tv Open Phones on the Publishing Industry CSPAN May 30, 2015 10:52am-11:38am EDT
[inaudible conversations] >> host: s and booktv is live in new york city. we're at the javits convention center. bookcon is going on. this is a convention that is open to the public. it follows the publishers' convention which is known as bookexpo. and we are doing a live call-in program. and we have two publishers with us jamie raab is in the green dress on your left, and she is president and publisher of grand central publishing. susan weinberg is senior vice president and group publisher of perseus. before or we get into publishing, i want to ask about bookcon. this is quite a phenomenon. have you two attended this before?
>> guest: this is our first year for exhibiting and for me attending bookconker but we're very excited to have a chance to interact directly with readers and have them come and see our authors signings it's a lot of great stuff to see the interaction of readers. we're watching right now we see book bloggers are interacting with their fans, so it's happening on a lot of levels. >> >> host: and because bookexpo is just for publishers and related industries. >> guest: right, right. through our retailers. we're always dealing with the public but this is new, to really try to have direct interaction with readers. >> host: jamie raab. >> guest: this is my first time here, but i was amazed when i saw the lines of people. it's thrilling to think that people care enough about books to come to something like this pay money, get to see the authors. i think it's fantastic. >> host: what is grand central publishing? >> guest: well right now we have a signing, we have an author named meredith wylde who wrote a series of erotic books
race key and the line is big. we have brad nelson who's signing next. he has the president's shadow coming out next week and we have david ball dash chi who's a perennial favorite. those are our line up. we have candace bushnell tomorrow and nelson demille will be here. it's a lot of fun. >> host: what is your publishing house though? what kind of books do you publish? >> guest: basically, we're part of a big international publisher. grand central publishes books when someone looks at our lineup there's something for everything. we have cookbooks literary fiction, commercial fiction, we have business books, you know? we run the gamut because you know i want, i want readers to find something they like. so we have mass markets, trade paperbacks, large size paperbacks, hard covers, coffee table books. we do it all. >> host: who are some of the
nonfiction authors you've worked with that maybe booktv viewers -- >> guest: well i've worked with some fantastic ones. i worked with jon stewart, we did america: the book, stephen colbert was a lot of fun. worked with michael moore. we're now doing jay -- [inaudible] who is a biographer and his new subject, first-ever biography of beyonce. you know the list goes on and on. i worked with robin roberts on her memoir last year. we have we just had dana perino is on the best seller list now with "and the good news is," mike morrell former deputy director of the cia did a book on terrorism. as i said, wide range of books. >> host: all right susan weinberg, perseus.
tell us about some of the authors you've worked with. >> guest: perseus book group is a very interesting unique company in america supporting independent publishing. and perseus is a combination of imprints owned and operated by the perseus book group basic books -- [inaudible] and then we also through our distribution company represent and sell and support hundreds of independent publishing companies throughout the country. >> host: now you've both referred to -- [inaudible] you've talked about perseus, and before you were the publisher at public affairs which is one of the divisions of perseus. >> guest: right. >> host: why are these book groups, why are they -- why can't there just be one title? >> guest: you know that's a really great question because i think that question of intimacy and scale is a really important one many publishing that comes up in a lot of ways. because we want to give the author and the book the attention and the human touch
that's needed i think, to make the book the best it can be and to get the creativity going with marketing and the publicity for how to reach the audience. and yet you also want to have, have some heft and clout when you're dealing with some of the bigger retailers and some of bigger networks and organizations that you use to also get your message out and to get your books out in front of consumers. so as an independent publisher coming to a distributer, we're looking for the same thing. we have a very special identity that's very specific to us and our authors but we also want to work with a large organization that has all the benefits of bringing you to the marketplace at every level. >> guest: and i have seen in my many years in publishing i've seen so much consolidation of book publishers. when i started out in this business, there were many more publishers and, of course they've all been, you know, subsumed by larger organizations. i started out hachette books.
