Recap of May Event: Best Practices in Project Management: Examples in Book PublishingThe May MBPR luncheon was the last of the 2015-2016 season. MBPR members voted for new and incumbent directors to the board; those elected will serve from 2016-2018. MBPR ended the year in the black, with $16,370 total assets as of May 18, 2016. Our membership continues to hold steady: this season we had 74 individual and organizational members, with over half of those occurring during the first month of the membership drive. The annual MBPR membership dues help fund our major expenditures each season, including luncheon events and keynote presenters, an annual "pitch fest," and continued support of monthly Happy Hours in partnership with MN Publishing Tweet Up.
Our May luncheon topic was best practices in project management. Rachel Holscher from BookMobile started out with a discussion of time management. She demonstrated BookMobile’s scheduling tool, Smartsheet, and how it helps them standardize timelines and share progress with their clients. Andrew DeYoung from Augsburg Fortress moved on to cost management, and explained how clear communication about costs drives project management decision-making. And Jaime Taylor from Capstone ended with scope management, presenting an overview from the PMBOK Guide (Project Management Institute) and tools to help “rightsize” your project management approach. An audio recording and slide decks from this event are available to members in Member Resources. Thanks everyone for a great event!
Recap of March Event: Career Advancement in the Field of PublishingAt the March MBPR luncheon, Amy Lindgren, President of Prototype Career Service, nationally syndicated columnist (twincities.com/lindgren), and guest expert on Minnesota Public Radio, shared thoughts and experience on career advancement in the field of publishing. Amy began her presentation by noting that publishing, like all fields, has changed tremendously in recent years. Impacted by everything from technology to globalization to the rise in self-publishing, the field has needed to be agile to stay relevant. As many of us know, with so much going on, it's easy to lose track of personal career management. With that in mind, Amy asked attendees to consider what keeps them interested in publishing. The audience was provided with a helpful worksheet that laid out three "areas" of publishing to consider (enterprise publishing, publishing as a function, and publishing as a service), several career discovery questions, and some general advancement tips and tools. An audio recording and the worksheet from this event are available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to Amy and all the attendees for a great event!
Recap of January Event: What’s in a Campaign? Three Success Stories from Twin Cities PublishersPresenters Caroline Casey, managing director at Coffee House Press, Matthias Frasch, digital marketing and analytics manager at EMC Publishing, and Shannon Hoffmann, global trade marketing director at Capstone, shared successful nontraditional book marketing campaigns. Caroline Casey presented the inspired campaign behind Coffee House Press’s The Story of My Teeth, a novel in translation by Valeria Luiselli about making art and telling stories. Coffee House’s successful matching of a great book, a long lead, and extraordinary bookseller support resulted in a runaway hit in 2015, landing on more than 20 best of lists this year. Matthias Frasch introduced EMC Connect, EMC's newest blog hub offering tips, resources, trends, and more to a broad secondary education based audience. EMC Connect was developed using a free marketing website template to create a cost-effective solution to providing a central location for customer-focused marketing content, and uses Google Analytics to measure traffic. The goal of the campaign is to foster a nurturing relationship with potential customers by providing educational resources that are useful in the classroom. Shannon Hoffman discussed the campaign of a new young adult series, published by Capstone’s new YA imprint Switch Press, repositioning the iconic Lois Lane as a contemporary teenage super hero. The marketing strategy was focused around using social engagement to garner publicity and buzz to create advanced demand for the first title and the series. Launch day included an announcement in Times Square, launch parties at indie bookstores, a Social Media Day and Author Takeover, and internal hoopla with employees. Lois Lane: Fallout has been Capstone’s most publicized title, with over 500 media mentions, and the bestselling YA title for the Switch Press imprint. An audio recording and the slides from this event are available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to everyone for a great event!
