Counterculture Colophon
November 13th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

Responsible for such landmark publications as Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Tropic of Cancer, Naked Lunch, Waiting for Godot,The Wretched of the Earth , and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Grove Press was the most innovative publisher of the postwar era. Counterculture Colophon tells the story of how the press and its house journal, The Evergreen Review, revolutionized the publishing industry and radicalized the reading habits of the “paperback generation.” In the process, it offers a new window onto the 1960s, from 1951, when Barney Rosset purchased the fledgling press for $3,000, to 1970, when the multimedia corporation into which he had built the company was crippled by a strike and feminist takeover.

Grove Press was not only responsible for ending censorship of the printed word in the United States but also for bringing avant-garde literature, especially drama, into the cultural mainstream as part of the quality paperback revolution. Much of this happened thanks to Rosset, whose charismatic leadership was crucial to Grove’s success. With chapters covering world literature and the Latin American boom, including Grove’s close association with UNESCO and the rise of cultural diplomacy; experimental drama such as the theater of the absurd, the Living Theater, and the political epics of Bertolt Brecht; pornography and obscenity, including the landmark publication of the complete work of the Marquis de Sade; revolutionary writing, featuring Rosset’s daring pursuit of the Bolivian journals of Che Guevara; and underground film, including the innovative development of the pocket filmscript, Loren Glass covers the full spectrum of Grove’s remarkable achievement as a communications center of the counterculture.

Posted in Misc Tagged with: ,

March 10th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

Want to order my next book, co-authored with Jennifer Koerber, and get 25% off the list price? Instructions in the PDF below.

Posted in Books Tagged with: , , ,

using the internet as a reference tool
March 5th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

Back in June 2001 my first book for librarians was published. And today, you, yes you, can still by a new copy from Amazon for a cool $63.65. (Or they have used copies starting at $0.01.)


Posted in Books Tagged with: ,

Go Set a Watchman (blank cover)
February 5th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

The reading world was riveted earlier this week by reports that a long-awaited second volume of Harper Lee’s work, a sequel-slash-prequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird, would be released by HarperCollins in July 2015. But speculation is already circulating that this is not in accordance with the author’s wishes or best interests…

Essentially, critics of the pending release aren’t at issue with its content or its quality, but of the fact that they do not believe the author herself would ever have allowed its publication if she were in better health and had better care watching over her interests. Lee is reportedly nearly blind and deaf and has lived in a care facility since a stroke in 2007, and some people close to her have reported she suffers from dementia. Critics have argued that this book never would have become public if Alice were still alive to protect her sister, her status as the author’s former attorney notwithstanding.

Read the full article @

Posted in Misc Tagged with: , ,

#3 ALA eBook bestseller Jan-Feb 2015
January 4th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

#3 ALA eBook bestseller Jan-Feb 2015

Posted in Books Tagged with: , ,

Using the Interet as a Reference Tool
October 23rd, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Using the Interet as a Reference ToolThis wasn’t my first book, but was my first book for librarians. Published by Neal-Schuman in June 2001, there is still a copy available on Amazon. It’s yours for the low price of $63.65

Posted in Writing Tagged with: , ,

Library as Publisher
April 25th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Library as Publisher

What do you think about when you think about Library as Publisher? Ready to jump right in? Are you eager to jump in but wondering where to start? Or perhaps you are asking yourself just what the heck this idea of “Library as Publisher” actually means!

Now is your opportunity to learn the answers to those questions and more by participating in a series of five monthly online “Brown Bag” discussions, each on a different facet of the notion of “Library as Publisher”. These one hour online discussions will feature case studies meant to educate and inspire. Participants will have the chance to ask questions of those libraries that have already entered the realm of publishing with services such as open textbooks, local author fairs, publishing assistance, digital commons, income generating websites, and more, and they will be encouraged to share their own ideas and stories as well.

Ultimately, the goal of these Brown Bag discussions is to encourage libraries and archives to test the waters as “publishers”. To this end, the NY 3Rs Association, Inc. will offer a “Library as Publisher Innovation/Incubator Grant” open to all libraries in New York. Keep watching your inboxes for more information.

The series is sponsored by the NY 3Rs Association – I2NY Work Group on Library as Publisher. Read more on the I2NY project.

The videos are not embedded-able so head on over to and find the recordings at the bottom of the page. The first two are available at the time of this posting.

Posted in ebooks, Libraries Tagged with: ,

Compact OED
April 22nd, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Compact OEDI hadn’t reckoned on the fact that Oxford University Press is an academic publisher, and the academic publishers aren’t like trade publishers. They have their own way of doing business – a model that has been the source of significant controversy in scholarly circles, but which has largely passed over the heads of the civilian population of non-scholarly readers.

OUP – which has been selling dictionaries and thesauri since the 19th century – will not sell you a digital OED or HTOED. Not for any price.

Instead, these books are rented by the month, accessed via the internet by logged-in users. If you stop paying, your access to these books is terminated.

