Ben Shaberman: Jerry’s Vegan Women

Cover: Jerry’s Vegan Women by Ben Shaberman

Cover: Jerry’s Vegan Women by Ben Shaberman

Ben Shaberman
Apprentice House, October 15, 2015, $12.99
ISBN-10: 1627200797
ISBN-13: 9781627200790

Shaberman writes:

When I made the leap to veganism in 2004 — I’d been vegetarian since 1991 — my vegan girlfriend Jeannie took me to several vegan gatherings, including potlucks, festivals, and educational events. Though I wasn’t a big fan of these outings — to me, they were just preaching to the choir — I was amazed that women consistently outnumbered men by two or three to one. Furthermore, I was impressed with the women’s unwavering commitment to the welfare of all animals.

The impetus for Jerry’s Vegan Women, a collection of humorous, poignant, and occasionally steamy stories, came in part to pay homage to these female vegan warriors in all their glory and idiosyncratic ways. Furthermore, while there are innumerable books about veg nutrition, animal rights, and cooking, there’s virtually no vegan fiction. I also wanted to produce an entertaining vegan book that spoke to people of all dietary persuasions, and included universal themes such as love, work, and the search for identity and meaning.

Ben Shaberman

Ben Shaberman

I initially tried pitching the book to large publishers, but they felt the vegan fiction market was too small. I chose Apprentice House, a student-run operation at Loyola University, Baltimore, to publish the book, because they did a nice job with my first book, The Vegan Monologues, and I knew they’d give me creative latitude with this one.

Apprentice House didn’t do much editing, so I relied on trusted writing friends to help with copy and layout. The publisher also let me provide the cover photo, and suggest modifications to the cover. I went with the simple concept of an attractive, mysterious woman to draw people in. I didn’t want the image to scream “vegan.” Overall, the extra editing and graphical work I had to do was stressful, but I preferred having control over the process to ensure that I got the end product I wanted.

By day, I am the director of science communications at the Foundation Fighting Blindness, based in Columbia, Maryland.

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February 11, 2016

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