before we were grand central, we were owned by time warner, and we were warner books. we had to completely change our identity. and, you know, i think that's true throughout the industry. to have clout you need to be big. but you do want to be small enough and is we're divided into divisions. my company has grand central, we have a christian division down in nashville, we have little brown. you want to be small enough so that you can give authors attention, and you can, you can really focus on books. so it's, you know, it's a back and forth between, you know, trying to be a big company that still retains, as susan said, an intimacy. >> host: and if you're interested in the publishing industry and want to talk to our two publishers, phone numbers are up on the screen. you can dial in, 202 is the area code 748-8200 if you live in the east and central time zones 748-8201 for those of you in the mountain and pacific time zones. we'll get to those calls in just
a minute. susan weinberg, how'd you get your start in this business? >> guest: you know, i got out of college like a lot of people unsure of what i wanted to do, but secretly in my heart i wanted to do publishing, but i wasn't sure if publishing wanted me. so i -- but i got out of college. i had a brief internship, and i started looking for jobs. and at that time -- this was a little while ago -- you looked for jobs in the classified ads in "the new york times," and it was very clear there was a way to get a publishing job and that was to go to these temp agencies or the employment agencies and take a typing test, and then they would send you on interviews. this was a while ago peter, i have to admit. [laughter] but they, so you take the typing test and you go on the interviews. and i go on my first interview, and it was -- i was so excited it was with a really amazing woman who did children's books. and i never thought about about doing children's books before, but she was amazing. and i was like -- in college they always said take the
professor, not the course. and i said i would love to work for this woman but i got turned down because i didn't have office experience. so when i got a job offer which was really starting -- i was offered the job as a floating secretary at book of the month club. and that is why, you know you're an internal temp basically. and i said, well, no one will ever say i don't have office experience if i take this job. so i took that as my first job in publishing and i was there for a dozen years. >> host: and? >> guest: well, that was before amazon so the book clubs were an american institution, they were very different. but we've certainly seen the disruption in the industry and amazon you know, what happened to the book clubs. but i left the book clubs after that and started working at harper k08 lins which was my entree into trade publishing. ..
came to new york and had some jobs going back to graduate school in international affairs and started to stay to anyone i knew i need a job, someone's mother knew someone in publishing, it was random house in those days i went for my interview hit it off, loved it right away, had to take a typing test which i failed. they said do not hire this
woman, she can't fight. they only gave it to women in those days. fortunately i was tired i felt i had found my place like that mated detour into women's magazines which is fun too and came back to it and moved up the ladder. very much an apprenticeship business you start as a secretary or assistant you learn the ropes and move up and that is what i did and i stayed with one company for 30 years which is quite unusual. >> we just showed a panel on women in publishing. has it changed since the days of the typing test? >> oh yes it has. a lot of women in publishing, women who have very senior positions. a lot of ceos are still men. i think there are a lot of
opportunities for women in publishing. it is wide open in all areas and everybody wanteds to going to editorials. everybody looks at other things you can do. marketing positions, selling rights sales some much opportunity in publishing for young men and women. >> host: susan weinberg, what is the publisher do? >> guest: great question. i always wanted to be a publisher i figured out an answer i could give people. the publisher is the person behind the decision, what we publish and how we publish it. that is it in a nutshell deciding how the public -- how to publish it and making all the things that have to happen, success is measured in a lot of ways. an important measure and
profitmaking, and matter for publishers and authors too. there are certain kinds of nonfiction with an impact. and knowing you are reaching, if you are writing or entertaining, make people laugh or have given that kind of thing. >> host: jamie raab how would you describe your job? >> figuring out what to publish and most of all, that is not easy. talking about it all the time. it starts in house. i say it is the business of passion. it is an editor finding a book saying i want to buy it. and how to get leaders excited. how to get them to know about a book and a group of people in
house to make people outside the house come to the book. >> is that a fair comparison for companies? >> the ceo probably has more of an umbrella position looking at operations. publishers as i practice publishing, really focused on what to acquire and how to get it out into the world. we think of it in a different way. in some ways we tell each editor, the publisher of this book and drive down the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership and tell editors at 10 points you are always selling. you are always selling even when reading the books and employee meetings, that is the beginning
of the seller process. there are marvels at a publishing house has to take a different times if you are going to bring this whole thing together. bring the book and read it together. >> some viewers see what kind of questions are out there and in washington, and, you are on booktv with jamie raab and susan weinberg. >> caller: hello. >> host: we are listening. >> caller: i am close to finishing my first e-book and i wondering how do i find an editor? >> host: tell us about your e-book and your experiences as a writer. >> caller: i have never published anything but my e-book, having to do with survival strategies and recovery
from alcohol and drugs. i am retired chemical dependency counselor, i was a counselor for 20 years and that is why i thought i would share my awareness as you continue doing this. >> host: here is a woman and i will let you answer her in a second, she has the background, expertise, she wants to share that in a book and she has written it in her head and put it on paper as well. what is her next step? >> turn next step is basically to find a publishing house that wants to publish it. not that easy. i recommend writers find agents literary agent they know all the editors, all the houses and they are better able to filter all the manuscripts that come through because no editor editors get a lot of material.
