Link of the Week: Facebook’s Workplace

Facebook officially launched Workplace earlier this week, which is an extension of their social media platform with more focus on servicing office workers.

Workplace is looking to replace office email and other similar services so that Facebook can be the only communication tool needed at jobs. With it’s large base of up to 1.7 billion users, Facebook is hoping to take advantage of these numbers by making themselves a one-stop place for workers before, after, and during their office hours. It would be interesting to see what sort of side-effects this level of social media embracing would have on work life within publishing, especially for those who try to keep their personal social media sites and their professional lives separate.

Link of the Week: We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books is an organization that campaigns for the production of children’s literature that is more inclusive and embracing of diverse, non-majority characters.

weneeddiversebooks-logoWNDB is a non-profit grassroots group that describes themselves as being “committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.” WNDB advocates for “all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.” WNDB’s mission is to give children the opportunity to see themselves in more books so that they may identify with characters, feel empowered and visible, and be more interested in reading.

Volunteering, donating, or attending any of the the WNDB programs helps to spread their vision. With it being Banned Books Week, and more than half the books highlighted on the banned book’s list being “by authors of color, or contain[ing] events and issues concerning diverse communities,” it’s a good time to help a cause that combats this and brings awareness to something that encourages making different voices more accessible to readers.

Link of the Week: Cave Canem to Receive NBF Literarian Award

 

This week’s link takes a look at how the National Book Foundation (NBF) has announced that they will be honoring  Cave Canem with Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at this year’s National Book Award Ceremony.

Cave Canem is a non-profit center located in Brooklyn, NY that commits itself to supporting and encouraging black poets and literary writers. logoAccording to NBF’s website, the Literarian Award is given to “an individual for outstanding service to the American literary community, whose life and work exemplify the goals of the National Book Foundation to expand the audience for literature and to enhance the cultural value of literature in America.” This will be the first time this award was given to an organization and not an individual person.

The NBF is a non-profit organization that made it their mission to bring more attention and appreciation to great literary writers, poets, and works in America. The National Book Award Ceremony is something the NBF describes as being for books what the Oscars are for movies. The ceremony will be held on November 16 in New York, New York.

Link of the Week: WordRates

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A brand new resource was launched on October 19th, Wordrates.com. WordRates is a publishing platform for journalists to share payment structures, rate editors, and sell pitches. The project was launched on Kickstarter in April 2015 and by May 24,2015 the project reached its goal. They raised almost $10,000. Writer Scott Carney founded the site to bring transparency to the Byzantine world of magazine publishing.

According to Galleycat:

The site contains a database of magazines, blogs and newspapers that work with freelance writers. The entries for these publications include crowd-sourced ratings and comments from writers on the publication, as well as ratings of individual editors. In addition, if you sign up for the free membership, you can access publication details like pay rates, kill fees and advertising rates, along with masthead information. If you sign up for a premium account ($35 for six months, $50 a year), then you can access contact details for individual editors. You can also browse the site by best rated (Wired, Outside, Fast Company) or lowest rated (Details, Town & Country, Allure) or newest/oldest.

One special feature is the Pitchlab. On the site it explains that Pitchlab is where “Writers with great ideas can submit pitches, which are then reviewed by our team of mentors. If the idea passes the review process, the mentor will then work with the writer to hone the proposal into a perfect pitch and then take it out to the marketplace to find an appropriate publication, just like a literary agent does in the book publishing world.”

The site has been described as “Yelp for journalists.”

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Jordan Forney is a Graduate Assistant for the M.S. in Publishing program at Pace University. She is currently pursuing a career in the book publishing industry. She’s a proud alumnus of Seton Hill University and calls the United States Virgin Islands home. 

Link of the Week: Internship Resource Page

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This week I want to take the chance to feature our own internship resource page!

Over the last months, we’ve been busy updating the page so that it serves the needs of students like you in the best way possible! It is a work in progress, however, so please do comment with suggestions on how we might expand the page. What are things you wish you could see more of on the resources page, and on the blog overall?

In addition to drawing attention to our Resources page, I think it’s appropriate to include a few tips on finding and securing a job or internship. Now is the time!

One of the greatest things about being in a publishing program like Pace’s is the fact that being here puts you in the middle of people who are moving in the same general direction as you. As I’ve been told in multiple classes, “your classmates will be your friends and colleagues in the industry. Get to know them.” It’s important that each student take advantage of the circles they are in, but also that they expand beyond it. Another great part about the program is that your professors and staff are active in the field, which means you have direct connections that will go a long way in securing your first job or internship–if you take advantage of them.

So for tips:

1. Be Creative in your Approach
Applying online the way a publisher or company requests is exactly what everyone else is doing. Consider how you might engage with them differently; perhaps Twitter and Facebook are your friends in this case. Thinking outside the box in your approach to securing a job or internship is a perfect way to put your skills on exhibit in the public sphere!

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2. Keep Your Options Open
Tailoring your options to what you think you will like may limit where you’re applying. Desperation is an excellent motivator, and sometimes you just need to get your foot in the door somewhere. The publishing industry may be difficult to break into, but it’s possible if you are dedicated to it. As the Society of Young Publishers advises,

Don’t set your mind on one job – any experience in publishing is valuable – even working on a book publisher’s reception (you get to know the names, companies, authors that your employer deals with). Also, knowledge of other areas of publishing – e.g. marketing or sales – could be highly beneficial for your job in editorial, because as an Editor, you will need to take a keen interest in the market and sales and production of your titles. You also might find out that you prefer different areas of publishing rather than your first career choice. Remember any experience that you can get is valuable.

