Joshua Stein PLLC established Advanced Commercial Real Estate Press LLC (ACRE Press) to publish and sell some books by Joshua Stein on commercial real estate law and practice.

This is not Joshua Stein’s first venture into book publishing. Between college and law school, he worked at Stein and Day, Inc., a small but well known book publisher in midtown Manhattan and Briarcliff Manor. Joshua worked as the assistant to Sol Stein (no relation), who was the company’s publisher and editor-in-chief. Sol was also a prominent playwright and writer at that time. He edited the work of James Baldwin, Claude Brown, Elia Kazan, Lionel Trilling, Bertram Wolfe, and many others. For more information on Sol Stein, click here for his Wikipedia entry.

Under Sol Stein’s direct supervision, Joshua edited manuscripts, reviewed submissions, prepared financial projections for book titles, wrote jacket copy, solved book transportation problems, wrote ads, copy edited, and did whatever else needed to be done.

At the time, Sol Stein declared that hardback book publishing was not a viable business. That was in 1978—long before the Internet and personal computers came along. Since then, the book business has only gotten worse. But the Internet, personal computers, and advances in printing technology have also made it easier than ever for anyone to become their own publisher. Today, more book titles are published than ever before. Many sell only a dozen copies to the author’s family and friends. Advances paid to authors by book publishers have dropped dramatically over the years, except for the occasional celebrity author—who often turns out to be a disappointment for the publisher.

To the extent that authors align themselves with established publishers, they often end up frustrated. Rarely does an author believe the publisher adequately promoted and marketed the author’s book. But the publisher probably did a better job than the author would have in putting together the book and then trying to sell it into the market. In exchange for such services, the lion’s share of the purchase price of each book goes to the publisher. The author is lucky to earn out the often-paltry advance the publisher paid for the book.

In thinking about all this, Joshua realized that his brief career in publishing gave him enough knowledge to be dangerous. He also realized that books on commercial real estate law sell to a relatively narrow market with few competitors and even fewer new titles entering the marketplace. Many potential book purchasers in commercial real estate law recognize Joshua Stein’s name from his practice, publications, and other activities. That market can be reached in a relatively targeted way. Given the price tags for law books, one doesn’t need to sell a lot of copies for them to be profitable. It’s not like selling a general interest hardback to a broad market.

Hence was born Advanced Commercial Real Estate Press LLC. Joshua hired an old friend, Robert G. Harvey, a semi-retired lawyer, to help with the editing process. Joshua Stein PLLC’s office manager, computer manager, and art director, Ranjan (RJ) Samarakone, developed this website and created all artwork and jacket design for the New Guide. To actually print the book, Joshua checked in with the factory in China that had produced thousands of Joshua Stein PLLC totebags, umbrellas, and neckties since 2011. That factory or its affiliate was also perfectly happy to print books. So they were hired.

Now that New Guide to Ground Leases has been published, the ACRE Press team will turn to updating and republishing other previous books by Joshua Stein, as well as some new titles. Eventually, if all goes well, ACRE Press may also publish other authors on commercial real estate law and practice.