Recap of November Event: Contract Negotiations 101Freelance copyeditor and writer Paula L. Fleming, author business consultant and former agent Laurie Harper, and Hazelden Publishing's Executive Director of Operations, Lenny Peterson, brought their own perspectives on contract negotiations. Lenny explained that a publisher’s primary goal is consistency in contracts; Paula, that a freelancer is trying to educate the other party on expectations; and Laurie, that an agent’s goal is to protect the client from a worst-case scenario.The panelists covered what authors should and should not expect to see in a contract. Determining when a book is out-of-print is an especially pressing issue in an era of e-books. What happens if a publisher decides not to publish must also be considered. As a freelancer, Paula was especially concerned with overly restrictive non-compete clauses that will inhibit her from future work. However, an author should not expect to be given final say over title, and marketing plans are never included in contracts.The panelists agreed that tone was also important in negotiating a contract. Total inflexibility is a sign that the relationship might be a difficult one, as was a hyper-focus on the advance. A phone conversation, rather than an email, can often build consensus. At the same time, each party must be willing to walk away. An audio recording is available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to everyone for a great event!
Recap of September Event: Leveraging Intellectual Property with Content Management SystemsPresenter Colleen Cunningham of F+W Media discussed her company’s experience investing in a content management system (CMS). She explained how in the new workflow, editors marked up finalized manuscripts with XML tags to describe the content, since editors know the content best. XML is a format-agnostic tool that keeps elastic assets and is great for storage, repurposing, and future proofing. Once manuscripts are imported into the CMS, all further edits are completed here, in a central location, instead of separately in print and digital products. The CMS can simultaneously export to InDesign for print, EPUB for ebooks, and HTML for websites. When exported to one of these options, the XML tags run through a filter and automatically sync up with the paragraph styles and character styles (InDesign) or CSS (EPUB and HTML) already set up in a template. This was especially beneficial for long-running series with consistent, templated styles.
Colleen impressed the importance of using CMS with the correct types of books: those containing content that is easily repurposed and leveraged, such as cookbooks, whose recipes could be regrouped into new books (ex: Quickly publish a cookbook on a new fad diet by searching the CMS for recipes that match the diet). In F+W’s experience, once the CMS was set up and people were trained, it saved lots of time and allowed designers and production to focus more on 4-color craft books and other high-selling titles that need extra design attention. An audio recording and the slides from Colleen's presentation are available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to everyone for a great event!
Recap of May Event: Successful Publicity Campaigns in the Digital AgePublicity professionals Alison Aten (Minnesota Historical Society Press), Sammy Bosch (Mighty Media Press), Erin Kottke (Graywolf Press) and Cathy Paper (Cathy Paper, M.A.) were the panelists for MBPR’s May luncheon “Successful Publicity Campaigns in the Digital Age.” In a flowing discussion covering many aspects of building and executing a successful campaigns in the digital age, the panelists started the conversation by providing information on when to start planning. This expanded into a discussion on how far in advance the media needs to be pitched a book, approaches the panelists take when following up with potential reviewers and how a book’s genre impacts how a campaign is built. The panelists explained how their campaigns have changed in the digital age, delving into the role of social media and how an approach varies with each book and author. The luncheon wrapped up with a Q&A session. An audio recording is available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to everyone for a great event!
Recap of March Event: Copyright Essentials for Publishing ProfessionalsProfessor Susan Marsnik was the guest speaker for MBPR’s March luncheon, “Copyright Essentials for Publishing Professionals.” She gave an overview of different forms of intellectual property rights before expanding the discussion into what makes copyright law complex today: notably, international agreements, differing approaches amongst countries, and digital content. Marsnik explained the eight types of copyrightable subject matter as well as what content is not subject to copyright, including words and short phrases, familiar symbols and designs, and lettering and coloring. Marsnik included tips to help authors and publishers avoid infringing on preexisting works, then delved into recent changes to U.S. copyright standards. The luncheon wrapped up with a lively Q&A. An audio recording and a PDF of Marsnik’s presentation are available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to everyone for a great event!
Recap of Brew/Pub Social: A Pitch FestOn January 27, MBPR hosted its first "Pitch Fest," which gave local authors and freelancers the opportunity to pitch their ideas and services to Twin Cities book and magazine publishers. The event was held at Fair State Brewing Cooperative, and throughout the evening attendees networked with more than twenty publishing representatives from editorial, production, and design departments, as well delegates from a literary agency, PR firm, and three local magazines (Minnesota Monthly, Paper Darts, and Hazel & Wren).
