MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association
 

MBPA Blog

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  • 15 Apr 2010 8:29 PM | Anonymous
    Saw this feature on book cover design and thought it contains some solid info I should share with you, so here it is - enjoy, then employ!
  • 14 Apr 2010 1:02 PM | Anonymous
    Here's an interesting piece from Publishers Weekly discussing the significant changes being brought to e-tailing of digital books by the entry into the market of Apple's iPad and its attendant "agency model" pricing structure employed by Apple's iBookstore.

    Whether you've already entered the eBook market or are just thinking about it, this is worth a read to give you an idea of the waters you're stepping into.


  • 05 Apr 2010 11:53 AM | Anonymous
    In the midst of all the doom-and-gloom news swirling about the publishing industry these days, here's a refreshing story from Maryland's Daily Record newspaper (brought to my attention by board member Peg Silloway - thanks Peg!):

    According to the article posted online on March 30:

    Photo of Cemetery Dance's publisher, Richard Chizmar, by The Daily Record.

    For the last year, Cemetery Dance Publications has been sitting on a secret — the small, independent publisher located in a Harford County business park will be printing the latest book by Stephen King.

    On April 20, Cemetery Dance will launch the release of the hardcover edition of King’s new novella, “Blockade Billy.” The publisher and best-selling author have been working on the project for more than a year, keeping the book under wraps to time its launch with the start of the 2010 baseball season.

    Visit the Daily Record's site yourself to read the rest of the article!

  • 15 Mar 2010 9:55 PM | Anonymous
    Just a note to say that, as MBPA's new president, I am really looking forward to continuing the momentum put in place by Sheila Ruth and our former (and current) board. It wasn't that long ago that our membership was in the single digits, and not much was going on because of the challenges of managing a group that covers such a large geographic area. But Sheila took the bull by the horns and ably led us to a new growth spurt. She did the research and implementation that brought us into the 21st century by moving us to this web-based membership platform, and helped us wisely choose where we would spend our limited marketing budgets in live events.

    Her dedication and effort paid off, and as of this post, we have more than 50 members and are more active than ever! We have plans to exhibit at more consumer festivals and shows than we have previously, and are right now awaiting final applications for our two scholarship recipients, who we'll send to represent us at IBPA University in May.

    It's an exciting way to begin my presidency, but it also reminds me that I have some big shoes to fill. I'd like my first action to be a sincere and direct outreach to all our members, asking for your active participation in our organization. After all, the collective skills, knowledge and experience of our membership are without doubt our most valuable benefits, and you can't share in those unless you participate in our quarterly member meetings, volunteer for committees, join us for exhibit events and post here on our blog and discussion forum.

    Mary discussing goals.JPG
    Here, I'm setting out goals for my term with MBPA at the March meeting.

    When I asked for suggestions from attendees at the March meeting and education event for possible new member benefits we could add for MBPA, I got some wonderful feedback. People would like to see us
    • sponsor and arrange field trips to publishing-related locations in our region
    • invite industry professionals and experts to come speak to our group
    • develop an awards competition for our titles to gain credibility and exposure
    • establish relationships with suppliers of the kinds of items we all need so we can buy in bulk as a group and share the savings
    Mastermind 1.JPG
    Member Lisa Paul and past president Toni Albert listen to ideas for gaining
    greater profitability through wider trade distribution during Sheila's
    information-packed Mastermind Session after lunch.


    What new benefits and opportunities would YOU like to see us offer our members? Please don't hesitate to contact me [publisher AT wordforgebooks DOT com] about your ideas for how MBPA can become more valuable to YOU and your company. And remember that all of these efforts require two things: time and money. So, the more you reach out to your fellow indy publishers to bring them into the fold, the more their dues will support our efforts. And the more you share responsibility for supporting our activities by volunteering, the more our value to all members will be enhanced.

    Lunch Break.JPG
    Board Vice President Annmarie Kelly, member Irene Tsai, Board Member
    Marc Gave and Immediate Past President Sheila Ruth discuss
    market approaches during our lunch break at the March meeting.

