Martin Edwards Enriching a Tradition
"The business really reflects Marty. It has always stood for consistency and honesty," Hagelstein remarks. "The quality of their work has always been head and shoulders above the rest.
"Any printer-publisher relationship has to be based on trust, and that's what I got from Marty," he adds. "His company also showed a knack for adjusting and adapting. As our products evolved, Marty was there to offer us anything we required."
Jed Lyons, president of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group in Lanham, MD, has known Edwards for more than 25 years and calls the printing veteran "one of the most exceptional human beings I've ever met—a true gentleman. I've always thought he was a midwestern Connecticut Yankee—hard nosed, tough minded, an unassuming, self-effacing man with a heart of gold. He's loyal to his friends and customers. He has all those old-fashioned values, along with a good sense of humor."
Beyond What's Expected
"When our company was going through some growth pains years ago, he helped us through the financial crises," notes Lyons. "He didn't have to do that. That tells you the kind of person he is; you'd want to have him next to you in a foxhole."
Edwards Brothers evolved over the years, adding journal printing and exiting the typesetting business altogether. By adding the offices and seeing existing clients and prospects in person, Edwards Brothers was able to learn the needs and wants of its customers, and that proved to be very enlightening.
"We didn't have any formula, as in, 'Hey, we're the new kid on the street and we're going to show you how it's done,' ' Edwards notes. "No, we were quite the opposite. We were there to learn."
The learning hasn't stopped for Marty Edwards, either. He is closely monitoring the stress that the book market, in general, is experiencing. Encyclopedia and reference books have taken a major hit, finding themselves replaced by CD-ROMs. While reference and trade titles aren't a specialty of Edwards Brothers, competition that loses out in these markets invariably start sniffing around for some of Edwards Brothers' business.