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Behind the Books – Book 7

posted on August 24, 2021

So this is where the book biz became not only profitable, but fun for me as well. Somewhere around 1985 a gentleman named Andy Clark, who was the CEO and just about everything else for a small music publishing firm called Norman Lee Publishing, contacted my syndicate to see if they could publish a collection of the band strips from Funky. Norman Lee was a niche firm that specialized in music for high school and junior high school bands, not book publishing per se, but Andy felt that there would be a market there for a book about Harry L. Dinkle the world’s greatest band director. Turned out he was right. Boy howdy was he right. At first my syndicate demurred (this and other syndicate stories will be in a book that will probably have to be published posthumously), but Andy kept dogging them and was finally allowed to get it touch with me. We immediately hit it off and, freed from the editorial dictates of the New York suits, set about putting together a book our way.

First we used the cover I had wanted to use for the previous Fawcett book, but which had been turned down. Who knows what might have transpired if I had been able to use my most popular character along with his iconic (for him) pronouncement on that earlier tome? The good news was that it was available for this book. Norman Lee published it, and within school market we had ourselves a hit. This time my publisher was not only in synch with my work, but with the market for that work as well.