    Very soon, I will be asking you to please consider volunteering for just ONE event this coming year, or serving on just ONE committee. If you haven't done so before, it will represent 100% more effort on your part than you've ever offered the group, while actually requiring very little time and effort on your individual part. Even so, it will represent a significant increase in how well we can serve everyone's needs.

    Networking.JPG
    Board secretary Eileen McIntyre shares tips with member Debra Finnegan-Suler
    for getting pre-publication reviewsfor her new book, "Madman."


    Enthusiasm breeds excitement, and participation breeds success. Don't flounder around on your own out there in what has become a wild and woolly publishing industry! Band together with some of the most interested, intelligent and knowledgeable folks in our region, and multiply your own chances for success!

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Mary Shafer
  • 01 Feb 2010 11:57 PM | Anonymous
    That's right, the announcement you've all been waiting for: IBPA has released information about its annual Publishers University scholarships for 2010. The rules have changed, as has the scheduling for this year, so hop on over to the Publishing University Scholarship page to learn more and to download instructions and the application form. Hurry -- you've only got till March 15 to return it to us for consideration to win this $1,500 value scholarship!
  • 27 Sep 2009 7:45 PM | Anonymous
    It's not news that the book industry has been turned upside-down by emerging technology and then double-whammied by the recession. But following are some interesting facts about the industry downturn that you may find worth reading. (Reprinted from the Southern Review):

    • A study by Chicago's Grant Thornton finds that 400 bookstores could close in 2009, which they calculate as a 500 percent increase over 2008…
    • In the second quarter ended Aug. 1, total sales at Barnes & Noble dropped five percent to $1.2 billion compared to the same period last year and net earnings were $12.3 million. Without a $4 million insurance settlement, net earnings would be $8.3 million. Sales at B&N stores fell five percent to $1 billion, and sales at B&N stores open at least a year were down 6.9 percent, just within the company's prediction of a drop of five to seven percent. Sales at Barnes&Noble.com rose two percent to $102 million… 
    • For the second quarter ending Aug. 1, Books-A-Million's total sales decreased 0.7 percent to $122.4 million while comparable store sales dropped 4.9 percent. The retailer still managed to post an increase in profits with net income rising to $1.5 million… 
    • Consolidated second quarter sales at the Borders chain were $616.8 million, down 17.7 percent from a year ago. On an operating basis, Borders Group generated a second quarter loss of $12.7 million, compared to a loss of $10.5 million for the same period last year. On a GAAP basis, the second quarter loss was $45.6 million, compared to $11.3 million a year ago. The second quarter GAAP loss includes non-operating, after-tax charges -- primarily non-cash -- totaling $32.9 million. U.S. superstores, which comprised $513.6 million in sales, declined 17.9 percent on a same-store basis. At Waldenbooks, comp store sales decreased by 10.8 percent, with the number of stores at 370, down from 468 a year ago, with six stores closed in the second quarter… 
    • Second quarter sales at Hastings fell $8.5 million, or 6.7 percent, to $117 million, while net earnings dropped to $396,000, compared to net earnings of $660,000 in last year's second quarter. Same-store sales for books also fell 1.7 percent for the quarter, primarily as a result of lower sales of new hardcovers, new trade paperbacks and magazines, partially offset by strong sales of used and value books… 
    • Sales fell in the first six months of the fiscal year at Random House by four percent, declining 32 million euros to 734 million euros. The company blamed the decline on "the continued distressed economic environment and the reduction in inventory levels by major bookstores in the U.S." In a letter to employees, Random House CEO Markus Dohle said "With the decline in consumer spending we had to fight harder for every sale, as did our competitors. Our customers implemented tighter inventory controls, resulting in significantly higher returns and fewer copies ordered, on both initials and reorders, which hurt frontlist as well as backlist sales." Company-wide sales fell 6.5 percent for Random House parent Bertelsmann, with a net loss of 368 million euros… 
    • HarperCollins swung from a profit of $28 million a year ago to an operating loss of $4 million for their fiscal fourth quarter, finishing the year with an operating loss of $16 million, compared to $160 million in operating income a year ago. News Corp. says the deterioration is "largely due to the weak retail market." Sales for the fourth quarter fell $72 million at Harper, down 20.5 percent, at $278 million. Full-year sales for the publisher were $1.141 billion, down $247 million from a year ago, or almost 18 percent… 
    • Sales fell 2.5 percent at CBS-owned Simon & Schuster in their fiscal second quarter, down $4.6 million at $181 million for the period. S&S said the sales decline was "principally reflecting the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rate changes," while the earnings hit was "largely driven by higher author royalties and restructuring charges of $2.2 million related to headcount reductions partially offset by lower employee-related expenses resulting from cost-savings initiatives." CEO Carolyn Reidy said of the decline in profits, "Even though we had nice sales, a lot of it is the mix of more frontlist and less backlist." Reidy notes they recorded lower distribution fees, lower rights sales and higher returns, "all due to the economy," which also affected earnings… 
    • Lagardere SCA, which owns Hachette Book Group, said that while net sales for the entire company in the first six months of 2009 were down 2.2 percent, it had "very strong growth" -- more than 11 percent -- in its publishing unit. The strong growth was "driven by a surge in net sales in the United States on the back of the Stephenie Meyer "Twilight" series. The company also reported that its earnings before interest and taxes increased more than 61 percent to 112 million euros, or about $160.5 million. Lagardere attributed the profit gain to Meyer's series, "not only in the United States, but also in France, the United Kingdom and Australia."
  • 14 Sep 2009 12:44 PM | Anonymous
    From the recent "Southern Review of Books" eNewsletter:

