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Archive for the ‘Publishing Insurgents Unite’ Category

The mark of any good conference is how much conversation goes on about it after it is over. Last week in San Francisco, the Internet Archive hosted a conference that this year they called “Books in Browsers“. This was the second such conference held by the Internet Archive. Last year, I don’t think it had a name, but the overall effect was similar – it was nearly impossible to stop thinking about it or talking about it. On Twitter, the hash tag #BIB10 is still very active, and the mailing list Read 2.0 (also hosted by Peter Brantley of the Internet Archive) has enough fodder to keep it buzzing for the next 6 months.

There are some great accounts written about the meat of the conference by Kassia KrozserPatrick Brown, and Jeff Kaplan (and a special thanks to Eric Rumsey for pulling it all together). I encourage you all to read them.

However, the big take-away for me was about innovation in general. Leaving the conference (both years), I had a feeling similar to the one I had as a kid leaving the Year 2000 exhibit at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Believable fantasy was made into reality (or at least a prototype). Not everything I saw in 1964 is with us today, but some of those innovations are, and some of them took a long, hard road to get here.

For example, the video phone. It was a huge hit at the Worlds Fair, and AT&T went and built it, but the market wasn’t ready, and it failed miserably. But today, how many of us use Skype to communicate with close family over long distances? When you add in the eras of video conferencing and online meetings, you can see how this concept of communicating on multiple levels was way ahead of it’s time in 1964. But, the vision put us on a road to where we are today.

Back to #BIB10 – Many of the presentations gave me the same feeling. Some of them were BIG ideas, and others were very practical. Bob Stein’s much debated social reading platform was one of the big ideas, as was Brian O’Leary’s Unified Field Theory of Publishing. (Please allow me one quick aside – How cool is it that Bob Stein, a hero-innovator in electronic publishing is back creating controversial debate about reading?). Some ideas were innovative on a much more tangible level like Joseph Pearson’s Monocle software platform that is (it seems to Joseph’s surprise) powering several reading programs, or Kevin Franco’s transmedia demonstration. These were only some of the presentations, and I’m only citing them here for the purposes of making a point.

The good news: This all relates to the world of reading, writing, publishing, and experiencing the power of the written word.

I could write a tome on the examples of innovation I witnessed, but below are some tenants I came away with. What would you add to this list?

1. Innovation is often not a brand new idea, but one that expands upon an already given belief. (Social Reading)

2. Innovation is often a solution to the problems caused by limits of another technology. (Pandamian, Monocle, IBIS Reader)

3. Truly great innovations are often so ubiquitous that we take them for granted. (Goodreads, OLPC)

4. Broad based excitement about an innovation has a shelf life, after which the excitement is kept alive by only a few. (OPDS)

5. Innovations become great ideas only after they achieve success in their market. (Kobo).

6. Anyone can be an innovator, anyone willing to follow through on the execution of an idea. (Richard Nash)

7. Lack of mass market acceptance does not kill the innovation, it just puts it into obscurity. (Bob Stein and the original Voyager work)

8. Innovation is often not new, it’s just something happening outside our sphere of being. (Voyager Japan)

9. Innovation often isn’t sexy, but paves the way for the movement of larger ideas. (EPUB, HTML5)

10. Innovation often requires doing things for the sake of doing them, and deferring the idea of ROI. (FrancoMedia)

11. Sometimes innovation isn’t tangible, but a concept whose time has come. (Brian O’Leary’s unified field theory, Dominique Raccah‘s immersion vs. extraction reading talk)

12. Sometimes the greatest innovators are the ones who pull all the rest of them together! (Brewster, Peter)

thanks!

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As publishers experiment with digital galleys and book reviewers gradually get up to speed with new e-reading devices, the question of how to protect digital information without hassling the reader is moving to the forefront.

For some publishers, the simplest approach is to dispense with digital rights management (DRM) altogether and just trust the reviewers. That’s what Carina Press, the digital-only romance imprint of Harlequin Books, decided to do when it began offering digital galleys and press kits via NetGalley (click here for a catalog of available titles).