So don’t let a job or internship title dissuade you! Unless you loathe marketing or sales, don’t rule them out as options.

3. Networking, and More Networking
And finally, courtesy of Margaret Maloney’s blog, here are a few tips on networking strategy:

  • Find someone you want to meet
  • Contact that person
  • Use your interview to learn more
  • Write thank-you notes immediately

Be sure to check out her entire post for more details.

Many tips out there on the internet are great, acting as general guidelines for how to approach this entire process. However, be sure to take yourself into consideration because you’re the most important element of the equation. You bring something unique to the table, and it’s your job to figure that out and present it well.

Good luck to those of you on the hunt!

Link of the Week: The Ed Greenwood Group

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Publishers Weekly announced today the launch of Ed Greenwood’s new publishing venture this fall. Greenwood, a fantasy and sci-fi author probably best known for his creation of the Forgotten Realms universe for Dungeons and Dragons, has been writing for over 30 years, and has published more than 200 books. This publishing venture, The Ed Greenwood Group (TEGG), was born from a desire to continue the creation of worlds.

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“Over the years, Forgotten Realms and gaming have taken me all over the world and made me all sorts of new friends,” he said. “That, for me, is the payoff—the fact that I’m not alone, sitting there creating this thing in my head” (Publishers Weekly).

The background work that Greenwood has undertaken to set this venture up is enormous. Already, he has more than 100 authors, 30 game designers, and 50 artisans interested in getting involved with the project.

It’s becoming more common to see big-name authors take steps outside of their own authorship. Just this week, Ursula  Le Guin, another well-known sci-fi/fantasy author, announced the launch of a online fiction writing workshop in connection with the Book View Café blog, and back in 2010, James Frey founded Full Fathom Five.

Whether Greenwood finds success in this venture or not, it’s a great thing to see big-name authors take a bigger editorial role in the publishing world.

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: comiXology

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There’s a lot of talk about how the digitization of media has changed the book industry– specifically in discovery, reading, and recommendation. Graphic novels and comics are part of the wider book industry, but are capable of standing on their own; digitization has changed this portion of the industry too, and one of the ways that this change is evident is the existence of comiXology, which is “a cloud-based digital comics platform that makes discovering, buying, and reading comics more fun than ever before” (source). It offers the widest range of comics across more than 75 publishers. Recently, Dark Horse joined forces with comiXology with the digital release of more than 800 of its titles.

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Dark Horse’s addition to comiXology not only broadens the audience that will use the platform, but also expands the influence that a platform can have on a single sector of the industry. It was announced on July 6th that France’s Delcourt Group will partner with comiXology to produce English versions of over 151 titles. David Steinberger, CEO of comiXology, is confident that the content in these French comics and graphic novels will appeal to audiences. Not only is this partnership new, it’s also the beginning of a marketing campaign to “raise the profile of French comics in North America” (source).

 

 

Link of the Week: Inkshares – Crowdfunding for Books

 

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Crowdfunding isn’t a very new idea, but it’s becoming an increasingly popular method of financial support, be it for college tuition, smart watch technology, movies, or games (check out an extensive list here). Inkshares approaches publishing from a readers-first position– every book published goes through a vetting process where ideas are first shared with followers and those invested in the company, and eventually, if a title earns enough supporters, it is guaranteed to be published. Read more about how Inkshares works here!

UnknownInkshares takes on the burden of editing, producing, distributing, and marketing each book, which allows every author the leisure of focusing solely on making his or her book the best it can be. Inkshares is a unique go-between for authors who are torn between self-publishing and traditional: “For authors who want the services provided by a traditional publisher—including marketing and distribution into physical bookstores—but with higher royalties and direct reader engagement, Inkshares may be an option worth considering” (source).

Crowdfunding allows the consumer to decide whether a product enters the market or not, which cultivates a sense of partnership with the author. With such a close connection between reader and author, will this kind of approach gain wider acceptance in the publishing world?

Link of the Week: Serialized e-Novel Concept Sponsored by Local Bookstores

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Getting your book noticed is a difficult task, especially when it’s a self-published title. Everyone touts the online strategies: get on social media, keep an updated website, cultivate an audience, put yourself out there. These strategies are legitimate ways to publicize a book, but it’s not a foolproof way to get noticed.

One author, Michael Daley, tried all these strategies and still didn’t have much to show for it.

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Michael Daley – Found on PW.com

“The mantra for self-publishing is ‘go online.’ And I was doing that with disappointing results,” said Daley, who has posted information about the book along with sample chapters on his website. “The fact is, it’s hard to get noticed when no one is looking. That’s when it dawned on me—people are browsing bookstores” (Source).

Serialized novels have become more common in recent years; readers are more likely to follow a specific author these days, which gives that author more opportunities to experiment with different marketing methods. Daley not only created in an unusual format, he approached his marketing in a unique way. Local bookstores in Vermont have taken local author loyalty to a new level by partnering with Daley, sans retail intermediaries.

This arrangement is a unique one, and is certainly an example of thinking outside the box when it comes to getting noticed. Whether Daley’s tactics are successful or not, it’s nice to see self-published authors cultivating their presence in unique ways.

Read the full article on Michael Daley at Publishers Weekly!

Have you heard of any interesting marketing tactics recently? How valuable is community support for self-publishers? Let us know in the comments!