By Anisse Gross
Las Vegas–based publisher Central Recovery Press was founded in 2006 by parent company Central Recovery, with the mission to counteract the stigma associated with addiction, treatment, and recovery, explained executive editor Nancy Schenck. CRP focuses on titles that deal with addiction, chronic pain, and other behavioral health care topics, and in May it published Many Faces, One Voice: Secrets from the Anonymous by Bud Mikhitarian, a companion book to Greg Williams’s documentary The Anonymous People.
The book had its genesis when Schenck saw The Anonymous People, which is about the 23 million Americans recovering from addiction, at the 2014 Reel Recovery Film Festival. Schenck said that CRP identified with the message of the film, and Williams put CRP in touch with Mikhitarian, one of the writers and producers, who was already working on a book based on the movie.
Mikhitarian said that the initial rough cut of the film featured 200 hours of material “boiled down to 90 minutes.” He added: “You can imagine the gems that were left on the cutting room floor. Half jokingly, I said to Greg that I should write a book about all those amazing stories that didn’t make the cut.”
Initially Mikhitarian planned for the book to be a collection of interviews and stories that weren’t in the film, serving as a record of all the valuable information and insights gathered during production. “In Greg’s film, his personal recovery story provides an arc across many issues related to addiction and recovery,” Mikhitarian explained. “I am not a person in recovery, but I discovered something on this filmmaking journey that was nothing short of an epiphany for me. As a person outside of the recovery community, I thought the insights I gained from my experience on the film would be meaningful both to those affected by addiction and to those who are clueless about the issues, as I was.”
Schenck said adapting the film to a book is in keeping with CRP’s aim to expand its audience and provide tools to those suffering from addiction and to their families. “This is what’s so exciting about publishing,” she added. “We can take the message of a film and expand and deepen the understanding of what’s behind it and telegraph it to a wider, more diverse audience.”
Schenck noted that this is the “first time CRP has produced a product that directly relates to a media property. Because the film is so important, we really went above and beyond our normal acquisition process to get this book.”
Many Voices is one of the 12 titles CRP has planned for publication this year. The press distributes its list though Consortium and does a brisk business in the addiction, treatment, and behavioral health markets. CRP has had double-digit annual sales growth for each of the last five years.
Schenck joined Central Recovery in 2005 and helped launch the press in 2006. The press started with a staff of two—Schenck and publisher Bob Gray—and has grown to its current staff of nine. CRP is expanding its professional product lines, including tools for clinicians, counselors, and other behavioral health professionals, and the press uses a distribution model that includes everything from traditional bound books to the latest in broadcasting and Web technologies. “We have worked over the past two years to build our acquisitions department, which has helped to get our name out to the trade,” Schenck said.