I mentioned this to some librarians at the American Library Association conference in Chicago this spring and they all said, effectively: “Welcome to the club. This is what we have to put up with all the time.”

Academic, reference and research libraries have become accustomed to renting their access to journals and important reference works.

These services are called “subscriptions,” but the word “subscribe” has a new meaning for libraries. For hundreds of years, libraries that subscribed to periodicals got to keep them forever. When I worked in libraries, I was accustomed to shelving, repairing and circulating periodicals that stretched back decades – sometimes rebound in handsome almanacs, sometimes in archival formats like fiche or film, often in lovingly maintained original paper.

Libraries “subscribed” to periodicals the same way I did – and just as I got to keep my back-issues of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, so too could my local library retain its copies of important research journals forever.

To “subscribe” to a magazine was to purchase all the year’s forthcoming issues in advance. But for librarians, “subscriptions” are now effectively rental agreements. I’d known about this, but it didn’t hit home until I tried to buy the digital OED and HTOED. And it got under my skin.

Oxford University is famed for many things, but among people who care about books, it is celebrated for the Bodleian Library, a “deposit” library founded in the 14th century whose remit is to collect every scholarly work published in English and store it for the ages.

Librarians at the Bodleian have literally described their mission as safeguarding essential human knowledge for future civilisations. This mission of stewardship in enduring knowledge has always inspired me. It is indisputably noble, important, and wonderful. Every time I visit Oxford and pass by the Bodleian, my heart beats a little faster.

The Bodleian – indeed, the whole idea of archiving – is incompatible with a world of digital scholarship where renting is the only option.

Thus, two of Oxford’s most iconic institutions – its deposit library and its press’s flagship titles – have each embraced a model that the other has utterly rejected.

Read the full article @ The Guardian.

Posted in Books, ebooks, HIgher Ed, Libraries Tagged with:

January 28th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

I’ve not yet read any of Hugh Howey’s work but I’ve heard enough good things about his novels that I recently ordered these. This recent blog post of his has just made me a fan.

Hugh HoweyThey weren’t even supposed to have jobs, these interlopers. They weren’t supposed to earn a living on their own. That’s what the gatekeepers said — men and husbands and fathers. They said this lesser race of people were supposed to be satisfied. They should be grateful to subsist on scraps and on domestic crumbs.

The 1912 textile strikes were led primarily by women, who were treated horribly in the workplace even as they fought to improve conditions for all. The slogan that emerged from the 1912 strikes was: We want bread, but we want roses, too! Women workers demanded fair wages and fair treatment all at once. They fought for an increase in pay and a promise not to be discriminated against.

There are parallels one century later. I don’t want to compare anyone’s working conditions to what women went through at the turn of the 20th century (or today for that matter), but once again we see interlopers fighting for the rights of all workers, even as they fight for dignity and respect. Once again, you have the very people being denigrated and judged and barred from entry working out here on the curb for the better treatment of those on the factory floor.

We have to. Because we sure as hell aren’t getting any help from our leadership.

Scott Turow, the head of the Authors Guild, spends his time fighting for publishers and for bookstores — the very parties who stand between writers and readers. These publishing partners can be great facilitators or they can be great abusers, and it should be the job of the Authors Guild to ensure which. Just as it should be a union’s job to make sure factory and retail don’t harm the transfer of labor to the consumer.

Instead, the Authors Guild came out for price-fixing and higher costs to readers.  Scott Turow sees Amazon as the enemy, even as an increasing number of authors today make a living primarily through self-publishing and e-books. I have yet to see Scott lash out at publishers for their unfair contracts and horrid pay. When HarperCollins released data showing that it makes more from an e-book sale than a hardback sale while the author makes less, where was Scott? Where was anyone representing authors?

I don’t have much of a platform, and nobody should really care what I think  – but this is my blog, so let me tell you where I stand on things these days. And let me also introduce you to the people who stand for me and with me, whether they mean to or not.

I stand for the ability of those who choose to write for a living to have the best opportunities possible. It’s a narrow focus, but it’s one I’m passionate about. I’ve been passionate about this for longer than I’ve been writing. It goes back to my book review and bookstore employee days. As a reader who loved stories, I cared for those who created them. Now that I’m on the other side and have become friends with storytellers, this cause is strengthened. And the more I learn about the abuses authors suffer, the more I want to speak out.

So here’s what I think the Authors Guild should be saying. Here is what their platform should be. (And I’m too busy running a hypothetical publishing house in Houston, so for goodness sake, don’t think I want another job. I don’t):

Read the full post @


Posted in Books, ebooks Tagged with: ,

October 2nd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

sauers_burns_cover_rev1It’s been a long time coming but Google Search Secrets authored by yours truly and my NLC colleague Christa Burns is done and, according to ALA, off to the printer. We should see our copies by the end of the month and it should be available for purchase in early November. (However, you’re welcome to pre-order it from ALA or Amazon right now.)

Posted in Books, Writing Tagged with: , ,