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Your Software: Strategic Asset or Strategic Albatross?

January 11, 2017 @ 5:30 pm


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 the 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.


January 11, 2017
5:30 pm


Open Book, Target Auditorium
1011 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55415 United States
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