Since Carina aims to build their brand with romance bloggers rather than traditional professional reviewers, the advantages of going DRM-free were clear. For one thing, their galleys are more easily accessible on any number of mobile devices, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and BlackBerry. Plus, digital galleys from Carina carry no expiration date, which means reviewers can access them long after the publication date for the book.

To find out more about why Carina chose to go DRM-free, and how it’s working out, we talked with digital marketing specialist, Carly Chow.

As a digital-only publisher, how do you use e-galleys in your promotion strategy?

Since we don’t have print galleys, digital galleys are really important for promoting our titles. A lot of traditional reviewers, like Publishers Weekly and print media, are less inclined to review our titles, so we’re looking to non-traditional reviewers to get the word out.

How receptive are reviewers to digital galleys?

Digital-only publishers are quite new, and there are not a lot of them, so we’re doing a lot of brand-building at this point.  People are wary of e-books, but when they discover that ours are comparable in editorial quality to what Harlequin is offering, they will often try other galleys from us.

What types of reviewers have been most attracted to Carina Press titles since you began offering them on NetGalley last June?

Romance bloggers are very active on NetGalley, as well as GoodReads and LibraryThing, which are a close second. We’re finding that a handful of reviewers will go on NetGalley, then post reviews on GoodReads or LibraryThing. Often, the reviews say they got the book from NetGalley, so other reviewers see their reviews and go to NetGalley to get a review copy. LibraryThing has an early review program, but we haven’t used that yet.

Can you give me an idea of your overall constituency of NetGalley reviewers at this point?

Carina Press has hundreds of reviewers, but less than 1000 so far. On the Harlequin side, they have more than 1000 reviewers on NetGalley– the biggest group is bloggers, followed by librarians and then booksellers.

When do you release your e-galleys for optimal review coverage?

We usually put the book up two to three weeks before the pub date. Some reviewers read and review it the same day I upload the title, and others will review it a month or more later. Online, it’s a bit of free for all – bloggers will review things published 30 years ago, and books published this month. Since they’re not obligated to review, we can’t force them to do it in any particular timeframe.

Are you getting any specific feedback from your reviewers about how they like DRM-free galleys compared to galleys with DRM?

I handled the NetGalley program for Harlequin, which has DRM protection on its galleys, and by comparison, I’m getting fewer complaints from reviewers about the process of transferring Carina galleys between devices. In my experience, DRM can make transferring a title from an e-reader to a desktop computer or other device a little harder.

Are you getting any feedback on the ePub files you’re offering, since they are supposed to provide a better reading experience because the text reflows according to the device?

We were one of the first publishers to offer ePub files on NetGalley, but I haven’t heard people saying they love it. On the other hand, we’ve have had fewer complaints from reviewers that the print size of our galleys on their e-readers is too small.

Do you have any sense of which DRM-free formats are most popular – e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Sony Reader, Kindle, etc?

Personal computers seem to be the most popular device for reading digital galleys. With so many e-readers coming on the market, and prices dropping all the time, people seem wary of investing a lot of money in an untested device. Kindle seems to be the most popular, because it’s been around longer. The iPad is coming up slowly, but it’s hard to say how fast things will change or where they’ll end up.

Which of your galleys have been most popular on NetGalley?

Our paranormal titles do very well in NetGalley. Several of our top five titles are in that category, such as Dark and Disorderly by Bernita Harris and Allegra Fairweather by Janni Nell. Other popular titles are Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacer, Panther’s Lair by Esmerelda Bishop and Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape.

What effects do the dynamics of online discussion have the promotion and sales of your books?

Romance is getting more attention than it used to. Bloggers are reading and reviewing the books quickly, and they can review as many as they want, GoodReads and LibraryThing great for generating word of mouth. People trust other people – if 7 out of 10 reviews are good, they trust it more than one critic at one magazine.

