by Tom Sims
Kent Sorsky would like for folks to know that there is a publisher in their “neck of the woods” that can serve as a resource for writers and readers as well.
Linden Publishing, founded in 1977, by Sorsky’s uncle, Richard Sorsky, is that publisher. The original focus of the company was publishing books on woodworking. That remains a strong and impressive emphasis of the company’s Woodworker’s Library. However, they have expanded their offerings significantly in recent years.
Their website includes an impressive history of the Woodworker’s Library, its innovative contributions, and helpful tools for people involved in a variety of related crafts. Following their philosophy of giving back to the public, there are many free resources on the site as well as an easily navigable catalogue of titles. A printed catalogue is also available for those who request one.
Their family of “libraries” also includes Craven Street Books and Quill Driver Books. Craven Street specializes in regional history and Quill Driver embraces an eclectic mix of non-fiction titles.
Craven Street enables Sorsky to pursue his own personal passion for history. Loving history and loving the San Joaquin Valley, he is able to pass on that love to future generations of readers and to provide a platform for local authors and scholars to share their insights into local history. Sorsky is proud to cite authors such a William B. Secrest, Scott Morrison, and Paul Loeffler among those whose works he has published recently.
Secrest is a local historian and author of 12 books including California Desperados – Stories of Early California Outlaws in Their Own Words. His most recent book is Showdown! Lionhearted Lawmen of Old California. Publicity for the book states that it “traces the life stories of these brave men from their origins to their deaths, whether rich in honors, in obscure poverty, or in a hail of gunfire. Written in an engaging and dramatic style, Showdown! combines in-depth historical research and vivid narration to uncover the full stories of the crimes these lawmen investigated and the criminals they pursued.”
Morrison is a former detective with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office who served in the homicide, sex crimes, and intelligence units. He is the author of Murder in the Garden: Famous Crimes of Early Fresno County. Linden has recently published his chronicle, Murder in the Garden, Volume II. It presents 16 famous cases from Fresno, California, set mainly in the first part of the 20th century.” In it, Morrison brings to life fascinating cases of murder and mayhem from Fresno’s past. Some of the characters of Morrison’s stories are Fresno’s “Old Broom Man” and “Black Widow.” One story focuses on all the men from Fresno County who have ever been executed through California’s justice system.
Loeffler is author of Underdogs to Wonderdogs: Fresno State’s Road to Omaha and the College World Series Championship. The story is set in 2008. Paul Loeffler is KMJ’s Sports Director and “Voice of the Bulldogs” for football, baseball, and men’s basketball. This book chronicles the Fresno State baseball team’s improbable run to a national championship.
Sorsky also has high regard for the art of Pat Hunter. Along with her collaborator, Janice Stevens, Linden has recently published, William Saroyan: Places in Time. Hunter and Stevens visit and chronicle locations that influenced Saroyan around the Valley. These are depicted with compelling watercolors and insightful commentary.
Among the titles listed on Linden’s comprehensive website is one that I personally look forward to reading, Windows on the Past Early Valley Treasures As Seen Through the Lens of Claude C. “Pop” Laval by Elizabeth M. Laval with research and photographic editor, Stephen L. Brown and contributing author, William J. Conway, Jr.
On the Quill Driver side of the business are books on a variety of subjects from human behavior to social networking to helpful tools for writers.
Always looking for quality, non-fiction titles, Sorsky is keen to meet new writers. “Writers are interesting people,” he stated, “I learn so much from them.”
In fact on Linden’s website, Quill Driver Books offers numerous articles of help to writers, links to sites for writers, writers’ guidelines, an e-newsletter, and a blog by Stephen Blake Mettee. His course, “The Fast Track Course on How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal” is available at bookstores and libraries, or on their website.
In a world where self-publishing is on the rise, ninety five percent of Linden’s work is in traditional publishing. The company purchases publishing rights and invests in the publication and marketing of its titles. But that does not mean that their marketing is “stuck” in some earlier time. Most of their books are sold online and e-publishing is a growing portion of their sales. More and more books are being sold for Kindle and other e-readers.
Linden Publishing remains one of Fresno’s rich if not widely known treasures. Its location here is a source of pride for the region, but as Kent Sorsky observes, in this high tech, fast paced environment of Internet communications, one can do business anywhere and be well connected with the world. Linden Publishing’s influence through Kent and Richard Sorsky extends well beyond Fresno.
Linden Publishing is located at 2006 S Mary Street, Fresno, CA. 93721-3311 and their phone number is (559) 233-6633.
Watch for reviews of several of Linden’s book in the near future.