    Barnes & Noble has launched the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, which it calls "the world's largest eBookstore," a part of its website that will offer more than 700,000 titles that may be read on a range of devices and computers, including iPhones, iPods, Blackberrys, as well as a new Plastic Logic eReader that will be introduced early next year.

    The new e-reader, an "ultra thin 8.5 x 11 inch wireless" device, is "especially designed for business professionals," B&N said, adding that it has made "a strategic commerce and content partnership with Plastic Logic" and "will power the eBookstore for the Plastic Logic eReader device, slated to debut in early 2010." B&N said it will be the exclusive vendor of ebooks for Plastic Logic.

    The company has produced an updated version of the eReader application, acquired as part of Fictionwise earlier this year, which is required to read books purchased for the BN estore. It seems to work on only certain devices: for now, iPhones and Blackberries, plus PCs and Macs - but not any of the dedicated ereading devices currently on the market.

    New books and bestsellers from the B&N store will be priced at $9.99, the same price as Amazon offers most e-books. The store's offerings will reportedly include more than 500,000 free public domain books from Google. B&N said it expects to offer more than a million e-books within in the next year.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has about 300,000 ebooks available for the Kindle and Sony sells about 200,000 ebooks and offers 500,000 Google books.


  • 04 Sep 2009 9:23 AM | Anonymous
    If you haven't yet discovered the Publetariat website, you don't know what you're missing! It's an engaging blog for those interested in the publishing industry, and is filled with useful, actionable information for small publishers.

    This week, they've announced FREE WEBINARS for those interested in learning more about how social media can help publishers be more successful. Since that was also the presentation topic at our last meeting, it seems appropriate to share that information here. Hey, they're useful, they're timely and they're free -- what's not to love?

    Social media expert Mark Blevis is offering a series of free webcasts aimed at helping authors and publishing professionals get up to speed with using social media. From his site:

    After three years of working with publishers, editors, publicists, authors and illustrators, and following my experience at BookCamp Toronto this past June, I decided it was time to offer the book industry the support it needs and the training it doesn’t have the budget for.

    I’m teaming up with Greg Pincus to deliver a series of FREE webcasts that will give book publishers, publicists, authors, illustrators and enthusiasts social media savvy for outreach and promotion.  The series is titled How social media can help you sell books: Guidance for the book publishing industry and its stakeholders and each installment will seek to answer the question: How does this help me sell books?

