Partners Beyond The Book
Creating a new publishing model aka a "Home for Authors" (sorry, just made me giggle to picture a literal home, so I had to write it that way but maybe The New Press Institute is nicer...)
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 mission to leverage books for social change in a networked society
A dynamic platform for readers, writers, photographers, videographers, livestreamers, and podcasters—a group that will prominently feature authors of New Press books—to engage with one another and with intelligent, accessible, and thought-provoking content unavailable anywhere else on the Internet.
The New Press actively (and even proactively) challenges intellectuals to use the breadth afforded by long form texts to build new paradigms and strategies for social equity and justice. But of course publication of the book, and even the most lavish and successful of pr and marketing campaigns are just the first steps in a long campaign for change.
What else can The New Press do to support authors, organizations and the grassroots application of new ideas?
What would it look like if publishers re-imagined their business from selling books to a new mission (and expanded profit center) of partnering with authors and organization's to support the spread and application of important ideas --instead of giving away that job to others companies like authorbytes.
Some New Press authors such as Monica Martinez have already figured out how to use their website and other on-line tools to create change that begins with a New Press book. It is part of a strategic plan that involves on-line engagement, courses, consulting/mentoring etc. I bet even Monica Martinez would appreciate help in strategic planning, staffing, creating and marketing her website, webinars, and free downloads, and she could learn a few things from others, such as Robert Wright (a Pantheon author, forgive me), who teaches a class on Coursera.com and invites everyone to join him on all of these resources that he has put together:
(FYI This is just copy I haven't linked it to the sites) Social Media : You can become a follower of the course’s Facebook page by going to the page and clicking “like.” And I hope you’ll also become a follower of the twitter feed I’ve set up for the course: @DarwinDharma. (If you don’t understand why I chose that name, you will by the end of the course!) Via those avenues you can become aware of new material that is relevant to the course, ranging from news items I come across to conversations with Buddhist monks, meditation teachers, psychologists, etc., that I’ll periodically post on my website meaningoflife.tv. You can also follow my personal twitter feed--@robertwrighter--where you’ll find stuff about politics, culture, and religion and science broadly. And if you would like news about Princeton University's online courses, you can like Princeton Online on Facebook.
Here are some initial thoughts (many already requested and documented by The New Press memo). I've just been researching what others have done, and learned as much as possible about how to implement and how to make them sustainable.
Author Support Groups: An annual author's "retreat" or conference, similar to that held by Berrett-Koehler where authors can share strategies and contacts and can hear talks from expert advisors.
Social Media Support: A how-to guide that pre-publication helps authors think about all the media and mediums they can use or info they can collect during the research phase to present their ideas, and then helps them build that presence – from facebook to twitter, to their webpage – but in a useful, informative, not self-promoting silly way. http://www.mrss.com/
New Press.TV (working title, but not what I suggest you use and perhaps there is a separate site for each of the New Press categories, and even for different authors? ) that hosts the podcast, interviews, courses, webinars, reading group and course curriculum etc. as outlined in "New Press Distribution" & "University could be written, designed, produced, facilitated and promoted by New Press staff - some course and media would be marketed to professional organizations and peer groups, others would be direct to readers, learners and changemakers. New Press staff and consultants would facilitate the creation of these courses. Take a look at MeaningofLife.TV
Website hosting and creation linked and managed by The New Press for a set period of time for each author or new book? (In addition to a staff person, this could be done as part of a formal partnership with Pratt, or a Community College new media program.) List of companies that do this well: List of companies that do this well: http://www.enginateworks.com/
Strategic planning and "speakers bureau" creating the additional tools and support implementing the strategies to reach the right audiences for message and mission (see more Activist Book Club.)
While this model works best for non-fiction there are creative ways to further engage fiction audiences too. Giving authors the opportunity to learn new business strategies from leaders in the field and from one another could be the beginning of a whole new brainstormed list...