Posts Tagged ‘World Business Academy’

ACCIDENTAL BOOK PUBLISHER

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Many years ago when my literary agency, Waterside Productions Inc., was thriving as the epicenter for all books related tospinnaker_sailing_yachts the computer revolution, I was asked by my clients and  the publishers  to whom I was licensing  books from top-selling computer book  authors and experts why I had not created my own publishing company.  Although I  was generating millions of dollars in agency fees as a literary agent it seemed obvious that I could generate tens of millions of dollars of additional profits by becoming a book publisher and not just an agent. After all, we represented more than 25 percent of all the bestselling computer books over a period of close to ten years and many of the individual titles were selling millions of copies annually. Didn’t we realize how much money we were leaving on the table?

I did realize how much money I was leaving on the table, but I had learned about book publishing from my father who has started ARCO Publishing in 1936. ARCO was successful but never as large as it could have been. My father loved book publishing and especially making deals and finding new ways to market books. However, I saw firsthand the complications of having many employees, dealing with printers and warehouses, and having to accept returns from bookstores.  My father could have had a much bigger company but he turned down opportunities to purchase Kaplan when it was a small company and other companies that would have added revenue but reduced his ability to take time off from work and  focus on the casual atmosphere he had created, a lifestyle which included two hour lunches and the ability to leave the office in the middle of the day if he choose to go to a baseball game or other event.

Like him I have never put money as the only priority in running a business. I believe money was his primary priority, but acquiring it was not out of balance with other goals. In my case making money has always been an important priority but not my primary focus. My primary focus has been on working with people and ideas that excite me and allow me to express my own creativity. I found that being an agent rather than publisher allowed me greater diversity and fulfilled my desire to end each day without myriad details needing my attention on each book agented.  As a publisher you must constantly monitor the production and marketing of each book you publish. As agent it is really just about negotiating the right deal with the right publisher for each author with relatively little follow-up required once the deal is struck. Really an ideal scenario for someone with my desire and ability to balance fifty or more negotiations at one time but little capacity for or interest in the details of marketing each book once published.

But then along came the ebook revolution, and what is an agent to do? Except for our major proven authors, it is increasingly difficult to negotiate or even land book deals with the major New York houses. Everyone wants proven, low-risk publishing opportunities and no major publisher can afford the luxury of developing new authors. Authors whose books I could place easily five or ten years ago now are passed on by the major houses. Rather than force these authors self-publish I decided two years ago to create Waterfront Digital Press. My concept was to publish ebooks only and see which books created enough buzz  so that we might, at a future time, be able to approach large traditional publishers to take over both print and ebook publication.  We might not make much money with our ebooks, but we would allow authors to market themselves in a professional manner by introducing them to top PR and marketing services which they, rather than Waterside as publisher, would have to fund. In exchange, we would  pay out 70 percent or more of all ebook-generated  revenue to our authors. This is the reverse of a standard publishing agreement, but we felt we were really co-publishing with our authors and that they and not us were doing the heavy lifting. The other advantage with ebook publishing is that we would have no inventory and no returns. (more…)

BE CHANGE: LEADERS ON THE FRONT LINE

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Today November 11, 2013 my father would have  had his  99th birthday were he still alive. Today is also veterans  in theabout-linda  United States. I am  in Berlin, Germany  keynoting a conference on how German authors can reach a global audience. I wrote the following publisher’s note for a new  booklet that  Waterfront Digital Press will be proudly  publishing later this year.  I hope this blog motivates you to learn more about Linda Cruse and motivates you to take action in her programs.

BE THE CHANGE: LEADERS ON THE FRONT LINE

This small ebook gives you the flavor of the important work that Linda Cruse has accomplished over the last fourteen years helping people in crisis throughout the world. Hot spots where Linda has intervened include: Thailand after the Tsunami, Pakistan after the earthquake and Burmese refugees flying from the military junta. Linda has helped tens of thousands of people with her helping “hand up” rather  than ”hand out” philosophy.  Linda’s focus is on bringing  in top business leaders  to  communities  that have been devastated or challenged with poverty and helping the individuals in these communities to create  businesses that will be self sustaining for  decades so that when humanitarian aid programs end the villagers  are thriving and not facing new crises brought about by dependence on others.

Linda is an ordinary person who made an extraordinary commitment to make a positive difference in the world. Linda does not come from  great wealth, was trained and served as a nurse and later  pharmaceutical saleswoman. She saw a need and learned  on site how a small group of people could  make huge differences throughout the world. This short booklet presents just the highlights of Linda’s philosophy and accomplishments.

The primary reason you are reading this book is because I told Linda she had to write it. Not enough people especially here in America (Linda is a Brit) know about her work and the opportunities to participate  or promote Be The Change: Leaders on The Frontline. Not everyone is suited for five days of immersion in a remote African village but everyone of us can contribute.  My hope is that you will share this short booklet with friends and family, business colleagues, business clients and customers and encourage them to share with their networks as well.

Linda has recently affiliated with the World Business Academy based in Santa Barbara, California.  The World Business Academy is a fully operational 501 c3 tax deductible approved organization that has focused  for the last ten plus years on how business leaders can make a positive difference in society. Upon meeting Linda, World Business Academy (WBA) founder Rinaldo Brutoco recognized the synergies that  will naturally evolve  from  Linda’s  Be The Change: Leaders On The Frontline projects being brought to the attention of his existing WBA members.  Part of this affiliation includes the ability for those interested in supporting Be The Change: Leaders On The Frontline to make donations through the World Business Academy. Any checks you send should include  a notation that  funds are to be used to promote and educate about the opportunities Linda is creating though her Be The Change: Leaders On The Frontline projects.

The address to send checks is World Business Academy, 308 East Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. After reading this booklet go to Linda’s web site www.lindacruse.com and also to the World Business Academy web site www.worldbusiness.org to learn more about how by making a donation you can be the change you want to see in the world.

Thank you for reading and thank you for taking action.

William Gladstone, Publisher, Waterfront Digital Press

Meetings with Remarkable Men and Women—Part One

Monday, September 9th, 2013

There was a book published several decades ago entitled Meetings With Remarkable Men. The book focused on meetings Dad with Barbarawith spiritual beings with extraordinary abilities. I was thinking about this book and the remarkable men and women with whom I met last week on my trip to Santa Barbara, Monterrey, and Boulder Creek.

We all work for a living.  But my work is so much more than that to me. In many ways it is a privilege. As I have written before, being a literary agent puts me in contact with any number of amazing, thought provoking, and inspirational people. It is probably a large part of why I have stayed in this line of work for so long.  I find that my ideas are constantly challenged, my energy renewed, my point of view expanded just by virtue of the people with whom I have the privilege to work.  And it is why so many of my vacations are spent in meetings with clients and potential clients; these are people with whom I truly enjoy spending time.

Gayle and I like to drive rather than fly on trips of five hundred miles or less, and this trip was no different. We had a long holiday weekend and took almost a full week to drive up to Boulder Creek though just one day to drive back. Five hundred miles is a lot to drive in a single day, but it was well worth it. The central coast of California is quite beautiful and the places we stayed in along the way were extraordinary, ranging from forests and beaches to tracts of farm land in between. Makes you want to sing the Woody Guthrie song “This land is Your Land.” (more…)