Recap of January Event: The Changing Role of an EditorPanelists Heidi Hogg (freelance copyeditor and project manager), Andrew Karre (executive editor at Dutton Children’s Books), and Michael Stoffel (assistant managing editor at the University of Minnesota Press) kicked off the January 2015 MBPR luncheon, “The Changing Role of an Editor: Tools of the Trade.” The panel was moderated by MBPR board member David Farr. The speakers engaged in an enlightening discussion about how technology has changed the role of editors in light of advances in digital delivery and changes in staffing resources. Topics included the digital workflow and how it affects the earlier stages of the editorial process with tools such as InCopy, XML tagging, and Word macros, and how publishers are working with internal and outside freelancers or services to utilize these resources. The consensus seemed to be that although tools such as InCopy, Word macros, and XML tagging may seem daunting to learn and use, they are not that difficult to put into practice and can greatly increase the efficiency of the digital workflow. Consultants and services are available to train and help implement new digital processes such as XML tagging. Another example is importing Word copy into InCopy, making it more compatible with InDesign files, and in this way authors don’t need to try to learn InCopy to write their manuscripts, a challenging scenario at best. InCopy files can be edited by multiple reviewers and also work with Dropbox, which is an easy way to share files. Word macros can save much time by automating repetitive tasks such as deleting spaces, hard returns, tabs, etc., to clean up manuscripts. Linda.com is also a great resource for tutorials. The advice of the panel for those wanting to stay up to date with new editorial tools is to learn the Adobe Creative Cloud programs, since they are expected to dominate the publishing page design and layout for the foreseeable future. An audio recording of this event is available to members in Member Resources.Thanks to everyone for a great event!
Recap of November Event: Best Practices for Producing Print + Digital ContentTypesetter and ebook developer Laura Brady was the guest speaker for the second MBPR luncheon of the 2014-15 season: “Best Practices for Producing Print + Digital Content.” She discussed overcoming the print-first mindset and creating flexible assets. To achieve elastic assets, Brady stressed style sheets, consistency, hierarchy, and structure as focal points. She also encouraged the use of built-in tools to create navigation, such as tables of contents, indexes, and endnotes. Brady explained that several old-school typesetting practices just don’t carry over into digital content, such as white spaces and hard hyphens. Instead, she recommended using non-breaking spaces, discretionary hyphens, variable text on master pages in InDesign, and naming assets without spaces or symbols. Furthermore, many font foundries will charge separately for print and digital use, doubling your font costs. She recommended using TrueType and open-source fonts, instead of PostScript fonts. The luncheon concluded with a Q&A delving into more minute details of built-in navigation tools. An audio recording and a PDF of Brady’s presentation are available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to everyone for a great event!
Recap of September Event: Current Trends at Local BookstoresBooksellers Judith Kissner (Scout & Morgan), Mary Magers (Magers & Quinn), Katie McGinley (Wild Rumpus), and Martin Schmutterer (Common Good Books) were the panelists for the first MBPR luncheon of the 2014-15 season, "Current Trends in Local Bookstores." They discussed how their stores have become destinations for readers, with events that build a sense of community. In terms of trends, they're especially interested in seeing more books by authors who take an active role in publicizing their books, potential book-club books set in Minnesota (especially in paperback), reprints of beloved, out-of-print picture books, and more inexpensive editions of quality, literary paperbacks. They also agreed that cover design is very important in appealing to readers. While the booksellers will consider taking attractively-packaged self-published books (sometimes on consignment), a very strong local network is crucial to these books’ success. The luncheon concluded with a discussion on the nuts-and-bolts of a successful author event. An audio recording of this event is available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to everyone for a great event!
New Members to MBPR Board of DirectorsThanks to all the member organizations who attended our May event and cast their votes to fill vacant positions on the MBPR board of directors. Four terrific nominees have been elected to the board. Congratulations and welcome to:
Alicia Ester, Editor and Project Manager, Beaver's Pond Press
David Farr, Founder, ImageSmythe
Jennie Goloboy, Literary Agent, Red Sofa Literary
Kris Vetter, Associate Production Editor, Lerner Publishing Group
Special thanks to exiting board members Tami Peterson, VP/Creative Director of Meadowbrook Press, and Amy Quale, Editorial Director and co-founder of Wise Ink Creative Publishing, for their exemplary service.