most of them only take agented manuscripts because there's not enough time to read everything. a literary agent taking on your product to show you have a platform in this case, a professional platform and work with a literary agent to find a good match for your book. to send something in directly to publisher is very difficult. i do strongly suggest they go through a middleman and now you can always self publishing. self publishing is a very good option for many people. online or amazon or another platform, you find ways to market the book yourself and see if readers come to it. >> host: susan weinberg. >> guest: everything jamie raab said as far as the process you go through i agree with.
a couple things i might add is there are a lot of books about how to get published and most of them are very good. almost always written by somebody in the industry. if you read the author's bio in the background you contrast they will give you a lot of information, more than any one person could explain to you and it could be very helpful for you to figure out what kind of publishing solution is best for you. when you ask a person how do i find an editor, realize that an editor is basically a really experienced reader. there are people you know, in your field, that might be helpful readers of your book and ask to see that not just for people to tell you what is good about it but some questions to guide their feedback.
even in school i was fascinated when my kids come home from high school english and do peer editing which is fantastic. i see the comments students make to each other are incredibly helpful land of lot of english classes in high school and college use. editing and is an interesting model when you are starting writing as a way to helped develop your writing. another way is writing classes might be offered at your local college or writing groups in your community. i know writers can do that and i imagine looking online you might find things in your local community you are not aware exist through adult and or what not. >> host: susan weinberg, have you add perseus books group or public affairs ever taken a book directly from an author? >> guest: we have. every publisher, certainly in public affairs we have. but i would say it is more
because the kind of book public affairs it, there was a qualifier kind of fodder, a person came from a certain background or level of accomplishment in the field and was riding with a certain level of expertise on the field and if that field match what public affairs was doing we did sometimes take books that way. i remember a wonderful book we did with someone who had been a diplomat and had a very distinguished specialized language skills and was writing about the recent history of afghanistan and using some documents that were very rare that he knew about and for not publicly known and had written a long complicated manuscript that was a very good one. when we took on the boat, he got a modest advance but part of the advance the staff editors
didn't have the bandwidth. it is unusual to match that. >> host: jamie raab? >> guest: two our biggest book came without an agent. one was a huge best seller for many years actually and sales rep heard about the book was being sold directly by the author in the back of his car, we benefited and bought it and the rest is history. another one very similar was rich dad poor dad also a huge best seller and a series of books. we -- he was selling them in a car wash or something but it was beginning to catch on so one job of an editor is to keep his or her ears open all the time. not only depends on agents but what other people are reading.
those are exceptions. it is very rare but it does happen. the other thing we do now is look at self published books, we look at books that seem to be taking off the were put on line by readers and we are aware of books that are gathering followers and sometimes go directly to the author and say would you like a publisher? >> the rise of the robot is a part of perseus, the life of robots and the first book was a self published e-book that he then wanted to write more and has written his new book for basic so we are taking this when he discovered about his topic and the audience he started to develop on his own and the publishing company working together with him created even bigger audience for
this. >> joyce is in worse. >> caller: how are you? >> host: will good. please go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: my question is, i have been riding since i was very young. i was never published, but a lot of my stuff was thrown out by accident and i have been riding poetry and i wanted that published but it is about a certain subject. it is about the cycle of abuse. i was abused for many many years actually since i was 4 and i went to counseling what got me through everything all those years was my writing.
and so many peo c1 years was my writing. and so many people tell me, including my accomplice to use my poetry in their women's groups. i don't know how to go about it. i have so much poetry. >> we talked about that a minute ago. thank you very much for calling in. anything else when it comes to, potential writer, we have quite a bit of advice here. anything special about btryng a poet? >> it is hard to get published as a poet. there are literary magazines, poetry journals. i would definitely start by submitting stuff to those outlets. figuring out who publish poetry. going to reading this meeting other poets, and i always say
this, it is not about being published. if you are a writer you are a writer. it is about the process, still loving what you do. don't ever let not btryng published stop you from writing. it is something if you are riding you have to write. and self published authors getting discovered, there are authors who create publishing companies because they feel i want to be published and they go to step beyond and maybe they attract other books and also whether it is your local bookstore or counseling group, you can use your community to start a writing community may be published for each other, doing it together with the library or local bookstore any of the commu crties around books and reading weather is co usunity college or library or bookstore,
and meet with other writers to start sharing your writing and start building a community of leaders that can build out into a bigger publishing product. >> host: let's take this back to the publishing industry, how self publishing, how has affected your business. >> i love thtryr btryng a lot of options for people to publish. i love the fact that now we have an option for riders wear before it was either a commercial publisher picked you up for you had no way to reach readers beyond those you had in your own town. i think this of publishing option is a very healthy and robust one. it is good for writers and readers. it pro ldes publishers sometimes with material as well and i feel that it is a natural and organic outgrowth of the way we all co usunicate now and the way the internet and the web has gone.
