Tag Archives: Samuel French

Bookstores and the Books that Live There…

 by Robin Byrd

Bookstores are becoming sparse; books are becoming electronic.  I wonder how to reconcile my love of browsing with the lack of things to browse.  If it’s not there, they will order it for you, they say with a smile ever so clueless to the fact that it’s the walking through the aisles searching the shelves for treasure that brings joy.  I can order it myself and not have to give up the getting mail part in the process – what can I say, I like getting mail…

I rarely come out of a bookstore without a book — this past weekend, I did — too much open space, too much of a lack of that library appeal without the constraints of utter and complete silence.  The space caught me off guard; it was bright from the lack of shelves and heavy from the lack of books.  I felt grieved in my spirit and had to leave the store.  Time is running out and I know one day I will have to go to a library if I want to browse.  My favorite spot is going…going…almost gone…  Better renew my library card.  Bookstores could possibly become plug-in shops to download e-books and my relaxation tool will be obsolete. My days of browsing for hours in my favorite store are numbered but I’m not going out without a fight and a few more books.  You never know what you’ll find in a bookstore.

Lucky for me I have more than one bookstore on my radar.  I found a book in Samuel French (my other favorite spot) called “Hoosiers in Hollywood” by David L. Smith.  This book is filled with over 600 pages of information on Indiana artists dating back to the silent era – a nice bit of history, fun, and encouragement.  When I found the book, I was in the middle of a thought about the Midwest and how it is underrepresented in the arts.  Guess I was wrong.

The really nice thing about books is being able to hold on to them and catching them on sale – a benefit of browsing.  The best part about books is they always inspire the writer in me to write…

Day Two: Playwrights in Mind: A National Conversation – part four

Publishing seminar with Abbie Van Nostrand of Samuel French, Deborah Hartnett of MTI, Music Theatre International, and Ron Pullins of Focus Publishing

Focus: He has a list in mind what he wants to do and is interested in the changing theatre scene – acting, directing. “We sell people, not books.”  Doesn’t publish plays…except the dead ones. 

MTI: Publishes plays from Broadway, off-Broadway, sometimes a show in the Midwest.  Junior program, deliver “musical in a box.”  High school and middle school kids can keep the scripts.  Like to have a range of things for customers: large and small musicals.  They have almost 400 shows in the catalogue. 

French: publish and license straight and musical plays.  45K titles either archived or in print.  The last 4-5 years, seeking keeping authors happy, but looking for emerging and early career playwright.  Stats: Look at what theatres are doing, playing it safe.  Theatres are closing, cutting back on seasons, those that are doing the best are playing it safe.  They’re pushing their authors, finding the right theatre for the right show.  They’re pulling back on acquisitions.  They’re still actively seeing everything in NY, going to Humana, they get agent author submission, and website queries.  Check the website for updates.  But the reality is that the parameters are shrinking.