Recap of May Event: Metadata ManagementMBPR was pleased to welcome Laura Dawson, Product Manager for Identifiers at Bowker, to speak at our final lunch of the 2013–14 season. Laura briefly covered metadata fundamentals before launching into a discussion about how publishers might effectively use and manage metadata so readers can find their books. Topics included discoverability, identifiers vs. metadata, books as websites, and developing a structure for metadata in the content-rich landscape of the web. The presentation slides are available at Member Resources.
Recap of March Event: Editors, Authors, and the Art of Developmental EditingFor our March event, we listened to an interesting and lively panel discussion with three highly respected developmental editors working with nonfiction, fiction, and children's literature: Patricia Stockland, editor-in-chief at Lerner Publishing Group; Patrick Thomas, managing director at Milkweed Editions; and Linda White, who runs BookMania (offering services for authors and publishers) and The Publishing Bones (a website for writers). The topics discussed ranged from effective approaches to editing fiction and nonfiction, to the nurturing of the editor/author relationship, to the role of sales and marketing in the developmental process. An audio recording of this event is available to members in Member Resources. Thanks to panelists and attendees for a great event!
Recap of January Event: Change Management in the Digital WorldBrett Sandusky, founder of bdigitl Media Labs, showed us a brief history of publishing and discussed where many companies are stuck now. He asked us, "Why?" Why are we stuck where we are? Are we afraid of change? Do we not know how to change? Do we understand the possibilities for change?
This led to a discussion of what new possibilities are out there - when you should dive in yourself and when you should hire someone else. Brett stated:
- First, figure out what your obstacles are
- Then, figure out what your opportunities are
- Make sure not to “just follow" the same path as everyone else
Find your new comfort zones, using:
- User-centered design thinking
- Data pragmatism
- Direct-to-consumer relationships
- "Cleaning house"
Please see the slides from Brett's presentation for more information on this topic, then listen to the audio recording. This material is available under Member Resources.
Exhibitors at 2014 Freelance FairThis year's Freelance Fair was well attended, with exhibitors ranging from writers and editors to publicists and designers. Thanks to all who participated!
Rachel M. Anderson, Marketing & PR Consultant/Publicist, RMA Publicity
RMA Publicity is a PR agency based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis - St. Paul, Minnesota. We offer marketing, public relations and media relations services to clients who desire personalized service. Our specialty is book marketing and book publicity.
Contact: Rachel M. Anderson (email@example.com; 952-240-2513)
Jim Bindas, Books & Projects
Source and manage the creative and manufacturing resources required for custom printed products including books, kits, and games.
Contact: Jim Bindas (firstname.lastname@example.org; 952-949-1495)
Rebecca is a freelance writer and editor with enthusiasm for all types of publishing projects, with a focus on books for grades K-12. She has journalism experience and credits and has written more than 30 and edited more than 50 fiction and nonfiction children's titles. Rebecca is available for freelance writing, editing, copy editing, photo researching, and proofreading work.
Contact: Rebecca Felix (email@example.com; 612-229-4049)
Jessica Hillstrom, Hillspring Books, Inc.
Offering typesetting, design, and proofreading services. Over 15 years of experience in the print industry. Committed to quality and experienced in detailed, complex projects.
Contact: Jessica Hillstrom (firstname.lastname@example.org; 651-600-8682)
Barbara Koster, Barbara Koster Design
Freelance designer for 27 years, 6 months. Project experience includes: publications, catalogs, logos, packaging, and annual reports for foundations, healthcare, media groups, museums, retail, transit organizations, and universities. Book design and production for non-profit and the consumer markets. My work has received awards from Communication Arts, Photography, American Illustration, Print, the Society of Publication Designers, and the New York Art Directors Club.