>> when sedus publishing started booming i think there was some trepidation on the part of publishers, the future of publishing, people get anything out there. then it became clear there is room for everybody. there's enough food on the table. there is production distribution. if you have a print book you just can't go to barnes and noble landscape please do that. it takes publisher and distribution system.
there is room for everybody and it is a good option and i am impressed by some of the stuff is self published. >> host: you talked-about cover art. don't get off the phone. you talk about cover art and i want to talk about this. the president's shadows, the new book, one of your books, fantastic cover, but how many people are involved in that? >> i am very involved in that. i love it. basically we work with the staff of art directors they tend to be very creative people and we talk to the author and share ideas with the art director and what they think it looks like and bring in the author, very collaborative. we see designs. a lot of it goes to outside
artists and we have a cover meeting every week. best meeting of the weekend we put lots of covers out for a book and putting that one down, take that one, i can't read the type that is good and we go back and forth, share with the author. it is collaborative. cover art can sell a book. it is incredibly important. >> host: not to. c-span's:but c-span has a new book out, first lady's. were you involved in creating that? >> guest: in my new role i wasn't. but i know when we have done the books for c-span before it is very collaborative and interesting because you have two organizations. the publisher and c-span as well as the author. and things they're trying to communicate but when it all comes together you know and it clicks and it really does.
i agree with what jamie was saying. is the experience of the book for everyone. the offer people buying it, people publishing it. it is incredible. a lot is going on with that. it communicates a lot in a short time and the only time you know covers working is when the art director man come of with a wonderful idea and starts to go let me explain this to you and you go unless you are going to stand next to the book, that is not going to work. i have a big wall of books. some are older ones. every day i look at dozens of books, and i go that one works, could have done better on that one. that one was fantastic. you are always reviewing trying to get better. one other thing about the cover the publisher has a lot of say in the cover.
we are working with sales organizations and supposed to have a commercial sense but it is important, we always say i said this had whatever publishing company worked at, you cannot put a cover on the book that the author cannot stand behind. office cannot cringe when they see the. they have to be behind it so you have got a lot of people involved, and that is always that line that you are trying to -- it works, you remember it. every time you think of it the cover comes to mind. >> in albany new york, high. >> caller: and wondered if you going to get to me. i am very excited. i don't believe in coincidences but i always watch this on saturdays and sun.s, the book
channel because i am looking for help to get my self published book marketed. i am doing well locally but i can't break out of local. i am going to be on television june 9th being interviewed by ought librarian but it is a channel that is strictly local. i need to break out of local. what a treasure my little book is. it's called the human's hand book. it is only 102 pages but it is metaphysical, self-help and humorous. >> back to marketing. you used the word discoverability. can you expand on that?
>> discover su but above the become more options than ever. through social media through what you do yourself to get a core audience to know about your book but you have to know how to do it. you have to set up your facebook, tweet, know where your potential audience is and go for it. you can find communities, social communities and market directly to that rather than throwing everything against the wall. you say your book is metaphysical, you look at communities online try to get them aware of your books, what you can do. whether well as your book.
order to be manufactured and it has some relationship to the number of orders you are getting for the print book. you don't need a print run just up there. that is one of those wonderful things when people talk about what e-books of the into publishing, they make sure a book is available all the time even if you run out of stocks for the print at that moment. it used to be called sales, now they are called e-book sales. nothing like a trade secret but one of the things you are working on all the time. it is not something you think every one wants to know or is interested in andy changes. you put more out. is one of those numbers out of context is just a number. it doesn't tell you very much. >> say perseus has the book with a print run of 50,000 hard-cover
books. is that a big print run? >> just like everything it depends on the kind of book and the audience you are looking for and certain categories categories certain categories needs a lot of books be sitting out there at the moment of publication, categories reprint and you sell a lot of books without having that one massive print run. >> host: i will put you on the spot. if you are publishing harper lee's new novel what would your print run be? >> guest: i am not in a position because i am not talking to the retailer who is placing the orders and that is why no one is in a position to evaluate that because it starts with retailers placing the waters. at that moment, feeling their orders and trying to get in all
the right places. >> 50,000 these days is a very healthy number, the number of outlets has decreased but history matters. if you have been published before your print run is based on what you have sold in the past because you know it will be based on the healthy sales of your previous book but on the other hand it could be very small. maybe it is a literary novel with a very small nonfiction book starting with 57,500 and these are really fun books where you look at months or years later and say that is an interesting thing. the couple hundred thousand. sometimes the silent best seller, they are exciting. that happens frequently. little by little rather than going to out with a splash.
