Link of Week: University Presses

An online interview goes into the different practices of university presses versus commercial publishers and what larger publishers can learn from them.

The Huffington Post posted an interview with Peter Dougherty, the director of the Princeton University Press, about the press’s success and growth. Over a century old, the press has evolved from being a publication aimed at only the university to attaining a global reach through digital library subscriptions and e-book adaptions. Dougherty explains how university presses tend to get overlooked and considered specialized and academic-oriented, which was true in the past, but these days they all also publish more general titles as well. He adds that university presses get overlooked in traditional advertisement spaces, such as larger bookstores and news paper columns, that a lot of their revenue and reviews come from online sources, and how imperative maintaining healthy relationships with book blogs and reviewers is for publicity.

Smaller university presses, Dougherty also mentions, are forward-thinking, and their approach to creating online digital libraries that can be accessed through subscriptions is something that larger publishers should pay attention to. Princeton University Press wants to allow anyone to access a number of titles for a set-fee, both academic and otherwise, which is much different than the typical process of publishers’ charging for one book.

Other major institutions interested in the future of digital publishing that larger publishers can learn something from include Stanford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Yale University Press, and Oxford University Press. The unity of the shifting approach to include digital publishing, and how these presses are going about handling this shift, says a lot about the direction of publishing’s possible future.

Link of the Week: Full Fathom Five and Getting Past Genre

 

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Early last semester, Full Fathom Five (FFF) made an appearance on our blog as link of the week because of its new digital-only imprint. This week, in an article posted on Digital Book World engages the growing problem of digital acquisition and the increasingly disappointing results of genre-focused acquisition strategies. Samantha Streger, the Director of Digital Publishing at FFF, spoke about the issue that digital publishers are facing today:

fff-logo4Today, a paranormal romance ebook priced at $2.99 is just one of many thousands of paranormal romance ebooks priced at $2.99 or less. And that’s to say nothing of the huge number of ebooks that are available for free. Many publishers have found that the value of giving away free ebooks in order to build up reviews has all but disappeared.

What is the answer to the deflating profitability in ebooks? How should this problem be addressed?

Streger shared a list of five tactics that show promise when it comes to thinking creatively about acquiring and standing out with those acquisitions here, and challenged those in digital publishing to think differently. Even with something as “new” as ebooks, we’re seeing change in the landscape, and it’s important that these changes are engaged and that we can shift our positions and perspectives in ways that will best utilize what we’re presented with.

 

 

Link of the Week

lownerdfighterWhat happens when a successful content creation company releases a new, digital-only imprint?

Well, with the release of a site like Full Fathom Five (FFF) Digital, we’ll have a chance to find out. Digital is where it’s at, and James Frey, founder of the FFF, has recognized this and has taken steps to engage a new generation of readers.

“We are looking forward to discovering unconventional projects that have the potential to connect with a wider community of readers that haven’t been available to them before,” Frey said in an article on  Mashable. Check out the full article.

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Click the image to visit FFF’s site!

This new digital imprint’s goal is to publish “quality fiction e-books for modern readers.”  Every Wednesday, a new ebook is scheduled for release, beginning with Amanda Black’s The Apartment on October 1st. E-books will be released in every leading e-book retailer, as well as in a number of niche outlets.

Find out more about Full Fathom Five Digital

With titles like I Am Number Four and Dorothy Must Die already on the New York Times bestseller list, it will be interesting to see how this new imprint fares in the digital market.

 

Link of the Week: Atavist

One of the greatest challenges facing today’s digital publisher is making books and magazines that look and function the same on every platform available. New tablets and cell phones are produced all the time, giving programers little time to sort out how to adapt their publications for different sized screens and new device features.

Differences in operating systems mean that programmers must start from the ground-up in terms of creating their files. Today, companies like Atavist help publishers seamlessly translate their publications for a digital world. This company is a great place to look for jobs and internships if you are interested in digital publishing. Take a look at their website to see what services they offer. You can sign up for a beta version of their software, too!

Fall Internship with Workman Publishing!

Workman Publishing Company is a medium-sized independent publisher, seeking a Digital Sales & Promotions Intern.  Workman is known for their work in a variety of different genres and types of publishing.  Some of their most well-known titles include the What to Expect series and the iconic 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

 

Department: Digital Publishing

Internship Position Title: Digital Sales & Promotions Intern

Internship Supervisor: Thea James

Internship End Date: 12/07/12

 

Description: Workman Publishing seeks an intern to work with our digital sales and promotions team to assist with ebook distribution, sales analysis and retail merchandising. In this role you will work closely with the digital sales manager to ensure that our titles are being distributed with the proper metadata in a timely manner. You may also assist with merchandising efforts at the retail level as well as providing some basic social media support for digital sales campaigns. We encourage interns to attend departmental meetings, ask questions, and get involved in the different facets of the position that interest them.

