New Press "University" 

New Press Books Off the Shelf and Into Action

New Press Goals met: 

  • Mobilizing New Press books for social change

  • An online platform for specific projects that tie into author’s work

  • A site that will enable genuine, productive engagement among our authors and their readers.

  • A home on the internet for activists and non-profit workers to connect their campaigns, strategies, and demands with one another”

  • A dynamic platform for New Press authors—to engage with leaders, readers, organizers and resisters. 

 

  1.  New Press on Course

High engagement (moderate cost) on-line courses for passionate progressives.

Authors, working with a New Press facilitator “in the studio” would offer on-line courses with a varied degree of student/teacher interaction on a variety of topics.  The course price would include a New Press book or "Textbook", and the cost of producing the class.  These are classes, not promotional events, and would NOT be free, though they may be underwritten by partner organizations.  Possible audiences/formats could include: 

  • Professional Development courses created in partnership with Associations, Unions, Corporate Human Resources Departments, etc. and hosted on both sites, that would be either a mandatory training course , or promoted to members for Professional Development and Community of Practice discussions,  all culled from  New Press books and categories, and integrated into the book's marketing plan so that cross promotion is included in the campaign. 

Example:  From Teamsters to Starbucks, many different organizations would be eager to do a course using the information in  "Never Too Late: The Adult's Guide To Going Back To College," even if they were unwilling to buy multiple copies of the book.   The course could vary in intensity for different "client" audiences, and could be underwritten by an organization (ie. a Foundation in partnership with the ALA) and offered for free to their members or employees.  More intensive courses that include a coaching component would be more expensive and require a more comprehensive application process.  (PS if they aren't already doing it, this is the type of on-line business New Press and The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning could get into together and both make a steady profit.  New Press would be the publisher and it would live on both websites.  See "New Press Distribution for more information.)   

  • Continuing Education Classes on the New Press site (for credit in partnership with a University or other on-line entity) tied to New Press books or categories. 

Example:  "Whitewashing History" A course examining public rituals, controversial monuments, and historical tourism from the Civil War  through contemporary times using DENMARK VEEYI'S GARDEN as a textbook with other sources for a long "course" or could be as short as 2 hours of discussion with an excerpt of the book included in the purchase price.  There's a variety of on-line social media marketing strategies and partnerships that would sell the class to various markets to those who would be unlikely to see or buy the book - including Civil War buffs, tourism trade etc.

For a look at what others are doing:  Random House Penguin UK  ​ and  Ed Chat Interactive.

  • New Press “School of Activism" (working title) courses would include conversation and  planning for on-going community engagement on New Press titles and categories using the book as a starting point for real change.

Example:  "Reduce Incarceration Now" an on-line, application only,  community engagement course open to national and local activists, using the START HERE book and discussion to support real initiatives and real people as they work to reduce incarceration.  ​The course would be facilitated by a leader chosen by the authors, and would feature "guest lectures" or input by the authors based on their schedule and availability.  It would help organizations and individuals speak to one another and share best practices, strategies, emotional and intellectual support, etc. in real time. 

For an interesting look at a similar approach in the business world look at Seth Godin's Alternative MBA course.

The first courses would be created and marketed to specific organizations. As the courses and membership lists grow the New Press "University" could help other non-profit organizations - becoming a trusted producer and source for advocacy, organizing, policy and other progressive education on-line.  New Press could also publish a book, or Textbook (explained below) just for these courses, and distribute progressive on-line programs using a growing membership database. (see "New Press Distribution."  

Possible tools/partnerships for creating the New Press "University" 

  1. ​Partner with an existing on-line University site for back-end (there are  pros-cons). Check out sites such as futurelearn.com and  participate,  getsmarter.com , edx.org

  2. Pull together existing platforms to create proprietary back-end like Seth Godin (who has the branding and marketing experience)  (there are pros-cons)

Considerations: 

  1. Some University and Media employers have very specific guidelines on making money off of "speaking tours" or "guest-lectures" but are allowed to profit from book sales.

  2. Additional thoughts to come (and in the "Home for Authors"

  3. The strategy for marketing these courses works best for everyone under the New Press brand, but will take significant strategic planning.  

 

2.   New press "eTextbooks"

Progressive "etextbooks" that keep teaching events, current.

  • Mining the New Press content could yield new "virtual textbooks," and with input from authors and editors during the trade book process, could provide entire course curriculum along with links to other materials (with procured royalties) and a "behind the scenes" look at source materials etc.- all transferable into Moodle or other proprietary software. For an additional fee/as part of the fee/or free during certain promotional periods, the New Press author or editor could be available for an on-line in-class conversation as part of the "etextbook" adoption.

  • Once the New Press creates a data-base of educators, partner non-profit organizations can also create  "etextbooks" etc.  (even annual textbooks to track changing stories) that can be purchased virtually, or as print-on-demand books as part of a New Press Distribution program.