NetGalley helps us reach more bloggers than we would have known about otherwise. Bloggers drawn in by books from other publishers can easily find ours too, because of the ways the books are tagged.

It’s also easier for me to find blogger reviews – they send us their reviews using NetGalley, so it’s easier to find than by searching the whole Web.

Do you think you might offer any incentives to frequent reviewers on NetGalley?

We only started offering galleys on NetGalley last June, so it’s a little early to say for sure. But we’re looking into an incentive program for frequent reviewers.

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As National Library Week comes to a close amidst less than celebratory news of threats to community and school libraries, and a somewhat sobering “State of America’s Libraries Report 2010” (summary: “Recession drives more Americans to libraries in search of employment resources; but funding lags demand.”), now seemed the perfect time to have a Bookish Tweeps Virtual Town Hall about how important libraries are, and what we can do to make sure they get the love they need.

No guest this week – or, I should say — you all are the special guests. Come armed with information and opinions. As always, I will try my best to guide the conversation, and maybe we can make a difference. (Or at least motivate one another to do so).

To join the #followreader conversation, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today,  log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

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When it comes to building online communities around books, authors and publishing imprints, what are the top social media platforms and analytical tools? To what extent can the results of these online efforts be tied to increased book sales? And which independent publishers are ahead of the game, and what obstacles do they face?

These are some of the questions we explore in the second part of my conversation about building online communities with social media consultant Jesse McDougall, which picks up where we left off in Tuesday’s interview

Q&A with Jesse McDougall

What are the top two or three technologies have you found most valuable in engaging audiences online?

Twitter for daily conversation. A blog as a conduit for book, author, and community content. Blip.tv for serving up high-resolution video with no size or time restrictions.

For tracking your success and progress, ChartBeat, HootSuite, and Google Analytics are essential.

What concrete results have you achieved so far?

In the first year after Chelsea Green implemented the new social strategy, the company roughly doubled their web traffic. Eighteen months after launch, traffic regularly spiked to 150% over the starting point. In that time, Chelsea Green added several thousand people to the e-newsletter mailing list, grew to become the second-most-followed book publisher on Twitter, and established weekly content delivery relationships with top blogs in the niche (Huffington Post, PlanetGreen, Alternet, etc.). Also. many of Chelsea Green’s authors were invited to become regular contributors on many of these same blogs—increasing the exposure to new and major audiences.

To what extent can you tie your results to increased book sales?

At the present time, the effect social media promotions on book sales can be difficult to track. The only time a publisher can directly track sales from online promotion is if a person learns of a book “out in the digital wild” and then follows the accompanying link back to the publisher’s online bookstore where he or she purchases the book. If the person decides instead to purchase the book from their favorite local bookseller, or from a different online retailer, that sale is difficult (or impossible) to track directly back to online promotional efforts.

The best a publisher can do—if they would like to prove that their social media strategy improves sales—is to boost their own site traffic through social media outreach, and then focus on boosting their own site’s sales conversion rate to do a better job of converting the new traffic to sales.

Which publishers do you see as most effectively marketing their books this way?

Chelsea Green, obviously, is still doing a great job. O’Reilly is another great example. Greywolf Press in Minneapolis is doing a great job on Twitter. The keys to being effective are consistency, personality, and community involvement. These are not one-way media channels, they require that participants speak AND listen. The presses above do a great job of that.

What are the biggest obstacles for independent presses in building and maintaining these online audiences?

Time and staff. Some of these campaigns require significant upkeep. It can be difficult to find the time and people to maintain a consistent presence on any of these social media platforms. The key is to do something every (week) day—whether you can afford five people for five hours, or one person for ten minutes. People who reach out and contact you in any fashion on Twitter or Facebook or your blog will need a response, or they’ll disappear.

Do you see any downside to giving away books or content online?

