I marvel at how book selling has boomed from the tiny store or traveler with wagon or full satchel in my time, to the glittering corner, or palace, or far flung global spread of the internet today.
Back in 1776 it was your brave display and sales for Tom Paine’s books that helped fire up, and keep spirits high, for our American revolution. Today the goal for Benjamin Franklin Press (which I serve as Celestial Proprietor) is to provide you with rousing and entertaining books to update the American and the global mind.
But will the better kind of books actually sell?
As one known in my day as a canny evaluator of the social and political scene, what I see is this. So great is the lamentably moral degradation and corruption at the highest levels in America and the rest of the world—and so great and still nowhere adequately addressed is the environmental challenge to your lives—that a vast groundswell is building across political parties and classes worldwide. This groundswell will considerably affect book sales.
From where I sit---and Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, and Charles Darwin agree---this groundswell is driven by two primary sentiments. One is the highly publicized great need for change for the better out of the increasingly unendurable worst of circumstances. But the other is the lesser noted desire for keeping the best of the old, for even in the worst of times there is much to cherish and preserve.
It is to this groundswell for purposeful quality rather than blind quantity that my original publishing venture was addressed in the 1700s, to which now the selection and production of our books for Benjamin Franklin Press is addressed today.
Our goal is to publish what a significantly expanding number of progressive readers, writers, librarians, sellers, editors, agents, and publishers in all world languages are all looking for today, namely:
Books that entertain and expand our minds—rather than further numb and dumb us down.
Books that drive us forward rather than backward in evolution.
I urge you to try books of ours that catch your eye. I think you’ll find that this new (as well as very old) formula for making money while doing good in the world offers a doubly profitable new frontier for 21st century book selling as well as publishing.
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