Event Recaps

Recap of Brew/Pub Social: A Pitch Fest

On 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 Editor

Panelists 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 Content

Typesetter 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 Bookstores

Booksellers 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!

Recap of May Event: Metadata Management

MBPR 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 Editing

For 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 World

Brett 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
  • Technology
  • “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.

Recap of November Event: Marketing and Sales for Bookstores and School Libraries

For 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 (gary@magersandquinn.com); Carrie Zelin Johnson, M.Ed., Director of Early Education at Ways to Grow (cjohnson@mplswaytogrow.org); Ashley Leary, Academic Coordinator and Master Teacher at Partnership Academy (aleary@paschool.org); and Belle Nelson, Media Director at Thomas Jefferson High School (bnelson3@bloomington.k12.mn.us). 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.

Recap of September Kick-off Event

To 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.

Recap of MBPR September Event

To 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 the librarian is changing in terms of publisher partnerships, and digital education.