Books should be owned and content should be free. Content is stolen when publishers make it easier to steal than to buy. By locking up digital content with DRM or asking readers to sign unholy licenses or making content exclusive to one vendor, publishers are making it more attractive to snub the law and steal (and distribute) the digital content than to buy it. Publishers should offer digital books and chapters for sale for a slightly reduced price straight from their web sites in an open-source (or universal) format. Currently, a DRM-free PDF gets my vote, but I see room for something better.

What technological tools or developments are you most looking forward to in the coming year?

I’m looking forward to the development of mobile media. I think that high-quality digital content delivery through mobile devices with screens big enough for reading long-format books will revolutionize book reading and book content. Paper books will continue to have their place and incredible value. Lifelong readers recognize that and will continue to buy paper books for their unique virtues. Electronic devices will never be as good as paper books for quiet, powerless, peaceful reading.

However, once high-quality digital mobile content delivery is done well, book content can grow beyond paper and e-ink devices. Books will slowly evolve to look more like web pages, with links, supplemental videos, audio clips, and the book publisher’s intended formatting and design. Of course, plain text should still be an option for readers who don’t want to be bothered with the flash and bother of videos, etc., but the option for all the bells and whistles we’re already used to on the web should be available as well. The ability to include such ancillary content will provide publishers with an entirely new product that offers more than the bound book can or should. This new product could be a powerful new revenue stream.

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As the digital landscape evolves into subject areas with their own distinctive topographies and constituencies, some publishers have begun developing their own online “reader communities,” as a part of their long term marketing strategy for their books, authors and imprints.

One trailblazer in this area is social media consultant and web programmer Jesse McDougall, who I first met at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change conference in 2009, where he was clearly more evolved in his thinking on this topic than the other independent publishers in attendance that year.

Read on for the first installment in my two- part interview with Jesse – about the art and science of building reader communities.

Jesse McDougall in a nutshell: 

  • Current position: consulting under his own shingle at Catalyst Webworks—a web development and social media consulting firm in White River Junction, VT. Check out his blog here.
  • Biggest client to date: Chelsea Green Publishing, for whom he developed a web site redesign and online marketing strategies (for more details, see my Publishers Weekly article on how publishers use Twitter).
  • Recent star turns: at Tools of Change 2010, ran a social media workshop; at Digital Book World, appeared on my panel about Building Publisher Communities; and was a guest on our weekly #followreader chat on Twitter (recapped here)
  • Credits: author of Expand Your Business Using eBay and Start Your Own Blogging Business.

Questions for Jesse

What does online outreach to reader communities have in common with traditional book marketing, and how does it differ?

Books are social creations. They are borrowed, shared, recommended, and discussed in the physical world every day. Publishers send authors out to book signings, interviews, and speaking engagements in the hopes of bringing together like-minded book fans to ignite discussion and spark a hopefully-lively word-of-mouth campaign. The goal of marketing books online is no different. Social media platforms and new content recommendation tools not only make these digital communities possible, but they also increase the speed and range of the word-of-mouth campaigns ten-thousand times over. That means a person attending a digital webinar by an author has the ability to tell and invite 300+ friends with the click of a mouse, where a person attending a real-world seminar only tells his friends in town, and maybe only an out-of-work cousin can make it.

One of Chelsea Green’s most successful campaigns was to run a weekly contest on Twitter. This brief and easy 10-minute contest drew 40-50 people every week, and through them we were able to contact a total of 15,000+ people with links to our website. That exponential potential isn’t possible in traditional marketing.

In your work with Chelsea Green and other clients, what steps have you taken to build focused audiences within specific subject categories on the Web?

The internet is organizing itself into crowds. People are seeking out and aligning themselves with like-minded people. Home gardeners are finding other home gardeners, motorcyclists are finding other motorcyclists, and so on. These groups of people are taking part in conversations that can span all the major (and some niche) social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

The first step is to examine the niches in which you publish. Once you’ve got a clear idea of the audience (or audiences) you’d like to reach, you must seek them out online. For example, there may be thousands of stay-at-home mothers talking on Twitter for the quick interactions it allows, but very few of them visit YouTube because they don’t have time for a 4-minute video.

