The Changing Role of Editors:
From Acquiring Books to Assembling
     Digital Asset Portfolios
                 Bruce Shaw...
Some Quick Background
• The Harvard Common Press
  – Founded in 1976 in Harvard, MA
  – Bought by Bruce Shaw in 1981
  – P...
Our Traditional Publishing Program
• The linear book
  – Flow from editorial to production to marketing
     • Each bringi...
Rethinking Content Acquisition…
• No longer about each book
  – Breaking down walls between front and back-list
  – Focusi...
…And Author Acquisition
• Not only rethinking the books we acquire, but
  also the authors
  – Not enough to have a manusc...
Putting Assets to Work
• After you’ve identified the core assets of the
  company, what do you do with them?
  – Repackagi...
Assembling Digital Portfolios
• We’ve identified emerging companies within our verticals
  who have an interest in our con...
Why This is the Point of No Return
• A deeper content understanding is needed to
  maximize backlist potential
  – Beyond ...
Thank you!
 The Harvard Common Press
www.harvardcommonpress.com

          Bruce Shaw
         @bruceshaw
   linkedin.com/...
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9of13 - Making Information Pay 2010 (Bruce Shaw, The Harvard Common Press)

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9of13 - Making Information Pay 2010 (Bruce Shaw, The Harvard Common Press)

  1. 1. The Changing Role of Editors: From Acquiring Books to Assembling Digital Asset Portfolios Bruce Shaw President & Publisher Adam Salomone Director of Digital Initiatives
  2. 2. Some Quick Background • The Harvard Common Press – Founded in 1976 in Harvard, MA – Bought by Bruce Shaw in 1981 – Primary focus on cookbooks and pregnancy guides • Highly focused niches – Expansion to digital both with ebooks and beyond
  3. 3. Our Traditional Publishing Program • The linear book – Flow from editorial to production to marketing • Each bringing unique expertise to the process – Each title as an individual product – Focus on front-list vs back-list • Digital has become the next step in this chain, but still an offshoot of the process
  4. 4. Rethinking Content Acquisition… • No longer about each book – Breaking down walls between front and back-list – Focusing instead on each of our verticals • Understanding what content we have access to • How does what we acquire strengthen our database of content as a whole? • Knowledge base of individual team members expands beyond departments – While individual sales potential is a key factor, much more about how we are enhancing our content portfolio
  5. 5. …And Author Acquisition • Not only rethinking the books we acquire, but also the authors – Not enough to have a manuscript in hand • Authors have to have a new understanding of content – Ranging from videos, photos and audio and beyond – Trying to get as much as possible supplied by authors – And reworking contracts to allow for repackaging and reuse • And platform building on social media sites and blogs – More than just about building a brand, also about creating ancillary content from current events and conversations
  6. 6. Putting Assets to Work • After you’ve identified the core assets of the company, what do you do with them? – Repackaging as new products • Either internally or through a consumer facing portal • Websites • Apps – Developing new marketing and distribution channels with partner companies • Cornerstone of our success at HCP
  7. 7. Assembling Digital Portfolios • We’ve identified emerging companies within our verticals who have an interest in our content – Completely new way to reach consumers outside of our books/ebooks • On the parenting side: – BabyCD • Tangible giveaway to expectant moms with content from our books – Independent pregnancy platform • Consumer-facing pregnancy website • On the cooking side: – Yummly • Platform for intelligent recipe search • Vision to become a premium content platform for cookbooks
  8. 8. Why This is the Point of No Return • A deeper content understanding is needed to maximize backlist potential – Beyond editorial - company-wide, requires a rethinking of traditional roles • Includes the author – contributing content, building platforms, identifying areas for business dev • Allows publisher greater flexibility, but requires investment in management resources and distribution systems
  9. 9. Thank you! The Harvard Common Press www.harvardcommonpress.com Bruce Shaw @bruceshaw linkedin.com/in/bpshaw Adam Salomone @adamsalomone linkedin.com/in/asalomone

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