>> host: how important is the new york times book review to your world? >> guest: it is important for certain books and not so much others. obviously for certain kinds of fiction it is very important. for nonfiction it is important. is not as important for other genres like the new york times is not as important for romance writers for a cookbook necessarily. it really is the kind of book. a fantastic review in the new york times can help the book enormously. on the other hand not getting a review or getting a bad review is not the kiss of death. i have seen books the got terrible reviews and gone on to sell very well. the review relatively few books. that is the hard part. it matters greatly to the author. the new york times can only give
you so many, they are limited by the number of pages in the book review and i know they have to say no to a lot of books they wish they had the room to cover. that is just -- all waste was then a hard position. >> host: that wasn't a set up. maybe it was. booktv went to the new york times and we did a profile interview with the editor of the new york times book review section and he is a level of what she had to say. do publishers want their books reviewed in the york times? >> yes cannot if it is negative. but very much so. unfortunately we are the last remaining freestanding book review newspaper book review in the country. a number of years ago before that the san francisco chronicle
folded their freestanding section. that gives the section a lot more importance at least in the newspaper world, also involve online world as well. there are a huge number of places that are reviewing books from bloggers to people posting microreviews on twitter but i think there are very few places that are doing it in the way we do it with that kind of their own as an authority. >> host: we take that interview this week in new york and that whole interview will air on saturday june 6th at 7:30 p.m. an hour-long profile in the new york times book review. we are live still at the jacob javits convention center in new york city. this is an open to the public book fair following book expo and we have been talking with two publishers, jamie raab,
publisher of grand central publishing and susan weinberg, senior vice president, group publisher of perseus books group, we thank you very much for being here. our coverage from new york continues and up next is a panel at the publisher's convention on innovation and data and the world of digital technology, some of the disruptions in the publishing industry today. afterwards we will be back live with pulitzer prize winner chris hedges and vladimir putin critic gary kasparov. two more live call ins today from new york city. here is the panel on innovation. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> this the eo and founder i am delighted to welcome you all to 2015's book expo america. to introduce you to our keynote panel. today we are talking about data and innovation so before we get started i thought i would start with a little hole of the audience. to here has a smart phone raise your hand. it is an absurd question. you would expect every hand in this audience to go up. as i see -- i expect many of you are holding your smart phone because you are ready to take
pictures of our panelists and try to record their brilliance and send it to your social network for you may be ready to check your e-mail if i get a little boring. you have it out. what is amazing to think about is ten years ago there wouldn't have been hands going up and yet now all the books that fit in this massive jacob javits center convention hall can also fit right ear on this boat device. as you are sitting here reading one of those books, reading an article, posting to facebook, sending an e-mail or just sitting here, it is capturing data, data about who you are data about what you like to read what services you like to use and companies are using that data. they are using that data to figure out how to make those services better for you to improve the services, create new
products and services for new needs out there. our first speaker today, scott galloway, take that day and uses it to predict where the broader technology and media industry is headed. he is going to start with a presentation which he talked about who are the winners and losers of this landscape. then come back for a panel discussion. we are going to talk about data and innovation and how it relates to our industry. what we can expect to see, what lessons we can learn and what the future holds. it is my pleasure to introduce scott galloway, founder and chairman. scott founded it after developing an algorithm to talk about digital competence of this is a professor of nyu school of business where he teaches the strategy of digital marketing. in 2012 scott was named one of
the 50 best business school professors. he is also the founder of red on the low and profit brand strategies. scott was elected to the world economic forum global leaders of tomorrow and served on the board with a bower of the new york times, gave way, berkeley's school of business. scott is widely recognized as a leader on technology, marketing and digital landscape and we are thrilled to have him here today. [applause] >> thanks, appreciate you having me. i have 90 slides in 900 seconds so let's light this candle. talk a little about an algorithm, we applied a 50 dated points, four dimensions of the brand, digital marketing, mobil land social. we do this across 11 geographies around the world, 1250 brands and we sit down with a brand and tell from where they are strong or weak relative to the
competitive side. a lot of benchmarking but we have modern-day air traffic controllers where we can see patterns and predict who is winning and who's losing and when we see winning and losing the mean gaining or leaking influence in the eco system. we affectionately call this talk the four horseman. we take a look at four incredible companies apple amazon, facebook and google and say who will gain or decline influence? any of them could lose because anyone could decline influence for the next 20 years and be hugely important but looking through the lens of the audit a route where brands are investing or divesting is the answer to the larger technology landscape and how you might think about allocating your own flight capital in terms of where you think the world is headed. let's kick it off. huge companies have combined market cap. this data is a little dated, $1.6 tri