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Judith Appelbaum, a Guide for Would-Be Authors, Dies at 78

Her empathy for struggling writers and attachment to them may have begun when she worked on Harper’s Weekly, the company’s short-lived (1974-76) revival of a 19th-century publication. It called itself “America’s reader-written newspaper.”

The industry itself came to be her favorite subject. She and Ms. Janovic were co-authors of “The Writer’s Workbook: A Full and Friendly Guide to Boosting Your Book’s Sales” (1980). For two decades, Ms. Appelbaum edited The Independent, a monthly publication from the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Almost everything about the business changed during those years. “We Used to Call It Publishing” was the title of a 1999 article she wrote about new paths for intellectual property.

But in an interview with Publishing Perspectives in 2014, she predicted continuing growth in book publishing, albeit with much of it under the radar because of an increasing number of small publishers. She did express some good-natured concern about people with no traditional publishing experience entering the field.

“I see it as sort of a positive problem,” she insisted. “It’s messy and uncomfortable while people from different industries are trying to interact successfully, but I think on the whole it’s healthy ferment.”

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Lynn Appelbaum; a son, Alexander; a brother, Robert Pilpel; and two grandchildren.

Ms. Appelbaum’s favorite authors, she said in an interview with The Internet Writing Journal in 1998, were too many to count, but they included George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, Anne Tyler and Julian Barnes.

“I love to see writers expand our range of understanding, experience, knowledge, even happiness,” she said in that interview. “Publishing has always struck me as a way to change the world.”

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