How We Rescue Books

We’re innovating a new mission-driven model for publishing:

1. We pick a book we want to rescue.

Most of our titles will be book rescues. Our editors will identify important, unique works of fiction and nonfiction that matter, yet are out of print and don’t exist in digital format anywhere. Someone has to steward the world of ideas, and these books will be lost to history if we don’t digitize them. We want to rescue them for future generations.

2. A book angels helps us rescue the book by underwriting the costs of publishing.

Our publishing costs are minimal, since we have almost no overhead, so book angels don’t have to be wealthy to help. Plus, many of our titles will only be published in ebook format, making it even more affordable for us to rescue books. We have a rolodex of book angels and we match each angel with a book they love and are proud to support. You can be a patron of the arts in a way that has lasting impact and a wide reach, because ebooks are infinitely scalable.

3. We publish it.

We do all the things every traditional publisher should do and none of the things they shouldn’t. An out-of-print book may need scanning, copyediting the flawed scan, a new layout, new introduction, new book cover art, new metadata, marketing, printing, and distribution, and we do it. The book has been rescued from the dustbin of history–it’s now available forever to everyone.

4. We share our success with stakeholders.

We are happy to pay authors the highest royalties in the industry (really), and to give them more rights and control than any other publisher would. And we’re exploring ways to reach the most readers, like making unbelievably affordable or free ebooks available to your favorite libraries, schools, and independent bookstores.


Our first book is Compelled to Witness: Women’s Memoirs of the French Revolution by Marilyn Yalom. Marilyn is a French scholar and Women’s Studies scholar at Stanford. She did groundbreaking scholarship and feminist analysis on women’s memoirs on both sides of the war, and was decorated by the French government for her work. There will never be another scholar with the same areas of expertise and life experience to create this remarkable and important book, yet it was out of print. It was not available to much of the world and could have been lost forever if it wasn’t digitized.

The project was a perfect fit for the two book angels who got involved, and Astor & Lenox is proud to have published a new edition, an ebook edition, that can illuminate the path of readers and scholars around the world, for centuries to come.

Please contact us if you have an out-of-print title you suggest we rescue, or if you’d like to become a book angel and rescue the world–one book at a time–with us.