Find your audience—wherever they are—and listen to them. Join their groups, or feed, or page, and listen to them. Join the conversation only once you’ve got a clear idea of the conversation and etiquette. Add value to the conversation by offering friendly expertise from your books—when and where appropriate—with a link to find more. Do not offer sales pitches. The content should sell itself.

Over time, your participation in the discussion should come to be seen as valuable, and therefore folks will pass along the content you provide.

How do you evaluate whether or not your efforts are paying off?

One of the most exciting aspects of online marketing—and something that I think spoils us for untrackable offline campaigns—is the ability to gather information about the audience. Most social media networks and blog software has the ability to display demographic and location information about the people choosing to participate in your online efforts.

For example, if, after reviewing your audience statistics, you find that your Facebook page is trafficked by women in their 40 without kids at 4PM, you can tailor your Facebook efforts to suit that audience. Perhaps you’ll post more information from books designed for that audience. Or, you might run a contest on the page at 4PM.

The data a publisher can collect about the people engaging with their book content is one of the main benefits to participating in social media—second only to the exposure to new potential customers. The social strategy should be, after all, focused on meeting and learning about your ideal audience.

Part Two of this interview is here.

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Because my real job is more or less all about helping books find their ways to readers, I love talking with authors and industry professionals about marketing – and as a reader, I think it’s fascinating to hear how – out of all the zillions of books in the world – a relatively small amount of particular titles seem to get a lot more attention (and readership) than others.

What do marketers think about when they think about marketing? I asked some really talented book marketing type people, each of whom approaches the marketing of books from a slightly different perspective: Jeff VanderMeer, novelist and author of BookLife: Strategies and Survival Tips for 21st Century Writers; Denise Berthiaume and Tom Thompson of Verso Digital Advertising; and Ashleigh Gardner, Manager of Digital Development at The Dundurn Group.

Today’s Q+A is with Jeff VanderMeer, and I hope you find it as interesting as I did!

Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist who makes “part of his  living writing fiction and part of it doing book reviews, teaching writing workshops, and taking on individual manuscript critique assignments.” In other words, he has a day job. But what makes Jeff unique among authors is that a big part of his day job is helping other writers learn the art of sustainable creativity. In fact, his recent book, BookLife, is all about doing just that.

Jeff VanderMeer Q+A:

KM: What one piece of advice would you give to publicists/marketing staff who are trying to get their authors to promote their books via social media?

JVM: Go through a discovery process wherein you discover

  1. What your authors are passionate about
  2. What their core abilities outside of writing are
  3. How even-tempered they are
  4. How outgoing they are, and
  5. How involved in social media they already are.

Create a social media plan for each author based on the answers. DO NOT give each author a “one size fits all” solution.

KM: What one piece of advice would you give to authors about taking on the social media marketing of their books?

JVM: Know your limitations and have specific goals, but also have fun with it. If you don’t have fun, nothing else is going to matter much.

KM: Authors are pretty much expected to take on marketing of their books these days. And that generally means being available online in some way shape or form to the public. What aspects of the new media/social media landscape do NOT appeal to you as an author, and as a private citizen?

JVM: I’m not fond of the way the new media landscape tends to level out experience, which is to say that one negative aspect of the overall positive effect of the internet leveling out hierarchies and creating alternatives to traditional power structures is that it also seems to make a lot of new creators not see the value in listening to those in their field who have been around the block a few times.

I also don’t like feeling addicted to social media platforms like Facebook, and the lack of personal distance from readers. This just means you have to be continually evaluating your relationship to social media, and adjusting accordingly.

KM: Do you think anything has been, or risks being, lost as the book publishing paradigm shifts from a one way channel: author – publisher – reader – to one of any number of possible variations on that? Do you worry about the creative process being hindered, eroded or changed by instant and constant cycles of audience feedback?