Contact: Barbara Koster (email@example.com; 651-224-5600)
Dorie McClelland, Spring Book Design
Books, whether print or electronic, are still judged by their covers. Spring Book Design invests serious creativity in a solid cover design that enhances the overall look and feel of your book, captures audience interest, and maintains the integrity of your message. Developing a truly readable book is the primary goal of good book design—how it attracts the reader's eye, the way a print book feels in the hand, its size and weight, all contribute to how content is presented to the reader. Creating a readable book means paying close attention to the standards of good page design, including font selection, typographic controls, proportion, white space, consistency, flow, and decoration. The combined effects of these elements help capture the author's energy and spirit and give the book's message the presentation it deserves. Join Spring Book Design's wonderful, interesting, award-winning clients.
Contact: Dorie McClelland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emily Nesheim, Senior Quality Assurance Executive & Development Associate, ansrsource
ansrsource has more than a decade of experience providing comprehensive multidisciplinary academic project development, content development, and related services to the education and professional training industries using a unique model that is flexible, predictable, timely, and cost-effective. We are the largest and most well-reputed academic firm specializing in content development to optimize digital learning platforms. ansrsource employs hundreds of full-time instructional designers, authors, digital asset and assessment specialists, subject matter experts, project managers, and editors in the U.S. and internationally.
Contact: Emily Nesheim (email@example.com; 612.424.8847)
Andrea Rud, Freelance Editor and Production Manager
A publishing professional since 1992, I provide copyediting, proofreading, and project management of nonfiction titles for publishers and authors. Subjects include cooking, health and wellness, regional history, wildlife and natural history, art and design, and curriculum guides. I have extensive experience scheduling and monitoring the publication process; coordinating the work of authors, editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, and designers; budgeting; print buying; and vendor management. I specialize in designing workflows that bring calm and clarity to the publishing process. Proficient in The Chicago Manual of Style and AP style.
Contact: Andrea Rud (firstname.lastname@example.org; 715-417-1730)
Ryan Scheife, Mayfly Design
Specializing in all aspects of book design, including cover design, page design, typesetting, and eBook formatting for your digital books. I consider my strength in taking your finished text and creating a beautiful, engaging, and exciting book, and—just as importantly—an experience that is very time-efficient and worry-free. I call upon my keen eye for elegant design and my diligence for consistency and accuracy and mix it with a proficient knowledge of current trends to create an engaging, beautiful, and cost-effective book for you to showcase with pride and confidence.
Contact: Ryan Scheife (email@example.com; 612-804-9689)
Laura Silver, Editor & Writer
Laura Silver is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor specializing in cookbooks, art, craft, and design, fiction and creative nonfiction/memoir, history, and health care. Her recent clients include Kirkus Media (New York); the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; the University of Minnesota; the American Craft Council; and the Minnesota Historical Society Press. She is currently the copy editor for BoxOffice magazine, a monthly print and online film-industry magazine now in its ninety-third year.
Contact: Laura Silver (firstname.lastname@example.org; 612-961-4135)
David Skarjune, Publisher, Word & Image
Word & Image provides Content Publishing solutions for authors, artists, and organizations including content strategy, content management, content marketing, web development, and publishing of both print books and ebooks. We can help you Self-Publish professionally.
Contact: David Skarjune (email@example.com; 612-515-5303)
Scott Thomsen, co-owner, Producer and Narrator, Holton House Audio
Holton House is a producer of audiobooks from start to finish. We handle everything from choosing a narrator to match style with content. All technical issues from recording to engineering and mastering. We are also an approved content provider for Audible.com
Contact: Scott Thomsen (Scott@holtonhouseaudio.com; 612-419-6761)
Recap of November Event: Marketing and Sales for Bookstores and School LibrariesFor our November event, we listened to a great panel discussion about independent bookstores, schools, and libraries, and the ways in which they work together to deliver great books to new readers. Presenters included Gary Mazzone, Outreach & Sales Director at Magers & Quinn Booksellers (firstname.lastname@example.org); Carrie Zelin Johnson, M.Ed., Director of Early Education at Ways to Grow (email@example.com); Ashley Leary, Academic Coordinator and Master Teacher at Partnership Academy (firstname.lastname@example.org); and Belle Nelson, Media Director at Thomas Jefferson High School (email@example.com). The panelists discussed what they look for in quality submissions from publishers, what marketing tactics they find effective from publishers, and the ways in which they use books with readers. Thanks to panelists and attendees for a great event!
