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Posted: 2021/06/02

The Point

Turning a mass market paperback into a trivia game
as challenging and fun to play as Jeopardy! or Trivial Pursuit
is anything but trivial.

I confess. I am a nerd. I love watching Jeopardy! and playing trivia games. One of the benefits of publishing nonfiction titles is that you pick up a lot of interesting but “useless” information. The real test comes when you are called upon to remember any one fact floating around your head.

For years, every Tuesday night, my teammates and I had played a trivia game called Buzztime at a restaurant called Houlihan’s. The game is played by watching a TV monitor that flashes a series of questions on a TV screen with five numbered answers from which to choose. You have only 30 seconds in which to press in your selected answer into a playbox that each team member is given. The longer it takes to answer a question correctly, the less points you receive. Get it wrong, and you get nothing. Now, there are two ways you can compete. You can either play against the other players assembled there at your location, or you and your friends can play as a team in real time against thousands of other teams located around the US and Canada. It has always been a lot of fun.

Over the years, I have purchased several trivia books that promoted themselves as “fun to play” but that were decidedly not. To get the answers, for instance, I found that you had to either keep turning to the back of the book—trying, all the while, not to see the answers to the next questions—or you had to instead turn the book upside down, and again try not to see the other answers. I had always thought there had to be a better way. While being dyslexic may screw up several of your cognitive skills, it also sometimes forces you to think outside the “game” box.

The challenge was to put together a trivia game in book form that didn’t give away answers to the reader.

THE ANSWER: What if you set up a row of four questions on each page, but instead of reading the questions from top to bottom, the game was played by turning to the next page where the answer appeared to the right of the next question in that row. It was definitely different, but it worked.

Now it was a matter of getting some really good questions.

THE ANSWER: Reach out to Buzztime, the company behind the trivia games I had been playing for years, and see if they would be interest in providing us with some questions. They loved the idea, but something was still missing.

How do I get people who don’t necessary know what Buzztime is to notice the trivia book?

THE ANSWER: Try to get some celebrities to help choose the questions in their respective fields and attach their names to each title, and that’s what we did.

To start out, we first got the legendary TV host Joe “Memory Lane” Franklin for all things showbiz. We then got basketball great Rick Barry for sports. For rock ’n roll, we were able to get Micky Dolenz, actor/singer of the ’60s pop sensation, The Monkees. For all things TV, we got beloved Eight Is Enough dad Dick Van Patten; and for all things movie, we locked in with comic improv genius Fred Willard. The books were all coming together, but one piece of the puzzle was still missing.

In nearly all the trivia games I had ever played, the answers to the questions were usually very short. As a nerd, I always wanted to know a little more about the answers to questions I didn’t know.

FINAL ANSWER: Provide more facts about each of the answers in all the books. And that’s how the Buzztime Trivia Series was put together. So if you love playing trivia, these books are a great way to play anytime and anywhere—without needing Wi-Fi or batteries.

And to all my nerdy friends out there, here’s one of my favorite questions:

Q. Who was President of the American government before George Washington?

  1. John Hanson
  2. William Penn
  3. Alexander Hamilton
  4. Jonathan Reese
  5. John Adams

Answer below.

Yours in all things (trivial or otherwise),

Rudy Shur, Publisher
Square One Publishers, Inc.
Ph: 516-535-2010 x 111

P.S. Here below is a link to our list of “Trivia” titles. Work hard, play hard!


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Posted: 2021/06/01

Garden City Park, NY (May 26, 2021): The assets of Upper Access, Inc., book publishers of Hinesburg, Vermont, have been acquired by Square One Publishers, Inc. of Garden City Park, New York at an undisclosed price. Upper Access has been in business since 1986, with a strong focus on nonfiction titles designed to improve the quality of daily life. Their titles range from home repair to death and dying to herbal remedies.

Upper Access, Inc.’s founder and publisher Steve Carlson believes that Square One will offer his titles higher visibility and a more aggressive marketing platform. Square One’s publisher Rudy Shur regards the Upper Access titles as a perfect fit for his company. “Our model remains simple,” Mr. Shur states. “By providing a variety of titles that answer people’s most important questions, we have a list of books that people want to buy. It turns out that the Upper Access titles serve that same crucial need for readers, which makes it a perfect fit for us.”

Among the groundbreaking books Upper Access has published are Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death by Joshua Slocum and Why the Wind Blows: A History of Weather and Global Warming by Matthys Levy, both of which will be updated and released in 2022.

