Event Information

Your Software: Strategic Asset or Strategic Albatross?

January 11, 2017 - 11:30 AM
Open Book (Target Performance Hall), 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis
Member price: $20
Non-member price: $25 (student rate $15)

Event Description

Software is both indispensable and expensive for all businesses; book publishing adds to its complexities by the requirements of its peculiar business practices. As publishers grow, they face never-ending decisions in acquiring new software and maintaining the software they already have. Even general-purpose software like word processors and spreadsheets can now be licensed or rented, installed locally or hosted in the cloud. Enterprise-level software like distribution systems and ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems are major investments and major risks, sometimes presenting the thorniest software decision any business can make: “Build or buy.” Nobody bothers to write their own spreadsheet, but for some applications, building your own can be an option. Indeed, sometimes it is the only option!

In his talk, Don Leeper will address the benefits and costs of build-your-own or license-and-adapt. Bookmobile is launching a new venture called Tasora Books in 2017 to supply tailored publishing services to Kickstarter projects. Tasora Books will use G Suite (Google applications), externally hosted WordPress, Google analytics, CRM (customer relationship management) software tied to the website, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and other cloud-based services rather than hosting anything onsite. Using Tasora Books as a case study, Leeper will explain the decision-making process for the software being used in the new venture.

Don Leeper is founder of Bookmobile, a provider of publishing services to university presses, literary publishers, associations, and small- to medium-sized trade publishers. Launching a new service every few years, Bookmobile now provides book design, creation, project management, printing and distribution services, as well as ebook and mobile app development and distribution. In 2017 it will launch Tasora Books, providing specialized services to Kickstarter-funded publishing projects. In addition to running the Bookmobile business overall, Leeper oversees its IT and software development projects, and is a programmer himself.

Where & When
Open Book (Target Performance Hall)
1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis.
Wednesday, January 11, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Registation Information
Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. The program starts at approximately 12:00 p.m. Fees, which include lunch, are $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Reservations required. If space allows walk-ins, those without reservations will be charged $30 at the door. For this event, we are also offering a special student rate: $15 in advance, and $20 on the day of the lunch. If you reserve a place, a lunch will be ordered for you and you'll be expected to pay for it whether or not you attend.

Parking Information
There is a small side lot next to the Open Book building (just past the building on the right as you are heading east on Washington; for those heading west, turn on 10th or 11th and go down the alley to access the lot). If the Open Book lot is full, other options are:
  • Meters along 10th and 11th; most cost $1.00/hour
  • Guthrie ramp. Enter on 9th Avenue (between Washington and 2nd Street South).
  • Municipal parking ramp across from the Mill City Museum (this is a longer walk because it is a block farther away and the entrance is on 2nd Street South).


To make your reservation, register, and pay online with a credit card, use the Eventbrite registration form below. If you prefer to pay at the door by cash or check, please email with your reservation request. Please indicate whether you will be attending as a student or as an MBPR member or nonmember.

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