JVM: Creators need the time and peace of mind to create, and the fragmentation that the internet brings with it is a definite threat to the act of creation. Writers need to take whatever measures necessary to get off of the internet entirely for large blocks of time. Otherwise, one’s powers of intense concentration tend to become eroded. One good test is:  are you still able to read a serious, difficult book? If you can’t, something’s wrong.

The same thing goes for audience feedback: don’t solicit it while working on something, and depending on how thick your skin is and how suggestible, insulate yourself from too much feedback once a book is out. There are tons of great opportunities on the internet, but many dangers as well.

As for what we’re losing—we’re losing those eccentric or introverted creators who don’t like interacting on the internet and who just want to write. I worry about this a lot, since I feel like we may be losing a certain *type* of writer as a result, unless that person has a strong advocate working on their behalf.

KM: As an author, what do you love most about social media?

JVM: I love the sense of community and the ways in which it creates opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas. It also is an ally to collaboration, and it makes big projects that require input from creators across several continents to be viable and relatively inexpensive. It also often does allow for interacting with readers while still keeping some distance. An email in my Facebook account doesn’t seem as invasive as one in my personal email account, for example.

_________________________________________

Check back Wednesday for Q+A with: Denise Berthiaume and Tom Thompson of Verso Digital Marketing

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Update: To view the complete Twitter transcript from the January 22, 2010 #FollowReader TwitChat on Sustainability in Publishing, just click here.

While the focus of the book industry, the media, and the book blogosphere for practically the last year has been decidedly digital, there are some pretty important but overlooked issues that are well-deserving of some air time/print space/ web real estate. Perhaps one of the most important of these issues is the environmental impact of the book industry, and what some folks are doing to lessen that impact and make publishing more environmentally sustainable.

In an effort to help bring some awareness to the issue, #FollowReader today will be devoted to the challenges of publishing in an environmentally sustainable way. Here are just a few facts (courtesy of Green Press Initiative) for your consideration:

  • The U.S. book industry uses approximately 30 million trees every year. Many of these trees are from old growth and endangered forests.
  • The paper industry is the fourth largest industrial source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Books and newspapers release greenhouse gases thought their lifecycles, with paper using almost half of all industrial wood harvested and contributing to almost 25% of landfill waste.
  • Globally, scientists estimate that deforestation is responsible for 25% of human caused greenhouse gases.
  • When trees are cut to make paper, they cease to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. In addition, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere when either unused plant material decays or is burned for energy at the mill.
  • As a result of these emissions and those associated with soil disturbances at the site of harvest, it can take up to 25 years for a newly planted forest to stop being a net emitter of greenhouse gases and hundreds of years before it stores the same amount of carbon as an undisturbed forest.

What’s more – publishing with recycled paper is not entirely eco-friendly in and of itself, and publishers (and readers) have to consider the long-term impact of using recycled paper in their printed books. Many recycled papers break down quickly and find their way to landfills sooner than higher quality papers. [Note from Kat: turns out I was not exactly right about this – different types of recycled paper have different durability. See my comment below].

Think ebooks are the eco-answer? Think again – the production of digital devices, batteries, and the energy required to power “the cloud” – those all have an impact on the environment.

So, what IS the answer, or ANSWERS? What can YOU, as a reader do to make a positive impact on sustainability in publishing?

Well, we’ll begin to explore those questions today on #FollowReader with some very knowledgeable guests:

Melissa Klug (@PermanentPaper)

Joining us from Glatfelter Paper, will be Melissa Klug (@permanentpaper), Glatfelter’s Director of Marketing, Printing & Carbonless Papers Division. Glatfelter has been involved in the manufacture of paper products for books since the late 19th century. Today, they work with most major publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster and Penguin, along with many other publishing companies, to supply paper for primarily hardcover trade books, but also many of the higher-end paperback book segments.

Environmental responsibility is a hallmark of Glatfelter, and all of their products are available with chain-of-custody forest certifications. Their paper mills utilize biomass from waste products of trees for system-wide energy as well. In addition to her marketing duties, Melissa is also responsible for Glatfelter’s Permanence Matters initiative, which is designed to educate and activate the literary community to actively and consciously choose higher-quality, long-lasting paper for books.

