. a. >> editor-in-chief and publishing director@live right books. congratulations on your tenth anniversary. thanks for joining us on booktv. >> thank you so much. good to hear from you.
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