The Independent Publishers Group (IPG), Upper Access’s current trade distributor, should complete transfer of Upper Access inventory to Square One by July 16, 2021. Bookstores, libraries, and book wholesalers can check on the Square One website beginning July 1st for any/all specific details regarding Upper Access titles.

To speak with Square One president Rudy Shur in regards to this new acquisition, please feel free to contact Anthony Pomes by email ( /

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Just What Is California’s SB 651, Anyway? If You Want Help Keeping Synthetic Dyes Out of Your Food, Keep Reading.

Posted: 2021/05/23

GARDEN CITY PARK, NY: Over the past decade, there has been an ongoing and heated debate in this country about the dangers inherent in vaccines given to newborns and young children. What the public seems still largely unaware of is the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has looked the other way when it allows processed food manufacturers a free pass in producing foods that contain harmful levels of mercury, as well as many other heavy metal toxins such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic, among others.

According to Dr. Renee Dufault, former FDA food safety investigator and author of Unsafe at Any Meal: What the FDA Does Not Want You to Know About the Foods You Eat, synthetic dyes have also been allowed into our processed foods supply—but a recently submitted legislative bill in the state of California may help to further awaken the general public to these harmful ingredients, even if only one state at a time.

Enter California Senate Bill SB 651, which calls for the requirement of warning labels on foods that contain synthetic petroleum-based heavy-metal containing colors as ingredients. As Dr. Dufault has noted, “Both the European Union [EU] and the UK already require these warning labels on foods that contain the dyes yellow #5, yellow #6, and red #40.”

These dyes, according to a new report released last month by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), have been shown to cause hyperactivity alongside a number of other neurobehavioral issues in children. As reported on the website of California’s Senator Bob Wieckowski, OEHHA’s new report “is the product of a two-year, multifaceted evaluation of seven synthetic food dyes that have been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.” The hope now, for Dufault and her various fellow similarly concerned food safety experts nationwide, is that SB 651 will first be passed into law in California—and then the rest of the US.

To learn more about the various all-too-real dangers to our collective health at play in our processed foods—from baby foods to soft drinks, and everything in between—be sure to get a copy of Dr. Dufault’s book Unsafe at Any Meal ($16.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0436-0) either at Amazon, B&N, Bookshop, or your local bookstore or library system. (The book is also available in audio format - click here to see, and hear.)

Tell your family and friends about it, too—and here’s hoping that California Senate Bill SB 651 will pass.

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Continued Attention Being Paid to Our Award-Winning Title, ADHD & THE FOCUSED MIND

Posted: 2021/05/21

GARDEN CITY PARK, NY: In addition to being both winner of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for "Best Parenting" title and one of's "100 Best ADHD Books of All Time," ADHD & the Focused Mind also remains Square One's top-selling audiobook title.

In addition, the past weeks have found two of the book's authors—husband and wife team Sarah Cheyette, MD and Benjamin Cheyette, MD, PhD—receiving a large and growing response within the ADHD, DSM, Child Development and Comorbidity communities online for all three parts of their Psychology Today blog's new three-part series "Diagnosing ADHD in the Coming Decades."

To check out each of the blog posts, click below for:

Part 1 ("ADHD in the 22nd Century") - click here

Part 2 ("The future diagnostic criteria for ADHD") - click here

Part 3 ("What will ADHD look like in the future DSM") - click here

ADHD & the Focused Mind
(ISBN: 978-0-7570-0414-8) is available now on Amazon and wherever else books are sold. If you want to experience the book in audio format, feel free to click here.

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Posted: 2021/05/03

The Point
Selecting the books you wish to publish
can be part of a well-structured business plan. On the other hand,
it can come from a place far more personal . . . such as cancer.

It was 2007. I had already been publishing books on the topic of cancer for a number of years—covering both conventional and alternative approaches. Through the process, I had learned a good deal about cancer by speaking to many doctors and cancer survivors who wanted to share their knowledge and stories. I would have thought that I would be better prepared for the day my wife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. For the most part, I knew that thyroid cancer was highly curable. What I was to learn, though, was that there are two rare and especially deadly forms of thyroid cancers out there, and my wife had one of them. It was called Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer (ATC), and based upon the medical statistics available to me, only one to two percent of those diagnosed with ATC survive. The news was difficult to hear, and reading about the disease on the internet only made things worse. All the medical websites that we visited described the illness as “Fatal.” We needed a decisive course of action—quickly.

