MEMBERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Available Early on the iPad
Author Linda Tarr-Whelan tells her publisher, Berrett-Koehler, that she’s received lots of “street cred” from colleagues because her Women Lead the Way is available on the iBooks e-reader on the iPad. So far Berrett-Koehler has 23 titles in Apple’s iBookstore, including its popular Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Eat That Frog, and Leadership and Self-Deception, and the publisher expects to have 70 titles, both new releases and backlist bestsellers, within weeks. Berrett-Koehler has digitized roughly half of its almost 500 books in print and is converting them for the iBookstore. The company is also producing an enhanced e-book series that will include video, interactive exercises, and reader community functions for release later this year.
A PBS Pickup
At Blue Marlin Publications, Francine Rich reports that Hanni and Beth: Safe and Sound by Beth Finke is referenced in the activity plan that accompanies the “Firedog Martha” episode of PBS’s Read-Aloud Club for the animated children’s program, Martha Speaks. Available at MarthaRABC_Session6.pdf, the activity plan focuses on working dogs like Hanni, a guide dog. “Firedog Martha” can be viewed at pbskids.org/martha/parentsteachers/bookclub/episodes.html.
Skype for Schools
Want to promote your authors for school visits? Rives McDow of Sea Turtle Publishing reports that volunteers have created Skype an Author Network, skypeanauthor.wetpaint.com, which offers authors free pages to describe their classroom programs. Authors are expected to offer brief free presentations (say, 10 minutes) via Skype; they can set their own fees for longer Skype programs or in-person presentations. You’ll see more information, a list of participating authors, and a video on the nonprofit’s Web site.
Sharing Tips for Hiring Staff
Confessions of a Hiring Manager: Sage Advice for Fearless Job Seekers and Career Changers in a Confused Economy was launched in March by Kings Crown Publishing and the companion workbook came out a month later. Author J.T. Kirk, who spent 20 years as a hiring manager (although not in publishing), provides those of us who hire staff with these tips:
• Look for cover letters that sell you on the candidate providing solutions to your issues. That candidate should understand and be sensitive to what you face every day in your business and should demonstrate accomplishments that are in line with it.
• Count the number of instances of “I/me/mine” and “you/your/yours” in a cover letter. The candidates you want have more “you/your/yours” than “I/me/mine.” These applicants understand the need to address your concerns and not make themselves and their accomplishments the prime focus.
• Look for candidates who quantify their accomplishments in dollars (revenue generated or costs avoided) or percentages (revenue increase, efficiency improvements, etc.).
• Avoid candidates whose resumes claim they were “Responsible for” tasks or projects; look for demonstrable accomplishment verbiage such as “completed,” “directed,” “managed,” “designed,” and “created.”
Kirk also offered tips on publishing:
• Authors can create and support different sources of revenue from a book if they have multiple platforms (e.g., teaching, speaking, consulting, running a business, creating Web site content).
• Start small and develop your idea in manageable stages. Confessions of a Hiring Manager started as an industry journal article, then grew to a half-day workshop and later a full-day workshop. The article brought invitations to speak; the speeches brought requests for workshops; and the increased requests for workshops resulted in the book.
• Give away information on your Web site that is valuable to the reader and supports your publishing efforts. To eliminate work for yourself, use document download manager software that lets people purchase special reports, e-books, etc. 24/7/365. To get potential customers to spend more time on your site, and to return often, offer free assessments and free downloads.
Anthologies in the Age of New Platforms
Kings Crown Publishing also reports that its Instrumental Influences: Reflections on the Classical Guitar by the World’s Outstanding Classical Guitar Performers is in production, and that the book includes essays from 35 performers who were not paid. Each will receive three free books, and can buy 25 at the manufacturing cost, expected to be about $4.
Publisher Donn LaVie, Jr., used the prospect of back-of-the-room sales and the perceived credibility of being published to attract contributions. “The performers saw the book as a promotional tool for their live performances and believe it will enhance their teaching and consulting revenue,” he reports.
“It was after that last artist agreed to participate that I realized I had another book project inside Instrumental Influences,” LaVie adds, talking about Anatomy of a Winning Book Proposal: How to Capitalize on the Emerging Author 2.0 Publishing/Platform Building Model for Increasing Revenue Streams.
Suggestions from this book:
• Explore the benefits of POD and global distribution channels and discuss them
with potential contributors.
• Let contributors retain the copyright to their material so they can use it for
other publishing projects.
• Sell participants on how the project will help them reinforce their expertise. (“These
days,” he reminds us, “it’s easier than ever to design a nonfiction book that can help
generate new business opportunities.”)
• Establish accounts with CreateSpace, Lightning Source, and POD printers so you have
distribution channels in place.
Reminder: Digital Printing Demystified
Speaking of POD, a thorough explanation of digital printing is available in the Dummies Guide to Digital Printing, sold at ibpa-online.org. IBPA co-sponsored publication of the guide, which was commissioned by the Book Industry Study Group, and Linda Carlson both contributed to the content and edited the book.
New Office, New Edition
Mary A. Shafer of Word Forge Books is the new president of the MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association, an IBPA affiliate. An updated edition of Shafer’s Devastation on the Delaware: Stories and Images of the Deadly Flood of 1955 will be issued in August to coincide with the 55th anniversary of the flood.
Promotion Online and On the Beach
Remember to ask for what you want. Frank Gromling does this nicely in the April issue of the Ocean Publishing newsletter, where he announces a new book: “Check out THIS PAGE [oceanpublishing.org/tracks-in-the-sand.html] to read more about the book and order a copy for yourself or a loved one. If you like what you see, head on over to Amazon and offer your two cents with a rating or review.”
Even if you’re among those publishers who prefer to support independent storefront booksellers, reviews on Amazon are important because they are so often copied by other online booksellers and thus can give your titles higher positions in online searches.
Separately, Ocean Publishing’s most recent book launch encourages the rest of us to brainstorm about how we can introduce new books in innovative or quirky ways. Ocean used a Florida fundraiser, Turtle Fest in Flagler Beach, to launch Tracks in the Sand: Sea Turtles and Their Protectors. Half the revenue from book sales at the event were donated to the Volusia/Flagler Turtle Patrol, hundreds of volunteers dedicated to sea turtle conservation and protection.
Besides describing each turtle species, Tracks in the Sand includes portraits of lifetime Turtle Patrollers and tales of local turtle-related scandals.
Kent Sturgis, former IBPA president, reports that his Epicenter Press is using Firebrand Technologies (firebrandtech.com) for dissemination of metadata for its own titles and the books it distributes for other companies. (See “Desperately Seeking Good Data, Part 2: Don’t Let Bad Data Cripple Your Sales” in the May Independent.)
Members in the Spotlight is compiled by Linda Carlson, who welcomes news of unusual special sales, significant media coups, and other achievements at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit information in the text of your email; be sure to include your company name. This column does not use images or news about nonmembers. Since information for Members in the Spotlight is needed at least six weeks in advance of an issue’s publication date, news you submit by June 15 can be considered for the August and later issues. Because space in this column is limited, announcements of new titles, personnel changes, and most awards should be directed to Lisa Krebs, Lisa@ibpa-online.org, for the IBPA e-newsletter, Independent Publishing Now.