An audio recording of this event is available to members under Member Resources.
Audio Recordings of MBPR Luncheon Presentations Available to Members This SeasonYou missed the last MBPR event and are bummed because you really wanted to learn more about the topic. This season, you’re in luck, because MBPR is providing audio recordings of each event to members only! The recording of our September event is now available on our website (on a password-protected page), and future recordings will be posted as soon as possible after each event. Members will receive the password in an email when they register for membership. (For organizations, the primary contact listed on the membership form will receive the password to distribute to staff members.)
It’s not too late to join MBPR! Visit our membership page, join by November 15, and take advantage of this new resource.
If you have already joined MBPR for the 2013 - 2014 season, you or your organization's primary contact will be emailed the password soon.
Recap of September Kick-off EventTo kick off our 2013–2014 season on September 18, we had an informative presentation followed by a Q&A discussion on the topic of Adobe's Creative Cloud. Presenters included Stacie Marshall, Director of Client Services at The Foundation, and Keith Gilbert, Adobe Certified Instructor, design and publishing educator, speaker, writer, and consultant. Key conversations included features and benefits of the different licensing models, the extinction of the Creative Suite, and Setting up Creative Cloud for the first time. Thank you to all who attended.
Sneak Peek: 2013–2014 Lunches and TopicsYou’ve thought about joining Minnesota Book Publishers’ Roundtable or renewing your membership, but you haven’t quite committed. Well, our annual member drive is kicking off next week, and this season’s lunch topics are just some of the reasons you should join this year:
September 18 - Adobe Creative Cloud
November 13 - Marketing and Bookstore Sales Trends
January 22 - Digital Trends
March 19 - Developmental Editing
May 14 - Metadata (featuring Laura Dawson, product manager at Bowker)
Each event is held at Target Performance Hall at Open Book and runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The cost to attend is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Lunch is included for everyone attending the event.
More information on the member drive and events to come soon!
(NOTE: Event topics and dates are subject to change.)
New Members to MBPR Board of DirectorsThanks to all the member organizations who attended our May event and cast their votes to fill vacant positions on the MBPR board of directors. After reviewing the election results and reassessing its needs, the board decided to fill an additional board position. This means all five terrific nominees have been elected to the board.
Congratulations and welcome to:
Erik Christopher, Founder/CEO, Ugly Dog Digital
Kevin Finley, Senior Publicist, Hillcrest Media
Kate Kjorlien, Manager, Digital Asset Systems, Hazelden Publishing
Katie Nickerson, Marketing & Training Manager for the Test Division, University of Minnesota Press
Carla Valadez, Production Editor, Redleaf Press
Special thanks to exiting board member Jim Bindas, Books & Projects, for his exemplary service as board treasurer.
Recap of MBPR September EventTo kick off our 2012–2013 season on September 26, we had an informative panel discussion on timely topics: library marketing and new trends in sales, and publisher-library collaboration. Panelists included Kit Hadley, Director of the Saint Paul Public Library; Tom Mercer, Marketing Manager for the 3M Cloud Library; and Terri Souter, VP and Director of Marketing for Lerner Publishing. Key conversations included new digital platforms, collection development of eBooks, how the role of librarian is changing in terms of publisher partnerships, and digital education.
MBPR Trade Show 2012 ScholarshipThe board is pleased to announce that the recipient of this year’s MBPR Trade Show Scholarship is Courtney Colton, an employee of Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., and Senior Publicist at Midnight Ink Books. The scholarship grants the winning applicant a $1000.00 stipend to help pay for travel and other expenses associated with attending a professional book industry tradeshow. The scholarship will enable Courtney to attend BookExpo America, taking place this June in New York. Congratulations, Courtney!
Recap of MBPR March Event
We had a lively, well-attended panel discussion on March 14 featuring Julie Arthur of Adventure Publications, Steve Horwitz of Abraham Associates, Jay D. Peterson of Magers & Quinn Booksellers, and Hans Weyandt of Micawber's Books. We had great questions coming from attendees, and it was a perfect opportunity for publishing colleagues to get together and discuss the changing retail climate—with special focus on the relationship between publishers, sales reps, bookstore buyers, and readers and how to capitalize on best practices.