Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Favorite Publisher

I happily take this opportunity, on August 10, to voice my admiration for the finest publisher I know. This happens to be her birthday. She happens to be my partner.

Susan Daniel is the person who makes Daniel & Daniel work. She is the business manager, which means she writes the checks, makes the deposits, keeps accounts, pays royalties, pays taxes, and does every bit of work in the company that involves dollar signs.

Susan also is the manager of sales and marketing, working with our distributor to make sure books move. This involves sending out the news on every new title to reviewers, keeping the world informed of what we’re publishing and how to buy our books.

Susan Daniel is also the company’s production manager, shepherding each book along the route from manuscript to finished book. She keeps projects moving from editor to typesetter to proofreader to author, back to typesetter for corrections and on to another proofreader, and eventually to the printer. Susan does all this with skill and grace. Her eye for elegance and her high standards pay off: our products are top notch.

Her people skills are this company’s most valuable asset. Everyone who works with Susan—typesetter, proofreaders, distributors, printers, and especially authors—think the world of her. Needless to say, her partner is the world’s luckiest publisher in the world, because Susan Daniel is the best.

I’d like to close this tribute with a brief passage from my 1997 memoir, One for the Books:

The most important thing to happen to me in the fall of 1983 came in December, when I fell in love with my supervisor. This may sound like personal rather than professional news, but this development, this new partnership, was and continues to be the most significant thing to happen to my  entire publishing career. Not to mention my personal life.…

At that point, Susan and I were still working for Noel Young, still two employees of Capra Press. It is a risk to begin a relationship with a close fellow worker, to start spending nights with a person with whom you spend your days.

But we took that risk and won.


  1. A beautiful tribute. Happy Birthday, Susan!

  2. John,
    This post is a wonderful declaration of your love and respect for Susan. She sounds like a terrific person. I hope she has a great birthday!

  3. What a nice way to honor your special someone on her birthday! Seems like you two are well-matched!

  4. My wife and I worked in our business for many years. People said it was a bad move, a husband and wife working so closely together. But for us, it was terrific and never did we regret it.

    Sounds like you two have the same relationship. Congratulations. You (and Susan) are indeed lucky - and I have to say, extraordinary people.

  5. Thank you, good friends, for your kind comments and good wishes!

  6. What a wonderful story and tribute! And Happy Belated Birthday, Susan! I hope you had a wonderful day.
    Marja McGraw

  7. This was such a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing your happiness with us, John. And Susan, Happy Birthday! John and you are so lucky to have each other.

  8. John, thank you for sharing the love of yours and Susan (happy belated birthday). augie

  9. I hope Susan's birthday was a good one and that she enjoys many happy returns of the day. Also, congratulations to Susan and John on a marriage and partnership that works!
    Pat Browning