Melissa Brumer (@ooliganpress)

We are incredibly impressed by Portland State University’s student-run Ooligan Press, whose OpenBook Series is being produced as sustainably as possible – with a focus on paper and ink sources, design strategies, efficient and safe manufacturing methods, innovating printing technologies, support of local and regional companies, and corporate responsibility of their contractors. As such, we are delighted to have the pleasure of not one, not two, but THREE really smart Ooligan women joining us:

Melissa Brumer (@ooliganpress) and Janine Eckhart (@JanineEckhart), are founding managers of Ooligan Press’ Sustainable Publishing Initiative at Portland State University and co-authors of the book Rethinking Paper and Ink, an investigation of the sustainability in the publishing industry.

Also joining us from Ooligan – Natalie Guidry (@ooliganSPI) who manages Ooligan’s sustainability group this term and is currently managing the production of the second edition of the incredibly information-filled (and free as downloadable PDF!) book, Rethinking Paper and Ink.

(an aside: I think I really love the word Ooligan)

Kelly Spitzner (@green_press)

Joining us from Green Press Initiative will be Kelly Spitzner (@green_press), GPI’s Communications Coordinator. Kelly works to increase issue and program visibility in the mainstream/trade presses. She’s also working to increase accessibility and support to the industry and advocates through social media. Kelly got her start in the exciting world of publishing at a small company creating fresh resources for kids, teachers and families—positive hip hop anyone? And, she most recently worked on the 2008 Presidential Election, which brought her all over of the country, educating and organizing voters around environmental issues, among other things.

Green Press Initiative is committed to advancing sustainable patterns of production and consumption within the U.S. book and newspaper industries and within the paper industry at large. GPI also advances policy innovations related to paper and climate change and recycling and incubates pioneering new strategies for market transformation.

Green Press Initiative’s work has helped to bring about a six fold increase in recycled fiber use in the U.S. book industry—that’s a reduction of over 1.4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 3 million trees per year!

Nick Rufillo (@BookSwim)

And last, but certainly not least – we will be joined by Nick Ruffilo (@bookswim) from BookSwim.com – an online book rental company that rents books the way Netflix rents movies.

An internet Entrepreneur since the tender age of 14, Nick is currently BookSwim’s Chief Technical Officer and resident wunderkind. And, Nick is not JUST a techie – he has some literary blood in him as well: Nick is co-author and founder of the webcomic/comic book ‘Amazing Super Zeroes, and his favorite book is Jorges Borges’ Labyrinths.

Quite the lineup, eh? So – get your questions ready!

To start things out, I’ll be asking our panel a few questions of my own, including:

  • How do we define sustainable publishing?
  • What are the biggest polluters/environmental issues in publishing?
  • What publishers are doing a good job/making advances toward sustainable publishing practices?What other industry players are doing a good job (booksellers, printers, paper manufacturers, digital device makers, etc.?)
  • Is e- really more environmentally friendly than paper and ink?What are some of the biggest misconceptions about sustainability as it relates to the publishing industry? What are some of the environmental costs of digital publishing?
  • What can readers do to help shape the way the industry approaches sustainable practices?

Please make a point to follow our guests on Twitter:

Melissa Klug (@permanentpaper)
Melissa Brumer (@ooliganpress)
Janine Eckhart (@JanineEckhart)
Natalie Guidry (@ooliganSPI)
Kelly Spitzner (@green_press)
Nick Ruffilo (@bookswim)

The fun begins at 4pm ET (or 1pm PST).To join the #followreader Twitter conversation today, here’s what to do:

1. 10 minutes or so before 4pm ET, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you use (we recommend Tweetchat.com).

2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader.

3. I’ll announce about 10 minutes ahead of time that we’re going to begin. And I’ll introduce the guests.

4. I’ll start by posting a question.

5. To post to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet.

NOTE: TweetChat.com refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.

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