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Presentation on theme: "PUBWEST 2013 THE INNOVATIVE PUBLISHER November 8, 2013."— Presentation transcript:


2 HOW TO SUCCEED BY INNOVATING IN EVERY AREA OF YOUR BUSINESS What Small and Medium-Sized Publishers Can Do Steven Piersanti, President and Publisher Berrett-Koehler Publishers

3 10 Areas of Innovation 1. Eat Our Own Cooking 2. Company Ownership 3. Author Relationships 4.Publication Agreement 5.Editorial Practices 6.Marketing Systems 7.Digital Publishing and Marketing 8.Community Building 9.Company Governance 10.Compensation Practices

4 Berrett-Koehler Publishers Founded 1992. Steve was previously CEO of Jossey-Bass. $8 to 9 million in revenues/year. Profitable 10 years in a row. Publish 30 to 40 new books and new editions per year. 500+ titles in print, over 40 have sold 100,000+ copies 25 employees. Main office in San Francisco. Some employees work from home offices in San Pablo, Carpinteria, Perth.

5 Mission: Creating a World That Works for All Three publishing agendas: BK Life: individual change and development BK Business: organizational change and development BK Currents: societal change and development

6 1. Eat Our Own Cooking Learn from and Apply Our Book’s Ideas in Our Company

7 2. Company Ownership Berrett-Koehler is owned by our stakeholders: *Employees *Authors *Customers *Suppliers *Service providers *Sales partners *Publishing supporters

8 3. Author Relationships BK Authors Cooperative: Annual Authors Retreat Annual Marketing Workshop Authors Mentoring Authors BK Authors Collaboratory Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for BK Authors “Author Day” for each new book

9 4. Publication Agreement Author-friendly, power to authors: Author can take rights back if author is not happy No competing works clause or right to next book Author involvement in decisions No bait-and-switch in royalties High discounts to authors Same advance for all authors Shorter, simpler, clearer contract

10 5. Editorial Practices BK community involvement: BK authors as book scouts Outside reviews for all manuscripts Hundreds of manuscript reviewers All book titles market-tested Editorial work is front-loaded Learning exchanges with publishers Open Book Editions self-publishing

11 6. Marketing Systems Authors are full partners in marketing: Set realistic expectations -- “The 10 Awful Truths about Book Publishing” Full info on what BK will/won’t do Market through 20+ channels Detailed reporting on actions/results Coach/help authors to market well Open access to all BK staff Authors support other BK authors Unique catalog: BK news, partners Unique newsletter: BK Communique

12 7. Digital Publishing and Marketing 2007: “digital community builder” 2008: strategic plan: dive into digital Placed digital staff in editorial dept., with cross-departmental digital team Many experiments: apps, videos, enhanced ebooks, self- assessments Digitized almost all titles; sell through 50+ digital distributors

13 8. Community Building Build and involve community in many ways: Hundreds of BK stakeholders participate in strategic planning Guests at Author Day lunches BK community dialogues BK Authors Cooperative Berrett-Koehler Foundation Annual shareholders meetings

14 9. Company Governance Power shared among stakeholders, social mission driven: First publisher to become a certified B Corp Creating a BK Constitution Staff together make many decisions Staff meeting is highly participative Board of Directors has employee, author, customer, service provider, sales partner, social mission, management, shareholder members

15 10. Compensation Practices No class systems: Entire staff approves, revises compensation system Same compensation system for executives and employees ESOP All staff receive same annual incentive compensation No secrecy; staff know all salaries No annual performance reviews

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