The first thing we did was to find, contact, and visit a reputable, well-established cancer hospital. The physicians with whom we met were nothing less than honest about my wife’s tough prognosis. Given the short time she was told she had left—only three weeks to three months—my wife wanted to undergo the conventional treatments of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. As her treatment progressed, I contacted every one of the cancer specialists and alternative doctors that I knew. Each and every one of them came back to me with the same response: They knew of no existing treatment, alternative or otherwise, that showed any measurable effect in the fight against this particular cancer. The hospital, now in charge of my wife’s treatment, was conducting a number of clinical trials with an always-evolving source of newly developed drugs, but the results for ATC were poor.

The day before Christmas 2007, my wife underwent her first operation. While my family and I sat together in the hospital’s waiting room, my daughter-in-law told me about an article she had just read in The Wall Street Journal. It was about a father whose seven-year-old son had been diagnosed with a different type of rare and aggressive cancer. There was a treatment for it, but if it failed, the cancer would likely return and go on to kill the child. His child underwent the treatment, and while the initial results were good, the cancer came back. The father had learned about a psychology professor at U of C at San Diego, who was given a similar diagnosis and told to go home and prepare to tie up any loose ends before his death. But the professor did something very different. Without any medical protocols to follow, he put together a mix of natural supplements and off-label drugs that all had been shown to reverse or disrupt cancer cell growth in some manner. Working closely with his son’s doctor, the father used the same approach for his son that the San Diego professor had employed—and the treatment worked. I must have read that article ten times.

While my wife continued to undergo conventional treatments, together we searched for a qualified oncologist who would be willing to work with us. As luck would have it, we found one. Once my wife’s full set of treatments had been completed, our new doctor provided us with a wide assortment of natural supplements and off-label drugs that my wife was to take—every day. Her cancer came back twice, and she was operated on twice. But when it came back, the pathology report showed that the disease had changed. It was still ATC, but it now presented no positive margins (hair-like growths that extend beyond the edge of the tumor’s malignant tissue). Unlike the original tumors that had been surgically excised, the new cancer cells were nowhere near as aggressive as the original cells. After a third operation, my wife appeared to be free of cancer. The hospital doctor called her his “miracle patient.” However, he did not want to know what we had done after all the hospital treatments had been completed. That was twelve years ago, and I am lucky enough to still have my wife with me—still cancer-free.

Based on what my wife’s experiences, it took me two years after her initial prognosis to convince the alternative oncologist with whom we had worked to write a book based on this approach. Beyond the Magic Bullet: The Anti-Cancer Cocktail ($16.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0232-8) by Dr. Raymond Chang was the book I had the honor of publishing. And, as it turned out, the San Diego psychology professor and cancer survivor from The Wall Street Journal article—Dr. Ben Williams—was kind enough to write the book’s Foreword.

But there was more to come. After the intense radiation treatments my wife had endured, she had a very hard time swallowing foods. Her throat had partially closed due to the swelling, and she was in pain every time she tried to eat. I called another of my Square One authors—Sandy Woodruff, RD, one of this country’s top nutritionists—and asked for help. Working with fellow nutritionist Dr. Leah Gilbert-Henderson, Sandy was able to create a dietary program that allowed my wife to minimize her pain while maximizing her nutritional intake from a bevy of foods that she could actually swallow. Based on the success of their work, Sandy and Dr. Gilbert-Henderson then wrote what would become Square One’s best-selling special needs title, Soft Foods for Easier Eating Cookbook ($18.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0290-8). Once the book was out, we learned that there were a great many other health conditions that could benefit from the recipes in our book.

Three years ago, as my wife continued to live a happy and productive cancer-free existence, her breathing started becoming a problem. The three operations performed on her lungs to remove the cancer had taken their toll. I wanted once again to do all I could to find a way to improve her breathing, so I called another one of my authors. Meera Patricia Kerr is a top yoga instructor who teaches people how to breathe properly. She said that she could help and that she also had a friend—Dr. Sandra McLanahan, MD—who could provide some valuable medical guidance. The information that she and Dr. McLanahan compiled became the basis for one of Square One’s newest books, Take a Deep Breath ($16.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0481-0). As my wife and I learned, breathing issues can be caused by a large number of disorders, beyond just my wife’s condition.

I had never planned to publish these three titles, but when you’re an independent publisher, sometimes your work does become personal. You may be doing it for your own reasons, but you also know that there are people out there, just like my wife, who are affected by any number of debilitating health disorders. And you come to realize that it’s really not about producing a bestseller, but about providing essential information to people who need it. It’s just a guess, but that might be one of the reasons that Square One is now one of the leading health book publishers in the United States—just an unplanned benefit.

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