    Don’t miss the first four free sessions.

    SEP 10 – Finding the Conversation: Who’s talking about you and what they are saying

    Understanding search and alerts to monitor the digital conversation.  This session will focus on effective use of Google with references to Technorati, Twitter and IceRocket. (REGISTER)

    SEP 17 – Twitter: More than “What are you doing?”

    Why use Twitter, how to engage and craft your message, using hash tags and a few Twitter stories. (REGISTER)

    SEP 24 – Bloggers/Podcasters are People, Too: Engaging with the social media community

    Recommendations for meeting, relating to and collaborating with the social media community. (REGISTER)

    OCT 01 – Remarkable Use of the Internet to Promote Books and the People Behind Them

    Storytelling and interesting examples of effective book promotion in the digital age. (REGISTER)

    Visit the Publetariat site for LOTS more information. It's a great resource worth bookmarking to use over and over again. I recommend subscribing to their RSS feed to be kept in the loop on timely topics like these!
  • 09 Jul 2009 8:54 PM | Anonymous
    Patriot Press is proud to announce that its 2008 title, Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia by Jessica James, climbed to #1 on Amazon's Bestseller list in the romance/historical/U.S. category, beating the classic Civil War novel Gone with the Wind on June 11.

    shades of gray.jpg


    Shades of Gray is also the winner of two Best Regional Fiction awards and was awarded a Top Five spot for Best Southern Theme in the 2009 HOLT Medallion contest.

    Additionally, it was a finalist in ForeWord Magazine's 2008 Book of the Year contest and was named FAVORITE BOOK of 2008 across all genres by two book review sites.

    James' second novel, Above and Beyond, will be published in 2010.

    Congratulations to Patriot Press on all the well-deserved recognition!
  • 07 Jul 2009 11:56 PM | Anonymous
    Word Forge Books of Ferndale, Pennsylvania is pleased to announce that Mission: Murder, first title in the Hattie Farwell Mystery Series from the publisher’s ShadowDance Press imprint, has been awarded the coveted Silver Medal for Best MidAtlantic Regional Fiction in the 2009 annual Independent Publisher Book Awards.

    ippysilver3D.gif


    Written by Pipersville, Pa. author Betty Kerr Orlemann, Mission: Murder was published last September. The book placed second out of roughly 35 entries in the Fiction category of the Regional contest, which had 710 total entries. Complete competition results are available online.

    mmfrtcvr72.jpg

    “We’re tremendously proud of the award, and of Betty,” says Word Forge Books publisher Mary A. Shafer. “This award is one of our industry’s highest honors, and the competition is always fierce. Though books are judged as a whole package—writing, design and editing—it’s a real feather in Betty’s author cap.”

    Betty Orlemann has worked as a freelance reporter for years, with regular columns in the now-defunct Delaware Valley News, the Bucks County Herald and the Bucks County Courier Times, for which she covered the criminal courts. Betty first conceived her literary character, Hattie Farwell, while caring for her late husband, Bob during an extended illness. She began work on her mystery novels in 2001. Now, at 81, her books are beginning to achieve recognition at a national level.

    Betty-IPPY 1-72.jpg

    Hattie embodies Betty’s belief that, like the author, today’s seniors are vital people with strong beliefs and something of value to say. To date, Betty has completed seven stories in the series. She enjoys time spent with her colleagues from Sisters in Crime, an organization of women mystery writers.

    “This is all very exciting,” says Betty of receiving the silver medal. “I love to write and would do it no matter what, but to receive such a prestigious award from a venerated national organization is such a validating experience. It’s so nice to have that nod of recognition from professionals who aren’t easily impressed. It lets me know I’m on the right track!”

    Mission: Murder is available from local bookstores, libraries and the publisher’s website at wordforgebooks.com. The 360-page, 5.5” x 8.5” softcover book retails for $12.95. Betty is available for book signings and speaking engagements.

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