Through the years, AGS BookWorks has produced 200 books, primarily information-intensive, large-format, photographically-illustrated books. The company was founded in San Francisco by Bill Yenne, a best-selling author and experienced book producer who has been coordinating the editorial and design development of publications, particularly books, for a quarter of a century. The books that have been written, designed and produced at AGS BookWorks have been published by major American publishers such as Random House and Simon & Schuster, as well as by international publishers from Europe to Australia and by various corporate clients.
AGS BookWorks worked with Boeing to create The Story of the Boeing Company. Frequently updated, it is a comprehensive history of that company that incorporates the complete history of their constituent companies, including McDonnell Douglas and the North American Aviation operations of Rockwell International. This was preceded by a series of aircraft company histories authored by Bill Yenne, produced and packaged by AGS, and published by the Crown Publishing Group subsidiary of Random House. AGS also produced the classic corporate history of Evergreen International Aviation, whose legacy is celebrated at Oregon’s Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, the home of Howard Hughes’s famous Spruce Goose .
In addition to books on planes, trains and automobiles, our projects have included cookbooks, pictorial biographies, books on topics from astronomy and American history to golf course design, and from pop culture to pop music. We created the best-selling San Francisco Then & Now, which Amazon’s “Listmania” described as the number one book about the city.
Indicative of the range of projects undertaken by Bill Yenne and AGS in the company’s formative years were the Levi Strauss & Co. Corporate Trademark Handbook and PhoneCenter FOCUS, a magazine designed by and produced for the once and future Pacific Telephone component of AT&T, which that company’s vice president Len Hedberg called “the best media aid I have ever seen.”
Critics, as well as customers, have raved about our work. The curator of the US Air Force Museum has called our aviation books “Not only visually attractive, but very useful in day to day museum work.” The esteemed British journal, Greenskeeping Management has referred to our series on great golf courses as “Fine… scholarly. Quite apart from the breathtaking photographs, the text is a delight.”
AGS worked with the Walt Disney Company to edit, illustrate and produce a series of full-color children’s books called Walt Disney’s American Classics. Bill Yenne had the idea to revive stories from American folklore which Walt Disney had adapted for short films in the 1940s and 1950s, but which were not then available in book form using the Disney-designed characters. These stories included Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett, Johnny Appleseed, Casey at the Bat, Brer Rabbit and Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow. To execute the Disney series, Bill Yenne created a pop-up illustration studio to execute original artwork. This, in turn, attracted the attention of Thomas Nelson Publishers, who commissioned Yenne’s studio team to illustrate and produce an eight-book series called The Children’s Bible Classics. Bill Yenne himself adapted most of the text for the series.
Among the film books produced by AGS were a series of sixteen large and lavish, 10×14-inch books of classic black and white Hollywood portrait photographs. Among these were two which were published in the US and the UK, as well as in France. Translated into French by Editions Atlas in Paris, both Les Dieux d’Hollywood and Les Deesses d’Hollywood became best sellers.
Also in the entertainment world, AGS produced a number of popular books about Elvis Presley. These include I Am Elvis: The Guide to Elvis Impersonators, which had its debut on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and which was referred to by The Baltimore Sun as “perhaps the most important Elvis Presley book of the hundreds already published.” Meanwhile, The New York Times described our Field Guide to Elvis Shrines as being “Enough to wear out several pairs of blue suede shoes.” This book has been recently updated and is available as an e-book.
There are always exciting things in the works at AGS BookWorks!
Bill Yenne’s 50 Years in the Mountains of Montana and the West
During his half-century career, William J. Yenne (the father of the AGS founder) was well known on the trails in the rugged backcountry of the American West, from Grand Canyon to the Idaho Panhandle. He was especially recognized as the most accomplished and knowledgeable outdoorsman who ever rode the back country of Montana’s Glacier National Park. Mel Ruder, the Pulitzer Prize winning founder of the Hungry Horse News, who accompanied W.J. Yenne on many of his back country inspection tours, called him “the man who best knows Glacier National Park’s one thousand miles of trails.”
Indeed, his work for the National Park Service took him on virtually every trail in Glacier, nearly every year throughout the 1950s and 1960s. He knew each mile of those trails intimately, and could identify every mountain peak and every glacier at a glance. He was also a renowned storyteller. Those who remember him, recall him both for travels shared in the Glacier back country, and for his amusing and fascinating yarns, spun around campfires and kitchen tables, many of which are preserved in this book.
It’s enough to wear out several pairs of blue suede shoes.
— The New York Times
The book lists every home — from Bel Air to Memphis — that Elvis ever owned or lived in. It includes every concert hall, auditorium, or other site, in over 30 states, where he performed. Explanations of the historical significance of the sites are included, and the addresses are listed, so the sites are easy to find with GPS!
Selected AGS BookWorks Available Licenses
AGS BookWorks also grants licenses for the publication rights to many of our large-format, full-color books which have become timeless classics. We possess the printing film for certain titles, and we can print and ship copies anywhere in the world. Examples of titles which are presently available for licensing are on this page. In addition, we welcome inquiries from publishers who are interested in licensing print publication rights to any of our AGS E-Books. We have images in our archives that could be used to turn most of our all-text E-Books into colorfully-illustrated large format books.
Contact us for more information at (415) 285-8799 or Bill_Yenne@sbcglobal.net
Missions of California
With beautiful original color photography throughout, the book includes all 21 of the Missions in great detail, and includes a complete chronology. The in-depth text draws on many rare sources that are not often cited.
9.5 x 11 Landscape Format, 192 pages.
Hardcover with jacket.
Mom ’n’ Pop’s Apple Pie Cookbook
Over 300 Recipes from the Golden Age of American Home Cuisine, including Classic American Comfort Food. Ingram Editorial Reviews writes that this “collection of nostalgic and delicious recipes from the 1950s is accompanied by anecdotes and pictures of the 1950s culture that inspired such foods as Sloppy Joes and Chili Dogs.”
Vintage Fifties Illustrations.
9 x 12 Portrait Format, 112 pages.
Hardcover with jacket, or soft cover.
A view inside the AGS BookWorks library: