Episode 37: Jessica Reed—Cake Historian

Integrating design, literature, and cake history with Jessica Reed CW at 50:20 — We discuss baking and its relationship to eating disorders and mental health. Corinne is out sick, so JT guest hosts as we interview former Penguin Senior Designer, photographer, and cake artist/historian, Jessica Reed. Jessica started her creative journey building cardboard furniture in … Read more

Episode 36: Danny Caine — Author and Owner of the Raven Book Store


Danny Caine discusses resilient booksellers, resisting Amazon, and a very special small town bookstore.

We interviewed Danny Caine, owner of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas, and author of the zine How to Resist Amazon and Why. Danny is also the author of several poetry collections, including El Dorado Freddy’s, which is currently available for preorder.

The Quintessential Small Town Indie Book Store

Danny gave us the background on the Raven Book Store; how it was founded by Pat Kehde and Mary Lou Wright in 1987 through the sweat of their brows and the power of friendship (and no thanks to the chauvinist bankman). The shop, originally specializing in mystery titles, has survived over three decades. That includes fighting through the competition of a Borders books (yuh-byyyeeee) moving in across the street and putting nearly every other bookstore in town out of business.

Once Danny arrived to attend the University of Kansas, he was determined to work at the Raven. And as we have seen time and time again on this show, dreams really can come true!

From Cat-vision to Activism

(Yes, I know, I’m canceling myself.)

What began as a way to show off the shop’s cats Dashiell and Ngaio became a tool to speak out against one of the book world’s biggest bully. You can see where this is going.

After one too many people asked why the Raven’s books cost more than Amazon’s (ugh!), Danny took to Twitter to explain—and he didn’t mince words. That tweetstorm went viral, and led to his zine How to Resist Amazon and Why.

I think bookselling is a naturally political profession. There’s very little that
booksellers do that you can’t call political.

Political issues wind through our discussion, which is no surprise. Issues like how to choose which books to sell, how to display these books, and even real-estate issues regularly come into play for a bookseller. Danny cites examples of how booksellers are on the moral and political frontlines—like A Room of One’s Own’s successful fundraiser for RAICES and Parnassus’s appeal to the community of Nashville against Amazon moving in across the street.

But one of the most unique things about indie bookstores is their solidarity with one another. It’s not something that you really see within other industries (including actual book publishing itself). And their cooperation may be one of the biggest reasons that these places are making such a powerful resurgence.

Check out Danny’s other books here:

Connect with Danny and the Raven Book Store:

And thanks for giving a rip about books.

Episode 35: Book Publicist Ariele Fredman Stewart

What exactly does a publicist spend their days doing? Pitching the media, confirming (and re-confirming) interviews/appearances/events, managing author egos, putting out fires, etc. But if you’re someone who works with NYT bestselling authors like Jennifer Weiner and Fredrik Backman, you also get to go on tour! Ariele Fredman Stewart began her publishing career interning for … Read more

Episode 34 — Live Panel: Knowing Your Audience

Welcome to the next installment in our Business of Being an Author series! We’re at Jan’s Bookstore in Beaverton this time, tackling the topic of getting to know your readers. Because how are you going to sell books if you don’t know who you’re selling them to? Right? Panelists include our own lovely co-host Corinne … Read more

Episode 33: Live Author Branding Panel

Enjoy the first installment of our “Business of Being an Author” Series—Branding! Presented by Lori Carroll of Jan’s Beaverton Bookstore and Hybrid Pub Scout We invited Mary Bisbee-Beek, Courtney Clark, and Tara Lehmann to participate in HPS’s first ever live recording! Lori Carroll’s brainchild, the Business of Being an Author series, aims to arm writers … Read more

Episode 32: Book Translator Michelle Deeter


Take it from a Book Translator—Reading Books In Translation Will Make Your Life More Awesome! Today’s guest is Chinese to English translator Michelle Deeter. Michelle Deeter is a Chinese to English translator and interpreter. She got started translating short stories in 2013, and translated her first book in 2015. Since then, she has translated a … Read more

Episode 30: Interview with Bestselling Author Ian Doescher

Ian Doescher is an author out of Portland Oregon, whose William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, Verily a New Hope was a smash bestseller (we’re talking that NYT list!). There are currently eight—going on nine—books in the series plus Get Thee Back to the Future and Much Ado About Mean Girls, all from Quirk Books. Ian’s latest … Read more

Episode 29: Interview with Devra Jacobs of Dancing Word Group


Devra Jacobs, agent and owner of Dancing Word Group, talks professional flexibility, following submission guidelines, and red flags for authors. Devra Jacobs is so much more than a literary agent for new age authors—this Taurian woman represents the books that speak to her soul. After working as a higher consciousness editor of Mystic Pop magazine, … Read more

Episode 24: Editor Ardi Alspach of Sterling Publishing


Ardi Alspach, an editor at Sterling Publishing, talks with us about her multi-directional career. She has the unique experience of having attended both NYU and the Denver Publishing Institute, worked in both publicity and editorial, and moved from a career in teaching to book publishing mid-career. Turns out that’s possible, even in NYC. Take that, … Read more

Episode 16: Info for All with Library Assistant Chris Curran

chris curran poses with caitlin doughty of ask a mortician

You would be hard pressed to find any contingent of the book world that has purer or more noble intentions than librarians. The job combines providing and filtering information to the public with a dash of social service. We talk with library assistant Chris Curran about daily life in the public library, what it’s like … Read more

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