Not a post since May? Gosh, where did the time go? I hope
everyone had a great summer. I’ve been caught up getting
the paperback edition of Reflectory ready for publication,
plus satisfying my publisher’s requirements in order to
acquire their contract. It was quite a lengthy task.
I’m pleased to announce that SUNY (State University of
New York) Press has agreed to publish the paperback
edition of my Pepper Adams biography. As I mentioned in
the Author’s Note to Reflectory,academic presses limit jazz books to around 250 pages.
Thus, Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer, will be a
highly abridged version of Reflectory, quite a different book.
Stripped down to its essentials, a great deal of detail has been deleted. Many photographs from the Estate of Pepper Adams have been removed, replaced by only a few photographs and documents. The most glaring difference is the removal of all 450 music links and discussion of much of that music.
Nevertheless, I’m excited to have a chance to get a hardcopy version out to the public. Plus, the ebook edition will remain in print and available. I see it as the best of both worlds; a great opportunity to get the word out about Pepper Adams
Cutting down the book was a fascinating exercise. I quickly
realized once again how much easier it is to delete text than
to write it. The mandate was to convert a 730-page book to
about 165 pages, leaving enough room for an index. The
first few steps were easy. I deleted all photographs, changed
the text spacing from 1.25 inches to 1.15, and omitted all
discussion of private and audience recordings. Then, I
deleted one of the forewords and combined some of the end
matter. That left me with 452 pages. A nice start, but still far
from the required goal.
Getting the book shorter required additional spacing tweaks,
reducing the font of the end matter and block quotes, and
significant excisions as the end product of two complete re-
readings. The first one was cut, cut, cut. “Snoops” as Chico
Marx told Harpo in Duck Soup, after each snip they made of
the boat captain’s mustache. My second pass through
allowed me to cut further and smooth out some of the
transitions that were adversely affected by the deletions. In
some cases, it required moving paragraphs around,
sometimes to other chapters.
The paperback edition needs to be submitted by October 15.
Fortunately, the text is done, but I have a short window in
which to acquire new photographs and documents, get them
in high-resolution form, obtain written permissions for them,
and write captions. I also have to add a brief discography that
I’ll entitle Recommended Recordings. The index can be
submitted later, once the book is edited and typeset.
If anyone can recommend a better title, don’t hesitate to let me
know. I’d prefer something poetic, but was advised that having
“saxophone” in the title would increase sales. Please reply
SUNY is an ambitious press, publishing more than 150 books a
year. Even with my submission in a few weeks, their lengthy
production queue will delay publication for some time. You can
expect the book to be available at Amazon and elsewhere
around this time next year. Meanwhile, check out Reflectory, and
dig the thousands of hours of great Pepper performances, taken
from broadcasts and audience recordings, that you’ve never heard!: