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In the olden days, say, a decade ago, it was still uncommon for a writer to have a non-fiction project published every year. However, in the current world, with the ease of self-publishing, writers can work on a book with a proper publisher simultaneously to their own creative desires.
While the self-published book might not make it to bookstore shelves the same way the book published by an established house does, with its connection to book buyers and major chains, that doesn't mean it can't compete.
Self-published books have a way of moving up and down the Amazon bestseller list, based upon the push the author is doing that day, a radio or podcast appearance, or a Tweet that catches fire.
This is all a long way round to get to yet another book from Howie Karpin and Mark Rosenman, who have now been featured in this column for a third time, not including a plug for a co-written Rosenman baseball book.
And, if all the work is quality, does it matter who ultimately pushed go to send the finished layout to the printed? Of course not.
You Never Forget Your First: A Collection of New York Rangers Firsts came out in late April 2020, published under the Press Box Publishing label ... which is run by Karpin and Rosenman.
The premise is simple: "Sixty-two current and former Broadway Blueshirts players and coaches share their memories of their time with one of the NHL’s most beloved franchises."
Karpin noted that it came about quickly. "The idea itself was pretty much spur of the moment. Mark had the idea and we went with it," he wrote in an email interview. It came together in about a year.
Former team captain Ryan Callahan starts things off in the foreword, and from there, Rangers memories span from Eddie Shack in 1958 to Adam Fox in 2019. There are Hall of Famers, like Rod Gilbert, Brad Park, and Brian Leetch (and surefire HOFer Henrik Lundqvist), as well as beloved Rangers such as Dave Maloney, Don Murdoch, Barry Beck, John Vanbiesbrouck, Mike Richter, and many others.
"We wanted guys Howie and I covered so [Marc] Staal and Hank [Lundqvist ]were musts, as were guys like Cally Dubinsky, [Rick] Nash and [Daniel] Girardi," said Rosenman via email.
"We wanted to cover a variety of Ranger eras and divided it up by decade. There was an overlap with some players but their content was different than previous books," said Karpin.
Those other books are Shoot to Thrill: The History of Hockey's Shootout (2015), New York Rangers by the Numbers: A Complete Team History of the Broadway Blueshirts by Uniform Number (2018) and Before '94: The Story of the 1979 New York Rangers (2019), plus a baseball book, Down on the Korner: Ralph Kiner and Kiner's Korner (2016).
As the host of SportsTalkNY on WLIE 540 AM and sportstalknyradio.com, Rosenman does legwork, and Karpin, a veteran journalist and long-time scorer for Major League Baseball, hits it home. “I did the research on the players and interviews and Howie made sense of it all and made it into a book,” said Rosenman.
It's also a premise that lends itself well to a series, not just in hockey. The hard-working duo are thinking about books on the Yankees and Mets in baseball, and perhaps an Islanders one for hockey.
As for the publisher, Rosenman expects big things, and welcomes inquiries. "Press Box Publishing is our own imprint this is the third book and we are looking for authors and ideas to guide them through the processes." (Email your pitches to Mark at Sportstalknewyork@gmail.com)
Speaking of writers with plenty of books under their belts, Eric Zweig announced his latest project: "Back to work! I've just signed a contract for my next book. Pride of the West: The Kenora Thistles and the Stanley Cup. I know it's not likely to make me rich, but if it came out next year by someone else, I'd be pretty angry about that!"
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