 

Internship Responsibilities: 

– Managing and updating metadata records internally; checking various e-retailers to ensure consistent metadata for all titles

– Assisting with the creation of a new direct-to-consumer digital book brand, including maintenance of social media channels

– Assisting with the ebook conversion and distribution process; making sure file distributions go through and are on-site with all ebook accounts in a timely fashion

– Assisting with creation of ebook sales reports and running ad hoc analyses

– Assisting with creation and coordination of different ebook promotions with all ebook accounts

 

Send applications to:

Name : Thea James

Title : Digital Sales Manager

Email : thea@workman.com

Fall Internship Opportunity with Rosetta Books!

Rosetta Books, a leading digital-only trade publisher, is looking for an intern to perform basic functions in all areas, including marketing, production, and operations. This position provides an excellent learning opportunity to those interested in digital publishing, along with pathways for advancement. Qualified candidates will have a 4-year college degree and current enrollment in a post-grad publishing program, proven interest in publishing and ebooks, and an awareness of the space, including what ebooks are, how they are viewed, and which vendors sell them. This person should be punctual, professional, and resourceful.
 
Qualifications:

  • 4-year college degree and current post-grad enrollment
  • Basic data entry experience, including Microsoft Excel or Access
  • Excellent communication and writing skills
  • Flexible, reliable, efficient, and self-motivated
  • Tech- and Internet-savvy
  • A strong interest in publishing a plus
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks
  • Reliable, organized, and interested

This is a paid position.  Applicants must be available for at least 5 months during a regular work week.
 
To apply, please send your resume to Ms. Navjot Khalsa at nkhalsa@rosettabooks.com, and CC Professor Jane Kinney-Denning at jdenning@pace.edu.

Report from the Trenches: Spring Publishing Lectures

By Natanya Housman and Hannah Bennett

In recent weeks, the Pace University Publishing Program has presented two lectures for the benefit of publishing students, faculty, and staff.  The first, presented at the end of March, was the David Pecker Distinguished Visiting Professor Lecture, featuring Michael Healy.  The second, presented in April, was the Eliot DeYoung Schein Lecture, featuring Neil De Young.  Both speakers drew on their multifaceted publishing backgrounds to extend their opinions on this time of dramatic change.

Michael Healy presently serves as the Executive Director of the Copyright Clearance Center.  He assists in expanding market presence and refining business models to accommodate Backlist Rights.  Formerly, Mr. Healy served as the Executive Director of the Book Rights Registry.  For the last three years, Mr. Healy has been the David Pecker Distinguished Visiting Professor of Publishing.

Mr. Healy’s speech on March 29th, entitled Global, Mobile, and Personal: the Future of Publishing in Hazardous Times, was a broad discussion of the challenges and opportunities he sees in the future of the publishing industry.  In his analysis of the industry, Mr. Healy posed a series of questions, each of which highlighted a specific challenge for publishing professionals. What is the future value of publishers?  Does DRM help to reduce piracy?  If consumers only care about content and not brands, where does that leave the publishing industry?  These questions prompted audience members to evaluate their own potential roles in the industry, and the value publishers will have going forward.  Despite this inherent uncertainty, Mr. Healy’s final position was that now is a great time to enter the industry, and especially to start one’s own company.  He believes that the world has opened for new players, innovative and creative thinkers, and a new approach to publishing.

Neil De Young is the Director of Digital Media for Hachette Book Group, USA.  His responsibilities at Hachette include digital business development and strategy, eBook development, and website product management.  Mr. De Young reviews and assesses new business opportunities for Hachette, including contract negotiations and profit and loss assessment.  Prior to his position at Hachette, Mr. De Young held various positions at Scholastic, Inc.

Mr. De Young’s speech on April 11, entitled Disintermediation in the Digital Age: What Publishers Will Need to Do to Stay Relevant, discussed the digital transformation of the industry.  He did so through a series of parables.  In one parable, recounting the tale of a complacent pheasant and an opportunistic fox, Mr. De Young stressed the dangers of a lack of competition.  He later discussed the issue of competition in more detail when, speaking for himself and not Hachette, he answered an audience question regarding the agency model and the current litigation with the Department of Justice.  The government’s lawsuit poses questions about how to maintain healthy competition in the emerging ebook market – questions that professionals, like Neil De Young, must answer.  Other questions that must be answered are ebook pricing, DRM management, piracy, and disintermediation, which will require real innovation from Mr. De Young and his colleagues.  Based on his informative and thoughtful lecture, Mr. De Young is certainly up for the challenge.

These lectures, held every year, are unique opportunities for students to gain firsthand insight from brilliant publishing professionals.  They provide information that students cannot learn from the pages of a textbook.  Both inspiring and thought-provoking, these lectures encourage students to think creatively about the future of publishing and their places within the industry.